Lewis County is one of the least populated and most rural counties in New York, and has a strong outdoor tradition of hunting and fishing. Recently a 2nd grader in the tiny Lewis County town of Watson (population, 1,881 in 2010) was told that his Christmas tree project would not be put on display with that of other students because he decorated it pictures of bows, a bolt-action rifle, an over/under shotgun, a trio of pistols, and spent brass for ornaments.

Jerry Ward, the student’s father explains, “We as a family hunt, fish, trap and love the outdoors. Both my daughter and son attend the Lowville Academy and Central School, as did I and all of my family. When my father was in school they had a rife shooting team. When I was in school we had an archery league.”

“Now my son can not put paper cut outs on a poster.”

Sadly, banning even the images of firearms is becoming all too common in and education system conceded to anti-gun liberal dogma. In Fargo, North Dakota, a high school student has been told that he can’t have a picture of him posing with an AR-15 in front of the American flag posted in his yearbook, even though there isn’t a specific policy against such a display.

I’m only a generation older than these kids.

My suburban high school had a rifle range behind the baseball field for JROTC students, and we probably averaged one student suspended (not arrested or expelled) every other year for forgetting to cover up the rifle or shotgun in his car during hunting season. When these students were suspended, the faculty, staff and students didn’t freak out about a gun being on campus, and it didn’t make the local news. Faculty, staff, and students knew there were guns on campus every single day during hunting season. It wasn’t a big deal.

But we weren’t wimps afraid of our shadows.

My, how times have changed.