Friday, February 15, 2008

Still Want To Teach Kids How To Shoot?

A recent article in which I told of the state of West Virginia's plans to teach school children how to shoot guns as part of their regular classroom curriculum, and how I was vehemently opposed to this plan, was met with fierce and stiff resistance on Newsvine, as well as a few other web sites that carry my blog. The responders spoke of hunter's rights, gun owners rights, and said they would rather have kids know how to safely handle guns. This, despite the fact that the West Virginia plan was being foisted on the populace by state officials, not because of any desire to teach gun safety, but outright greed in the thinking that the newly taught to shoot kiddies would buy hunting licenses, thereby fattening state coffers. Although many supported my position, many outright accused me of some sort of treason.
Yesterday's horrific and unholy shootings at Northern Illinois University, where five younf people were killed should illustrate once again just how dangerous it is for children to have the knowledge of how to fire a weapon. The fact that news reports are filtering in that the shooter, Mr. Kazmierczak, was mentally ill, but yet was able to obtain not only the weapons legally, shows once more just how flawed the system is, and how easily one can come by guns if they want to shoot up a school.
The effort in West Virginia is till being moved forward despite opposition from groups such as West Virginia's chapter of Youth Summit, who say their members are terrified of a school massacre happening in their state due to more teens learning how to fire weapons, and West Virginia's lax gun sale laws.
A recent example in West Virginia of just what can and will go wrong when you get teens around fire arms would be the recent arrest of a mother in Welch who left several teens in her home while she went shopping. The kids came across a rifle, and in the course of horsing around, one of the kids got killed. The mother has been arreested for felonious child neglect.
Just one incident in a growing pattern of teen violence across the state of West Virginia, including increases across the board for teens commiting acts of domestic violence, robbery, getting caught on school grounds with weapons, drug use, prostitution, and various other offences.
And yet, there are still proponents who think that teaching these children how to shoot weapons will somehow make their lives better. That teaching them the correct way to handle a gun or rifle will make them less likely to use it carelessly or against anyone. How they come to these conclusions are beyond me, because even though they insist that they are correct on teaching children how to shoot, they offer no explanations for the kid who is mentally unstable getting ahold of a weapon and killing people.
Understanding full well and agreeing with the right to bear arms, and even going one further and saying that in this day and age of government run amok, the need for an armed populace to guard against a complete fascist takeover, I still oppose any plan that is going to offer children the chance to learn how to fire weapons. The risks far outweigh any benefits, as can be evidenced in Littleton, Colorado, Virginia Tech, and Northern Illinois University.
Can we look the parents of those poor kids in the eye and say, sorry but gun rights take precedence over your dead child's life? Let the schools, that can't even teach kids how to read any more, be focused on the three R's a little more, and give these little ones a chance to grow up before we teach them how to kill each other. Batmanchester

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