The public debate on the matter has died down a bit, but school districts across the country are still faced with questions of gun control in an era when fears of school shootings seem to run rampant.
Radio Iowa reported that the North Butler and Clarksville school districts in the Hawkeye State have taken an unusual approach in addressing the issue. They have added firearms safety training for students to the curriculum.
While anti-Second Amendment “gun control” advocates may be horrified by the idea, the districts’ superintendent, Joel Foster, explained the rationale behind it — teaching young people to control guns is one of the most important lessons they’ll ever get.
“What we do best is educate our kids,” he told Radio Iowa.
“We feel if we educate our kids in how to use weapons responsibly, how to respect them, understand it’s not a video game and those sort of things, that maybe we’ll cut down on our chances of having a severe incident.”
The training will be being in the spring.
The seventh-and eighth-grade curriculum will then begin to include “a mandatory hunter safety course taught by Butler County Conservation.” For older students, those in grades 9-12, a voluntary, but closed class, will be available.
This should be taught in every school. If you are going to have guns around the house for hunting, kids should be well instructed on the use and safety of it all. Kids can learn quickly and will have a life long understanding. https://t.co/hspMvVrkfa
— All-The-President’s Men (@Trump45awesome) December 15, 2018
Teaching students about firearms in school is not a new concept. In 2013, Time magazine wrote about how in the 1950s, students were taught about guns in the classroom.
The article pointed out that at the time, Life magazine even published an article about it with photos of children with guns — something that might be disturbing to some readers today.
Because there were 550 accidental deaths of children under age 15 related to guns in 1954, some schools opted to educate youth in regards to gun safety.
At the time of the Life article, 1956, there were already four states that allowed such coursework.
The idea was focused on education. The concept was that if children understood the danger of guns, they’d be less likely to get into trouble with them. In other words, it was gun control with a purpose, and one that comported with the Constitution.
In addition, the belief was that if safety measures were taught, such as never pointing a gun at a person, even if you think it’s not loaded, more lives could be saved. These ideas are reflected again currently in the decision made by the Iowa schools.
It remains to be seen how much impact gun safety classes will have on the students and schools where such courses are taught. There will always be criticism of such programs.
But if a difference can be made through such changes, and others, it will be a positive step in the right direction for the country.
On top of that, success with such changes may demonstrate that the attempted removal of guns from society is neither necessary nor constitutional. Education like this is a gun control that works.
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