Gun safety education is something that all Americans should be exposed to. A lot.
After all, guns are part of our society and a lot of the issue we have with regard to guns is that people don’t really know what they’re doing. While accidental shootings aren’t nearly as common as intentional shootings, there’s really no excuse for them. What’s more is that we can minimize them by teaching people how to be safe with a firearm, even if they don’t intend to ever own one.
Where should we expose everyone to such a thing? Well, one California high school student has a hell of a suggestion.
A 12-year-old boy was killed by an accidental discharge of a handgun brought to his house by a friend in Chula Vista this month. This tragedy should make us look at how we are currently trying to combat unintentional firearm deaths, and see if it actually works. As of now, the only method that our government has come up with to help is to increase gun control.
But has that really worked? California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
I am 15 years old, and spent most of my life in a small town in Northern California before moving to Alpine. It was there, at the age of 12, that I received my hunter safety license through my local 4-H club, after safely operating firearms for quite some time.
The solution to this problem is a return to a couple of decades ago when firearm and hunter safety were taught in schools; some states are already doing it. A 2017 article by the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that then-Utah Gov. Gary Herbert had signed legislation offering $75,000 for schools that implemented a gun safety program. North Carolina state Rep. Jay Adams and Idaho state Rep. Ronald Nate proposed elective gun safety classes be introduced for schools in their states.
The author, Nate Strauch, pretty much nails it.
Right now, most Americans don’t have any firearm training. Some who served got it in the military. Others learned from their parents, but most got nothing. Meanwhile, a lot of those people are going to buy guns and some have a reason to be concerned about the lack of training. Yet rather than require it before someone can exercise their right to keep and bear arms, wouldn’t it make more sense to just make sure everyone learns it in school?
It would also demystify guns, an act that will save a lot of lives all on its own.
If people don’t grow up thinking of guns as status symbols or pathways to strength and power, then maybe a lot of people won’t seem to think respect comes at the end of a gun. That’s an awful lot of our current problem, so anything we can do to end that should be something with unanimous support.
We’d also get a lot fewer accidental shootings if people understood firearms and firearm safety.
Unfortunately, there are those in this country that seem to want those accidental shootings and want those violent encounters about respect and being “dissed.” After all, they then use those to justify gun control despite the fact that we can put an end to these actions without interfering with the rights of law-abiding Americans.
Which is a shame. We could do a lot of good by listening to this high school kid.