Last week, out in our neck of the woods, three more people (read: teen-aged punks) got plugged in a parking lot war. No news there. Happens every day. And once again the anti-gun crowd will make its usual and useless noises. We must understand: Gun control will never fly – at least not inside twenty years and it’s a long shot even then. Still, it would be nice to have some peace and quiet and not have people sleeping in their bath tubs as armor against stray rounds coming through the walls, thanks to the Gunfight at The OK Corral taking place in the alley.
What to do, what to do.
Well, how about a bit of education? We are always talking about education as the ticket to a life of ease and plenty, right? We feel that knowing a bit of algebra and some trigonometry will help a person figure things out. The American language is a good subject too. So is Civics (or Social Studies; it goes by many names). Sometimes students even get a smattering of law. And of course, PhyEd, where a kid can get his skull crushed playing America’s favorite sport.
I maintain we should add a new subject to the middle school curriculum: Firearms 101. It would be mandatory and would work like this.
First An NRA-certified instructor or state cop will explain the finer points of firearms, how they work and what they do. Perhaps even delving into firearms as recreation (skeet, trap, target . . .). Bring in a deactivated hunting rifle, shotgun, revolver and an automatic. Show the kids how to handle them. Let them get some hands-on time with the firearms.
Second Bring in an ER doctor who can put on a show-and-tell about crippling and fatal gunshot wounds. Lots of blood and guts and the more the better. A few pictures of gunshot suicides would be salutary as well. I think this section must also include a real-life video of what happens to a living thing when it gets shot — put a .22 round through a rabbit, say.
Third Next comes a psychologist, “You know why you wanna gun? I’ll tell you why you wanna gun!”. This will be a disquisition on why kids – and the kinds of kids – hanker to be on the public streets packing a .40 S&W and thinking they’re Billy The Kid.
Fourth A prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office comes in to talk about the law. What constitutes the various degrees of manslaughter and murder, and the prison sentences attendant thereto. Show some pictures of old, dejected, used-up cons sitting in the prison yard and tell the kids, “You shoot someone? I’ll do this to you. You are warned.”
And finally If (when) the instructors see some student sitting there with bright hot eyes, licking his lips and drooling with anticipation, or he or she seems to fit the profile of school and mall shooters, as well as the kind who’ll blow away the girlfriend and her family, he or she is packed off to the school nurse straightaway. The cops will be called as well.
There will be no quizzes, no tests, no finals and no grades. And as I said, attendance will be mandatory.