No one could ever have any illusion as to the type of lifestyle led by the people who live in West Virginia. The people of the state enjoy their sport hunting as much or more than any other state. But recently, according to state officials, the deer popualation has been exploding due to the aging of the town's population. In order to try to offset this recent boom of pesky ruminant mammals, Senator Billy Wayne Bailey has introduced a bill to the legislature that would allow for the teaching of school kids in the handling, cleaning, and firing of weapons.
He says that in this way, the future generation of hunters will be assured, or even as the children learn how to fire their weapons, maybe they'll go out and shoot some of these herds of maurading beasts.
Even as West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin tries to avert having to resort to this plan by injecting almost two million dollars into law enforcement coffers, (The reson for the alarm is the decline in revenue from hunting liscences,) the Senator pushes ahead with his plan anyway.
Has the good Senator ever heard of Columbine? Did the esteemed gentleman from West Virginia ever go over the figures from the National School Safety and Security Services? No? Well, let's help him out.
Accoring to N.S.S.S.S., in the period running 2006-2007, there were almost 100 incidents of school violence involving a gun. Here's a couple of examples they give:
November 1, 2007: Fresno, CA
A 13-year-old male middle school student died as a result of an after-school fight in a parking lot near the school. The incident reportedly stemmed from an ongoing conflict with a 14-year-old male student who was fighting with him. The victim was knocked to the ground and then hit afterwards, and the assailant left. The 13-year-old later died from the injuries.
January 3, 2007: Tacoma, WA
An 18-year-old male high school student was arrested for shooting and killing a 17-year-old male student at their school. The suspect allegedly shot the victim in the face and then stood over him, firing twice more.
December 12, 2006: Springfield Township, PA
A 16-year-old male high school shot and killed himself with an AK-47 in the hallway of his high school. The student, reportedly despondent over his grades, had the gun concealed in a camouflage duffle bag and fired one round in the ceiling to warn other students to get out of the way before committing suicide.
And then of course there's Columbine. Without dragging up the entire history of what happened that day in Littleton Colorado, I would wonder what the people there think of this plan to teach children how to shoot guns in school. This isn't some after school opt in activity we're talking about, it will be a class curriculum, and all the boys and girls will now be proficient in how to operate, clean, and safely handle guns and ammunition. Top this off with the survival skills classes that will be taught alongside of these other gun classes, and the potential for disaster rises exponentially. Great. Now, not only have you taught volatile teens how to shoot properly, but you've taught them how to be stealthy as they do it.
In looking at West Virginia's violent crime rates, they have risen steadily since 1990, from around 2,700 incidents annually, to a whopping 5,900 last year. That may not sound like much, but in the context of the population of the state, that's astounding.
What in the world is Billy Wayne Bailey thinking? He's thinking about money, that's what he's thinking about. He's thinking of all those kiddies who will be applying for hunting liscences, and the millions of dollars for the state. But Billy Wayne doesn't envision the kids shooting at each other at school, because as he says" We're gonna teach 'em not to do that." Oh. Well then. Problem solved. This is the same Billy Wayne who proposed a four day work week to save on gas. That was a great idea, except that it would've crippled the economy, but hey, I'm all for that one.
No. I'm sorry, I have nothing against guns, or hunting. If parents want to take the time to teach their kids the right way to point a gun, fine. That's their right. But there's just some children who should never be taught how to fire a weapon, because we have all seen the horrors that ensue when they go a little off kilter and decide the whole world is against them. And instead of hunting deer, they start hunting people. Batmanchester
But, is the Senator going to be taking into account teenage hormones, or teenagers getting together and knocking back a few, then firing off a few rounds for fun?