Here's an opportunity for you all to weigh in:

Two sides of youth violence; hot air and a sensible solution

"The Children's Defense Fund argues that we should "Protect Children, Not Guns" on its website. It offers several would-be "solutions" to juvenile gun deaths, but they read like a wish list of gun prohibition. They want to close the so-called "gun show loophole." They want to renew the ban on so-called "assault weapons." They recommend removing firearms from the home. They presume such steps will stop teens from murdering one another over real or imagined insults or other problems.

"This column believes firearms safety education in the schools could at least help reduce accidental shootings, though it would be nonsense to claim that any program is going to prevent a deliberate slaying..."

<broken link removed>

Or try this:

<broken link removed>
Well done, Dave.

The paragraph speaking of a time when a gun was one of a man's finest possessions leads me to present what I believe could be a partial solution to juvenile violence with firearms. The problem as I see it IS kids with guns and guns in the schools (lack of them).

I risk dating myself here, but when in high school I was Captain of the rifle team. We had a 50-foot range in the basement of the school. .22 target rifles (Remington 513T's) were supplied by the school. We also had a rifle club. The club would meet once a month, the rifle team would practice once a week, with a match each week as well. Best shooters from the club made the team with a couple reserves. Two girls made the team.

We boarded school buses with our target rifles (cased or uncased, you had to supply your own case and nobody blinked an eye when you scrambled up on the bus, 513 in your hand, and took your seat with the bolt open). We were allowed to take the rifles home (via bus or otherwise) for dry fire practice, and live fire practice for those on the team with property safe for doing so. (We hunted a lot of squirrels and crows after school and on weekends with those accurate rifles). The school provided us with one box of shells per match, and one box for practice. Every week. We could buy more from the school at cost.

We walked down the hallways of the school with those guns and even our own private .22's to take to the range downstairs and sight them in. We were trusted to be safe and knew the heavy responsibility we carried in our hands. Practice nights (by design or luck) coincided with practice night for the school cheerleaders, and so in between relays on the firing line, we'd go upstairs and watch a somewhat more visually stimulating practice than that of our buddies in the basement. We talked the cheerleaders into attending more than one match: The only rifle team in the Metro League with cheerleaders. A psychological distraction to the opponent. All shooters know the value of this strategy.

Particularly applicable to your subject in the article, is that we had a couple of guys that I would best term "darkly weird". Perhaps today they would be called "Gothics" or "Dweebs". (I was kind of a nerd, so I know they weren't that.) Severely anti-social, and considered outcasts by the rest of the students, they found a welcoming crowd on the Rifle Team, and I actually witnessed them over the course of two years come out of their shells. Good shooters both, they found an activity at which they could excel and achieved some recognition with match results published in the school newspaper, and the city publications as well. Meeting and talking with cheerleaders didn't hurt either.

The pre-catastrophe behavior of the perpetrators described after the Columbine shooting (darkly weird kids, fascinated by weaponry, shunned by their peers, etc.) struck me as uncannily similar to what my "Gothic Dweebs" went through before they found a home on the Rifle Team.

I know it makes no sense to those outside the shooting community, but the cure for the "dangerous outcasts" that worked in this case from my childhood was to give them a gun.

The problem IS guns in the schools. None of them.

Upcoming Events

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top