Pueblo County, Colorado, Craver Middle School sent a group of students on a field trip to a firing range. Good for them.
Hopefully the students saw the destructive power of a gun and noticed that it takes a person to fire it. I wonder, however, if the field trip included a moral lesson that humans are created in God’s image and we don’t have the right personally to take a life except in self-defense.
Not everybody was happy with the object lesson in reality.
“Often firearms and schools don’t mix,” Timothy Baird, a teacher at Craver Middle School in Colorado City, Colo., told the station. “There’s a big fear there. So we are pushing the safety aspect and hopefully ease some people’s fears.”
“The school got permission from the county sheriff’s office and students’ parents for the trip. A non-profit called Appleseed, an organization dedicated to teaching ‘rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage,’ was also involved in the outing.”
Every kid growing up in the 1950s and 1960s played with toy guns, many of which looked like the real thing.
My wife grew up in a small town in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania. The schools closed for the first day of doe and buck season. There was no reason to hold classes because most of the boys would be out with their dads hunting deer. No one ever took a gun to school to shoot anybody. You could see kids riding down the street with a rifle across the handle bars.
Many people do not know that many high schools across the country used to have shooting clubs. Consider the very anti-gun state of New York:
“In 1975, New York state had over 80 school districts with rifle teams. In 1984, that had dropped to 65. By 1999 there were just 26. The state’s annual riflery championship was shut down in 1986 for lack of demand. This, sadly, is a familiar story across the country. The clubs are fading from memory, too.
“A Chicago Tribune report from 2007 notes the astonishment of a Wisconsin mother who discovered that her children’s school had a range on site. ‘I was surprised, because I never would have suspected to have something like that in my child’s school,’ she told the Tribune. The district’s superintendent admitted that it was now a rarity, confessing that he ‘often gets raised eyebrows’ if he mentions the range to other educators. The astonished mother raised her eyebrows — and then led a fight to have the range closed. ‘Guns and school don’t mix,’ she averred. If you have guns in school, that does away with the whole zero-tolerance policy’”
Times have changed. Well, actually, people, moral standards, and schools have changed, as this article notes:
“Catalogs and magazines from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s are packed full of gun advertisements aimed at children or parents. ‘What Every Parent Should Know When a Boy or Girl Wants a Gun,’ one proclaims, next to a picture of a young boy and his sister excitedly presenting a ‘Rifle Catalog.’ ‘Get This Cowboy Carbine with Your Christmas Money,’ suggests another. It was placed widely in boys’ magazines by the Daisy Manufacturing Company of Plymouth, Mich. All a teenager needed do to be sent a rifle was send a money order for $2.50 and tick a box confirming they were old enough.”
Consider this commercial for the Mattel Tommy Burst Detective Set. Note how realistic the guns look.