As you well know, physical education is an important part of growing up and any child’s education. Just as it is crucial to exercise the mind, keeping your body healthy and knowing how to use it can improve your future. And so, during our school years, most of us learn the art of throwing a basketball, running, hitting a baseball, or even bowling.
But for kids in this Wyoming school district, they have really lucked out. In addition to learning all the physical skills needed to improve their health and strength, these middle schoolers also know the dos and don’ts of shooting a firearm.
Yes, indeed. In Hot Springs, Wyoming, fifth and sixth graders are taught firearm safety.
On Tuesday, the nation discovered this when the school district’s Facebook page proudly posted about it, sharing images of students lying on the floor and aiming at targets put on the opposite gymnasium wall.
The post read, “Mr. Deromedi’s 5/6th PE classes are working on their marksmanship with air rifles. All students passed their safety test and have been sharpening their skills.”
By noon of that day, the post had been reshared on the social media platform some 66,000 times and had accumulated over 6,000 comments.
Naturally, not all of them appreciated the skills these students were learning.
Some even went so far as to suggest that the school was “training the next school shooter young and providing the guns on campus.” Along those same lines, another said they were “literally raising possible school shooters.”
And as of Wednesday morning, the post and all of its comments had been taken down – not by the school district, mind you, but by the platform. Apparently, it is encouraging violence in schools or something.
However, there are more than a few major flaws with this typical leftist line of thinking.
The first is that, as the post reads, the students are shooting air rifles, also known as pellet guns or airsoft guns. Basically, what is shot out of them are small plastic air-filled balls. The action, or working part of the rifle itself, is also run on nothing more than air, compressing it until the trigger is pulled to propel the pellet out of the barrel.
While these might cause some slight bruising to someone if shot at a close range, these are far from deadly weapons and certainly not putting the power over one’s life or death in the hands of a child.
Secondly, the weapons used in the school are given to the students to keep, as the comment about providing guns on campus suggests. These are used for this class alone and then left at the school. The students have no access to these unless under the supervision of trained and capable teachers.
Then, of course, there is the wrongful thinking that giving a child a gun and proceeding to teach them how it works and proper gun safety will make killers out of them. There has never been any viable evidence to suggest that is, ever was, or will be the case.
In fact, if anything, the evidence says that when children are taught how to properly and safely handle a firearm, they are actually less likely to use it in violence. Instead, most who are trained in this turn out to be responsible, law-abiding citizens who can then protect their children and homes from invaders.
And as case after case has proved, people with little to no firearm safety training usually end up hurting someone or themselves when handling such a weapon.
Take the recent and fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, for example.
Baldwin was on a movie set in New Mexico and was handed a gun for a specific scene. However, being an avid and outspoken gun critic and a man who had never used one for anything other than a movie prop, he didn’t know how to use it or even tell if it was loaded. Upon handling it, improperly and without training, he accidentally shot and killed a woman.
Had he been taught proper gun safety at any point, even as a child, it’s is likely that this situation would have never happened.
Gun safety classes also teach students to be both respectful of the power of a firearm and also how to safely harness that power should they need to, whether it’s hunting for whitetail deer or protecting your home from burglars.
And that is exactly what Mr. Deromedi is teaching his students. Anyone who thinks differently is about as ignorant as a box of rocks.