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In Some Instances, Guns Belong in Schools

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February 01, 2013
In Some Instances, Guns Belong in Schools - 5

Here’s more evidence that our civilization is eroding like limestone in an acid rain: when we hear about guns and schools, we assume the worst. A mass shooting. A disturbed youth. A community in shock.
 
I’m here to tell you about a different sort of outcome when guns are combined with educational facilities. Students with a working knowledge of the awesome power of firearms. Young shooters with respect for the inalienable laws of gun safety. Classrooms used as venues to discuss life, death, outdoor safety, and the requirement to wear 400 square inches of hunter orange when rifle hunting here in Montana.
 
It’s late winter, the season that Hunter Education classes spring up around the nation. Here in my hometown of Glasgow, Montana, we are fortunate to be able to teach Hunter Education courses in our public schools. As I talk to fellow Hunter Ed instructors around the state and nation, I get the sense that we are the vast exception. Even here in Glasgow, we weren’t always welcome to teach firearms safety in the schools. We’ve held classes in libraries, the basements of bars, and other public (and quasi-public) facilities.
 
Then we got a bright green light from the principal of the middle school. Mike Zoanni not only tolerates Hunter Education in his facility, he encourages it. His perspective is the same as mine: The students in Hunter Ed are the same students who go to his school. What better, more supportive place to learn about how to handle guns responsibly than the very building where they learn about mathematics, literature, science and the unbridgeable chasm between girls and boys.
 
We Hunter Ed instructors try to respect our host. We don’t tolerate any sort of horseplay or inattention when it comes to gun handling. We teach, reinforce and insist on responsible firearms safety. We try to leave our classroom in better shape than the way we found it.
 
It’s an unfortunate reality of modern life that guns will be used for fell purposes. But it’s the hope of us Hunter Ed instructors that by normalizing the presence of firearms in public schools, and insisting on their responsible use, we can help reduce the chance that a guns-in-schools story in our community has a tragic ending.

Comments (5)

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from 8flat wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Andrew get this: we actually took an after-school shooting class in the basement of our middle school, shooting live .22 rounds...haha....this was just in the mid-eighties.

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from vaTRAPPERMAN247 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I agree with having hunter ed in schools,it teaches the kids responsible gun ownership,safety and just common sense.I myself have 2 boys,a five-year old and an 8-month old,and my oldest already has a very keen respect for the power of a firearm.I teach him about safe gun handling,ethical hunting and so on every chance I get.He shot his first squirrel this past fall,and I was very proud of the way he handled everything,showing me that he already has a grasp on what I have been teaching him.He is a very long way from grabbing a gun and heading off by himself into the woods,but I feel good about the way he is learning and taking in everything.I plan the same thing when my youngest gets that age as well.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Be it hunter safety courses or, as in my case, trained by my father and older brothers, the fact remains the same. Knowledge and respect for guns brings responsible use. Unfortuntely, this cannot always overcome mental illnesss.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Yeah, but try convincing Joe Biden & Co. that all guns are not inherently evil.

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from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I went through hunter safety in an elementary school in Illinois.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Yeah, but try convincing Joe Biden & Co. that all guns are not inherently evil.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Be it hunter safety courses or, as in my case, trained by my father and older brothers, the fact remains the same. Knowledge and respect for guns brings responsible use. Unfortuntely, this cannot always overcome mental illnesss.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I went through hunter safety in an elementary school in Illinois.

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from vaTRAPPERMAN247 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I agree with having hunter ed in schools,it teaches the kids responsible gun ownership,safety and just common sense.I myself have 2 boys,a five-year old and an 8-month old,and my oldest already has a very keen respect for the power of a firearm.I teach him about safe gun handling,ethical hunting and so on every chance I get.He shot his first squirrel this past fall,and I was very proud of the way he handled everything,showing me that he already has a grasp on what I have been teaching him.He is a very long way from grabbing a gun and heading off by himself into the woods,but I feel good about the way he is learning and taking in everything.I plan the same thing when my youngest gets that age as well.

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from 8flat wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Andrew get this: we actually took an after-school shooting class in the basement of our middle school, shooting live .22 rounds...haha....this was just in the mid-eighties.

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