While mass shootings make headlines, the real concern with kids having access to guns is accidental shootings. While they’re not as common as some like to pretend, they’re still not as rare as many of us would prefer.
The best way to address accidental shootings is to offer firearm training to kids. If they know how to properly handle a firearm, even if they shouldn’t handle it, they’re less likely to do something stupid.
So I’ve long advocated for gun training in schools.
It seems one Wyoming school district thinks that’s a good idea too.
A school district in Wyoming recently used a gymnasium as a shooting range, training fifth and sixth grade students in marksmanship during PE.
Hot Springs County School District #1, in the small town of Thermopolis, shared photos of the sharpshooting session in a Feb. 2 Facebook post, and it quickly caught the attention of thousands. McClatchy News has obtained a screengrab of the Facebook post, which is no longer publicly available.
In the pictures, the children are seen aiming air rifles across the gym at a set of targets propped up against the bleachers with what appears to be plywood.
Often a child’s introduction to the world of firearms, air rifles generally use gas stored in a small canister to propel a BB or pellet out of the barrel at relatively high speed. While far less lethal than true firearms, they can cause serious harm in some circumstances.
“All students passed their safety test and have been sharpening their skills,” the post said.
Unsurprisingly, some were…bothered by the idea of students learning to handle a firearm.
One commenter on the Facebook post replied, “America is a dystopian hellhole.”
They have a weird definition of “dystopian,” though. I mean, kids learning how to use a gun in a safe and controlled environment is a far crime from dystopian, at least as I see it.
I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but the dystopian aspects I see are mask and vaccine mandates, sky-high inflation, and calls to restrict the freedom of ordinary Americans simply because they don’t think the right thoughts.
But it’s not because school gets are shooting air rifles during PE class.
The truth of the matter is that, for some people, anything to do with guns is forbidden. The fact that so many of these same people support sex education that focuses not on the biology involved but on the fun of it seems kind of counterintuitive to me.
But hey, some random dude thinks we’re a dystopian hellhole.
Regardless of the criticisms, I hope more school districts incorporate similar efforts. Our children should learn how to operate guns safely and effectively. Remove the mysticism and the forbidden nature of guns from the equation and a lot of good will come from that alone.
Them learning how to shoot? That’s just another big bonus.
As the article notes, though, shooting teams aren’t uncommon in this country, so what Wyoming is doing isn’t all that unusual. Of course, for some, they want guns out of sight, out of mind and the Facebook post was anything but that.
I’m sure they’ll learn to deal with the disappointment.