We all hear about guns, killing, and gun control all the time and everyone has a different view on it. Here is mine.
First my back ground, I was raised in a family with guns. I hunt, I clean, and I cook. I am not a great hunter and I have no Taxidermy in the house and never have (not for lack of want.) This said my view on guns, use, and control is: There will always be guns! They made drugs illegal and their still around what makes anyone think it would work for guns? Therefore based on the reality of this simple fact I suggest instead of banning guns or making them more popular by discouraging their use, that we force training about them in all schools. Yep, that’s right I want a class in school called gun education. In this class (held every year from K-12) students would be given information relevant to age about gun use and safety. Yes, even kindergartners would have a gun class where they learn what a gun is and that they should not handle one without supervision and the expressed permission of the adult owner. I believe this will aid in the reduction of accidental deaths greatly. As students age they will receive additional information about guns as they reach the age at which they can realistically fire that particular weapon based on demographics. A first grader can easily fire a BB gun but would likely be injured simply from the recoil of a 12 gauge shotgun. Students would be trained along the way not only in safety but in proper use, target practice, gun cleaning and maintenance, and in both local and federal laws related to carrying, hunting, threatening, and murder.
I believe that taking the mystique out of guns will greatly reduce accidental shootings. Let’s face it, items seen every day are less enticing to both kids and adults than ones only seen on TV or at a friend’s house. With this simple act gun safety will become routine to future generations and the number of accidental incidents will decrease.
Training in use of fire arms will also decrease the accidental death rate. If you know how to properly use a gun and learn proper habits regarding safety accidents such as unintentional discharging of the weapon resulting in injury or death will decrease. Proper target practice will also decrease accidents by ensuring that a fired weapon hits its target rather than missing and striking something or someone else. The other side effect of knowing how to shoot and hit a target is that if a person (gang member, road rager, or psychotic) does choose to take a life, only that one life will be taken. I know this isn’t a real bright side, but check out some statistics from your home town before you disagree. How many bystanders’ accidental deaths happen each year because the shooter was a bad shot? If these social deviants are going to kill no matter what (and we all know, for now, they will) why not try to limit the so called collateral damage?
The additional training in the use of guns for hunting should be incorporated into these lessons as well. Not to encourage hunting, but to ensure that the lesson of “guns do kill living things” gets across to the students. I for one will always remember the lessons related to that fact from my hunters education class and how thoroughly it improved my caution in regards to all firearms.
An education in the laws related to guns and gun related crimes should assist in getting across that there are penalties for improper, unethical, and illegal use of firearms. This will not only attach consequences but will remove the ability to claim ignorance of the law.
This is my suggestion for the post Columbine, 9/11, “postal”, “road rage” world. With mystique removed, proper training, legality, consequences, and most importantly safety taught. I honestly believe that accidental deaths due to improper handling, ignorance in handling, random firing, disregard to consequence, and lack of comprehension to consequence will decrease dramatically. I know after each lesson I learn about firearms and how each works. I feel a greater sense of appreciation for the power a gun holds and I walk away with a greater desire to ensure proper safety is taken the next time I am in possession or presence of a gun.
Lastly for those of you out there who insist that all guns can be taken away from society with “a little work” A lethal weapon of gun design can be made using PVC pipe, any aerosol spray, a potato, and a lighter. All found at your local hardware store. (Commonly called a Potato Cannon) So please don’t bother telling me otherwise.