So which do you think is more damaging to children: introducing them to guns or teaching them to be nice to each other?
Well in our community encouraging children to be nice to other people is apparently beyond the pale and talking to them about guns is exactly what should be going on in school.
In my previous post Madness in the Mid West you can read all about the efforts of local community members to ensure that children did not attend a play that encouraged tolerance of others and to play nice.
Tuesday 10th May, my 11 year old son attended the Safety First program in which one of the elements was ‘gun safety’. Not being of a Yankie persuasion I contacted the school to find out exactly what was involved in this program. The person I spoke to had no clue about the content. A fifth grade teacher who was contacted had no clue either but did say the program was ‘good’. I was told I should contact the program organiser, the underlying hint being I should stop bothering the school because this was nothing to do with them. The program organiser was unable to tell me what the actual content would be either. He gave me the name of the DNR field agent who would be doing the session.
Here’s what I don’t get. The school bent over backwards to find out the content of the play and worked in co-operation with the director to make it ‘community appropriate’ before losing their nerve and backing out. Yet when they sent kids off to learn about ‘gun safety’ they didn’t seem to be particularly interested in what would actually be discussed.
After my son came home he told me what he had learnt. He was supposed to treat every gun he came into contact with as if it was real and loaded. As we’re living in a ‘gun happy’ culture this seems a sensible thing to learn. But then he asked me, if he was supposed to treat any gun he came into contact with as real and loaded why did they spend part of their time looking at a group of items brought by the DNR guy and identifying which of them were real guns and which were fakes?
Didn’t make sense to me either.
Oh, they sent a gun lock home with my son. Does this mean I now have to go out and buy a gun?
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