Ever since I started writing here at Bearing Arms, one of the drums I’ve beaten has been for mandatory gun safety classes in public schools. The truth is that while I believe this is properly the role of the parents, we’ve seen far too much evidence that parents are shirking their responsibility. Instead, kids all too often find guns in places that guns shouldn’t be and, having no idea about guns they didn’t learn from television, they do stupid things with them.
All too often, those stupid things get innocent people shot.
Another drum we’ve beaten a lot here in recent months has been the state of things in Virginia. Let’s be frank, no one here is happy with the way things are shaping up in the Old Dominion State.
Yet a recent bill filed by a state senator is something that should be fairly non-partisan and might actually make a positive impact on the state.
Senator Tommy Norment recently filed a bill that proposes that all school divisions in Virginia should offer firearm safety classes for students.
The bill, SB 129, would require the Board of Education to work with the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish curriculum guidelines for the program.
If the bill were passed and enacted, school boards in the Commonwealth would have to offer a minimum of two hours of firearm safety instruction. The classes must also be taught by a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or a U.S. Armed Forces instructor.
Now, this is far from a perfect class. For one thing, the bill specifically prohibits the use of actual firearms in the class. Then again, this is also just a two-hour class.
I’ve outlined my own proposal some time back.
Let’s just say mine is a bit more in-depth than Senator Norment’s.
However, Norment is a Republican in a legislature now dominated by the opposition. Even if he agreed with every word of my own proposal, he’s likely smart enough to know it’ll never fly in a Democrat-controlled general assembly. So, instead, he’s focusing on something that might actually have a shot.
At least in theory.
In reality, while this bill should be bipartisan, I expect this bill won’t even make it out of committee. You see, while anti-gun lawmakers routinely spout platitudes about “gun safety,” that’s just a euphemism for gun control. Any measure that doesn’t seek to remove guns from the hands of law-abiding Virginians likely won’t get the time of day from the Democrats that now call the shots.
Which makes Norment’s proposal potentially brilliant.
No one can argue that we don’t want kids to be safe. Teaching them firearm safety should be a no-brainer. If this passes, great. If not, though, it’s a bludgeon Norment and his fellow Democrats can use to prove definitively that Virginia Democrats don’t actually care about gun safety. That’s the line they keep trotting out in an attempt to deflect charges that they’re anti-gun, so hammering them there should definitively end that BS.
My own hope is that it passes, but barely so the bludgeon will still work, while also providing the children of Virginia some much-needed education in firearm safety.