Cars break down. Windows break. You lose a job, house, girlfriend, hell- a fucking lighter. Point being- shit happens. Personally, I’ve never known for anyone who WANTS those things to happen, but they do. However, some of the most influential and life changing moments in our lives are generated by bad ones, and how we rebound or change because of them.
When we think about how we as Americans react to guns, and gun violence in general, we typically see one of two main arguments portrayed in the media: the first being of people wanting guns to be banned, and the second saying how all people should carry guns and these problems wouldn’t happen anymore. The problem with these extremes are, well the EXTREMITIES they go to. Rarely does the conversation about gun EDUCATION come to the light of day. Now, I’m not talking about taking everyone out to shoot. That only teaches how to pull a trigger. I’m talking of course about the dialog we allow in our society about guns.
The distorted truth about guns is possibly one of the main reasons we have such extreme views for or against guns. The idea that suppressors (“silencers”) are James Bond quiet, and that guns are a symbol of power bring a certain fear that shouldn’t exist in a society who is educated about them. Unfortunately, the media, movies, tv shows, and video games have created this false sense of the realities of guns, gun owners, and their capabilities. A prime example of this is the irresponsible reporting of Gersh Kuntzman, a New York Daily News writer who who compared it to a bazooka, a cannon, and a bomb, even stating at one point it gave him “temporary PTSD”. Meanwhile, I’ve seen 8 year olds who are taught correctly from a young age (more on the benefits of the benefits of teaching your child gun safety and shooting techniques in a later post) shoot AR-15s without, to paraphrase his own words, having the “recoil bruise their shoulders”.
As far as movies, tv shows and video games distortions, we don’t have to venture too far to see huge inconsistencies with realism. Guns are viewed as power symbols, or guns with silencers are able to go off in small rooms with nobody hearing them. The majority of what our kids learn or will know about guns are typically from these sort of things. Entertaining, yes of course, but is it what I’ll have my son thinking is the reality of guns in general? HELL NO.  So where should the avenue of learning begin? This is probably one of the more difficult parts to this. Relying on the parents to teach would be inconsistent, not to mention parents that don’t know about guns themselves would be lost on where to begin. This leaves one place: SCHOOL.
Before anyone freaks out, let me start by re-stating that it’s not about taking these kids to a shooting range or having them handle real live guns at all. Whether you’re pro gun or anti gun, having your child educated on proper gun safety beyond telling them “don’t touch guns” is a no-brainer. Of course, this would leave it to a publicly funded government program to do the work, and they aren’t exactly the most efficient at it- but it’s the best suggestion I’ve got, seeing that it has worked before in the past.