Teaching guns in school – tilting at windmills?

Teaching guns at school - Life magazine 3

Once upon a time, firearms were a part of many a school curriculum – safety, marksmanship, cleaning, proper handling. Now you’re asking to be ass-raped in prison if you take anything even remotely gun-like onto any sort of school property. How did we get to that point? Is this a mistake on the part of society, or just one of those “necessary evils” that a modern, litigious and reactionary society forces us to endure? Now, we’ll admit things shouldn’t always be “the way they used to be”; some of our minions for instance remember attending schools wherein students as young as 6th grade were allowed visits to the “smoke hole” (a place where it was permissible to smoke or chew on campus). The reinstatement of smoke holes might not be a priority, but it’s hard not to miss the gun clubs and firearms safety classes of years past – particularly given the scarcity of social firearms-friendly organizations available to youngsters these days. The Boy Scouts still teach marksmanship and safety, for instance, but they’re one of the few youth groups that still do.

Teaching guns at school - Life magazine 1

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Teaching guns in schools - girls gun club

Is there a way to correct this deficiency (if indeed it is a deficiency) or is it just one of those idealistic but ultimately quixotic things we should just accept? One could make the argument that, wistful reminiscence aside, that energy and effort might be better directed at genuinely attainable goals. One could argue that a firearms class is just as acceptable as driver’s ed. We don’t think anyone can argue that, when it comes to guns, we’re in a much sadder state now than just 30 years ago.

Grunts: quixotic.

As far as the Mad Duo and our minions are concerned, we like they way our friend Duane Liptak of Magpul put it.

“So I was watching Lassie episode with the boys this morning…in this particular episode, there was a meteor, a chimpanzee on the loose, the old man blasting stumps with dynamite and mom toting a side by side shotgun, all prefaced with common sense safety message like, ‘You have to treat explosives with respect’ and ‘You be careful with that shotgun’. How the heck have we gone from that to expelling kids for pointing their finger and saying ‘pew pew’ and portraying everyone with a firearm or explosives as a terrorist in just a few decades?”



Damn skippy, says we. Pretty sure that’s as accurate and succinct as it could be. What do you think?

Grunts: succinct.

Teaching guns at school - Life magazine 2

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(Some vintage images courtesy of Life Magazine, 1956.)


5 thoughts on “Teaching guns in school – tilting at windmills?

  • November 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Incorporate the Eddie Eagle principles in a grade school program, then something like NRA First Steps (that teaches the 4 Rules) and basic operation of handguns, rifles and shotguns with a first aid and CPR class to be taught in Jr. high or high school.

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  • October 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Yup. All my kids have bb guns and are being instructed in safe handling and range safety by dad. They will all be taught well, including tactical drills. Nominate me for the “Subversive Dad” award.

  • October 21, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I grew up in the south side of Chicago in the early 60’s. My high school didn’t have a rifle team, but

    the CTA bus drivers use to talk about how they would pick-up people with a shotgun, take them to the end of the line and he would hunt rabbits in the openfields. After several hours he would return with his catch. Nobody thought this was


    My brother-in-law shot on his high school and later college team. He used to walk to school carrying

    his rifle in the morning. He tells me they (the team members) would walk in to school and store the rifles and ammo in

    the coach’s office.

    No, he didn’t grow up in the back hills of Left Knee Joint. He grew up in Akron, Ohio also in the 60’s. And nobody cared.

    Not everything old needs to be reinstalled, but maybe if we started teaching gun safety the way we teach water safety, driver’s ed, drug and alcohol awareness, maybe, just maybe the incidents of both accidental and deliberate gun violence would decrease.

    Maybe everyone would calm down when a kid makes finger gun and goes Pow-pow I got you!”

  • October 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I’m with you on that. I taught my 3 daughters and son to shoot. First was safety and then range time. No gun locks,no locked closets or drawers. Stored high enough out of the way for little hands not to get to. They learned.

    Looks to me like our society has been under attack for many decades. It is happening at a glacial pace and goes by the masses without a thought.

    A line I heard from a 1942 A. Hitchcock movie Saboteur, Uncle Phillip – “Besides – I have my own ideas about my duties as a citizen, they sometimes involve disregarding the law.” (35:20)


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