Last week in Juneau Alaska, about 200 sixth graders headed to the firing range to learn about firearms. Floyd Dryden Middle school runs a program that teaches the kids how to safely handle and shoot rifles, as well as hunting ethics, conservation and management, navigation and other outdoor skills.
But don’t misunderstand, just as the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, neither is this program. Program Director Ken Coate stresses:
“We aren’t here to create little hunters. We’re here to teach firearm safety, firearm handling, how to treat a firearm with respect, how to keep a kid from getting in trouble with a firearm — and everything else is a side benefit.”
A side benefit. Meaning that the most important thing and the primary purpose of this program is to instill respect for and knowledge of firearms. I have always been a proponent of educational programs such as this so that children realize that guns in real life hold very little in common with the dramatized fiction of the movies.
With this knowledge a couple of things happen. First, the seriousness of the matter sinks in so children understand that guns are not toys. Secondly, the mystery around guns is removed so kids won’t be as tempted to seek them out in a home that has one. Thirdly, if you acclimate a child in their youth with guns there is less of a likelihood that they will grow up with that irrational fear and hatred that spawns gun control zealots.
To the earlier points, the Principal of Floyd Dryden, Tom Milliron, wrote a letter to the parents of the children before the program saying:
“Students who live in homes without firearms are often exposed to firearms in their friends’ homes. They need to understand safe and appropriate behavior in these situations.”
Now, for any parent who vehemently objects, their child does not have to participate, but my question is, why would you want to hurt your child? This is a fantastic program which teaches your child invaluable knowledge and may actually save their life. Are anti gun zealots so conceited that they would sacrifice their children in order to maintain their own misguided self righteousness?
I don’t think any of the Alaskan parents actually objected to the program. The previous paragraph was directed more to the other places in this country where they not only lack this program but hell would literally have to freeze over before it was allowed in their schools. I’m thinking firstly of New York City and other North Eastern dens of gun bias. His Mayor-ness Bloomberg’s brain would most likely explode if someone would suggest such a program in his fiefdom. When you have as much hate in your heart as Mayor Bloomberg does then little things like sacrificing children to promote your own agenda is of little consequence.
This is the kind of program that should be everywhere in America. Instead of having a tragedy befall a family because a kid thinks a gun is a toy or doesn’t have the proper respect for a firearm, why don’t we educate them so we avoid a tragedy in the first place?
Tony Oliva is the Director of Media Relations for Gun Owners of America. You can read more from his blog HERE.