As the years have gone by and opinions have shifted on the subject of firearms, there are certain things that still remain true and need to be discussed. In the past, students being taught some basic gun safety in a public school was not unheard of. In certain jurisdictions, it was perfectly normal for students to keep their firearms in their vehicles during the hunting seasons. A lot has changed since those days, and the simple gesture of making a firearm in a school can land a student in hot water.
It’s been reported that a firearm was found on the grounds of the local elementary school in Patterson, Georgia. The specific particulars of what type of firearm it was or exactly what condition it was found in is unknown, but are largely unimportant here. As cliché as it is, finding a gun on school grounds is obviously still a real thing.
Patterson Police Chief Jason Strickland confirmed last Tuesday a gun was found on the school campus, outside the building after classes dismissed for the day Monday. School superintendent Dara Bennett stressed safety is a top priority at the school and she said the school system is working closely with the Patterson Police Department to get to the bottom of how the gun got on campus.
This is a prime example on why it is so important that we educate our children about firearms. With the influx of over an estimated eight million new gun owners, paired with events like this, it is vital that our children know exactly what to do if they happen upon a firearm. Taking a page from the NRA Eddie Eagle program, children need to be taught when they encounter a firearm without a responsible adult to:
Tell a Grownup!
Sadly, programs such as Eddie Eagle (and NRA School Shield) have been shunned by different schools and policymakers due to the affiliation with the NRA, and hostile views towards the 2nd Amendment. The four steps outlined are paramount, life-saving actions, which all children should be taught. Politics should not come in contact with real common sense attitudes towards firearm safety, such as education. Simply ignoring the subject of guns will not make them go away.
There are many people out there that will say “Well, we don’t have guns in our house, so we don’t need to teach our kids about them.” That’s a fine and dandy prerogative, if one believes that a firearm cannot be stumbled upon at a playground, school, or even a playmate’s house. It is grossly obtuse for parents to adopt an attitude like that.
Thankfully the firearm was gathered by police without incident or injury. Had a child stumbled upon the firearm in question, we can only hope and pray that they would have known what is the right thing to do.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii