Montgomery County in Maryland is a suburb of the District of Columbia, which means it tends to share DC politics on most issues. That includes firearm politics.
In other words, it’s an anti-gun county and we all know it.
However, during a recent buyback, the school superintendent there brought up an idea that, if done right, might be a good one.
Montgomery County’s School Superintendent Monifa McKnight appeared at the announcement of a gun buyback event in Rockville, Maryland, last week and said she hopes “to launch a campaign to educate our young people about gun prevalence, gun laws, and the consequences of guns.”
Though McKnight didn’t offer specifics, she said she was proud to stand alongside Rockville City Police Chief Victor Brito and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy to talk about efforts to keep guns out of the hands of young people.
“The State’s Attorney’s Office wants to be a continuing partner with the schools to educate them about the laws, and the obligations they have, and what role they can play as students so that we don’t have some of the situations we read about like in Uvalde, Texas,” McCarthy said.
Now, on the surface, this sounds like a great idea. Education is certainly a solid way to combat many of the incidents we see involving young people and firearms. So it’s easy to see how this could get very broad support.
If it’s done right, that is.
The problem, however, is that there’s no reason to trust Montgomery County to do it right.
Instead, I fully expect this to be an anti-gun indoctrination exercise, painting guns as tools of the criminal or other evil people, all in an effort to discourage future gun ownership.
I’ve seen nothing out of folks there that would make me think otherwise.
Yet the underlying idea is still valid. Firearm education is something I’d advocated for inclusion in school curriculums for years. Such a thing would educate students not just on the safe handling of firearms but also on the ramifications of firearm misuse.
It’s a good thing.
However, we have a problem with trust here. Montgomery County has done nothing to engender any kind of trust with the Second Amendment community.
Granted, there’s no reason the school system actually cares about what people throughout the rest of the nation think, but Maryland gun owners are a different matter, and I hope they raise questions as to just how this educational effort will be undertaken and just what is being taught.
Responsible gun ownership and safe firearm handing is one thing, as is an admonishment to notify an adult if they find a gun somewhere, but there are a whole lot of things beyond those that might be on the minds of Montgomery County officials that go way too far.
My hope is that gun rights advocates there step up and hold officials accountable and are able to rally enough pressure to make sure this isn’t just anti-gun indoctrination dressed up like firearm education.