Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Firearms Education

While on an online forum (reddit) I ran across a user on the firearms sub that had an idea I would like to share.

One of the primary complaints from the anti-gun rights crowd is that we should not have untrained people with guns in public, where they could potentially do harm to others.  Rather than argue against the fallacy in the logic; that those following the law would somehow be more dangerous than those who don't, this user attempted to work within that constraint.  Working within a constraint is what breeds true creativity, after all.  Also it is hard to argue against proper training. So thank you user xicougar106 for the following.  (Taken with permission, sometimes verbatim)

Add mandatory firearms training to the high school curriculum.  Much like sex-ed.  In fact the arguments against it will be much the same.  I will tackle these as they arise.

"It's not the state's place to teach this."  Much like sex-ed, actually.  But since there is a definite right way and wrong way to handle a firearm, and with disastrous consequences, (again, like sex, think of the safe sex lessons), it is in the interest of the public's well-being that this should be taught.  Also, I will add that maybe if our media had a modicum of schooling on firearms they wouldn't fear them so much, and maybe even call them by the right names.

"This is a parent's job"  Yes, yes it is.  But unless your parent is a certified instructor, you will likely not be taught correctly.  Again this is a direct corollary of sex-ed.

"I don't want my child exposed to this"  There would be an opt out, again, exactly like sex-ed.

"This would encourage bad behavior"  (http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats07/trends.htm)  You can do your own look ups on this but here is the punchline, education does not equal bad behavior, in fact it tends to work the other way.  Many of my friends attended rural high schools.  Trap shooting was part of PE and many kids brought their hunting rifles to school, so they could get in the field faster, after class.  Those schools, tellingly, have not had any shootings.

Now the arguments in favor.

There would be no additional requirement for training needed to obtain permission to carry.  In fact, there would not be a need to obtain permission at all.

The average person would know the immediate effects of shooting someone/something.  The only downside to that is that Hollywood would need to work harder to get effects right.  This would actually remove the detachment from reality that most of the "school shooters" felt.  (note I'm not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, but seeing first-hand what something does, and how it impacts a life, makes it real.  Like having to care for an egg, or a doll, in you guessed it, sex-ed.)

The general population would be properly educated about firearms.  With education comes the removal of fear.  More education is always better.  This is why I despise media coverage of any firearms related topic.  They spread misinformation.  Whether knowingly or out of ignorance, they perpetuate the lack of knowledge, or more precisely; the possession of incorrect knowledge, which is far worse.

You don't want your kids learning about this on the streets, or from their friends.  Self explanatory.

In fact the arguments for and against, so closely mirror sex-ed, that a truly progressive society would demand both be taught.

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Keep it clean and well thought out.