Cincinnati School Teaching REAL Gun Safety To Students

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

The gun control lobby has tried to rebrand itself as a “gun safety movement” in recent years, though their idea of gun safety is really “don’t own one.” Real gun safety involves education and training, starting with the four basic rules:

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded at all times
  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
  • Know what lies beyond your target
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot

Students in one Cincinnati charter school are learning those basics and going beyond, thanks to a decision to introduce real gun safety education to students. The DAMPE Community School uses Dance, Art, Music, and Physical Education as integral parts of the curriculum, and school principal Tonjarene Bronston has incorporated gun safety instruction into the school’s P.E. classes, telling a local television station that she and other educators can’t ignore the reality that many of their students are growing up in neighborhoods where violence is a common event.

“Grief can turn into anger and when you’re angry, you just go out without thinking and you go to your friend and get a gun or go to the streets and get a gun and now I’m just angry so I’m going to do something to somebody,” Bronston said.

At the beginning of the year, some students as young as fourth-grade started getting hands-on basic gun safety right in the classroom. The school in Walnut Hills teaches skills in the arts and physical education. But the principal said they are also learning something that will save a life.

The school is located across the street from a funeral home. The principal says she reminds her students every day, there they deal in death.


Bronston says that a lot of things can happen if students aren’t prepared, which is why she believes it’s so important to offer the education. And firearms instructor Rufus Johnson, who teaches the gun safety lessons at the charter school, says he was shocked to learn that as many as 80% of the young students have already been impacted by acts of violence.

That’s a big reason why the education imparted by Johnson go far beyond basic gun handling and safety skills to include instruction on de-escalation and avoiding conflict. The goal here isn’t just to teach children how to be safe and responsible around a firearm, but to prevent those same students from reaching for a gun to settle a personal beef or to retaliate against a perceived slight or insult in the years ahead.

Now I have no idea what Tonjarene Bronston thinks about the right to keep and bear arms, but it’s clear that she doesn’t believe that simply chanting “gun are bad” isn’t going to make her students any safer. The gun control lobby’s idea of gun safety relies on keeping people ignorant, and I’m glad to see that Bronston’s decided on a definition that involves teaching instead. Let’s hope that more schools around the country take a look at the curriculum at DAMPE Community School and use it as inspiration to provide their own students with an education in real gun safety instead of parroting the talking points of anti-gun groups.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member