Last night I was watching a local school board meeting on TV. Yes, my school district actually does televise them, and yes, I actually do watch them on occassion.
There was a discussion from community citizens, followed by a debate amongst school board members. Then the school board members voted on the matter at hand. What I heard astounded me. What was at stake was a local BB Gun club wanted to hold a BB Gun target championship on school property after school had let out for the day, and the school board was to decide whether or not they should allow it.
We are talking about Junior High students here. I was astounded to hear adult after adult in my community step forth to the podium and testify that the students should be allowed to shoot the BB Guns on school property, because it wouldn't be during school hours.
They explained that these children who have learned to shoot have learned great discipline and markmanship, among other things.
Okay, perhaps that is true, but how can this justify allowing students to take guns to school? Even if you believe this (and it may or may not be true), if guns are brought onto school property at any time during the day, it will confuse all the school children.
After awhile, the children won't be able to make the distinction between whether the guns should be allowed after school or during school. If they are allowed after school, why would the children not think it would be okay to have them during school? How could they make the distinction? The children would begin to think there was a school supported policy in favor of BB Guns. If not consciously than at least subconsiously. We are talking about 11 to 14 year olds here!
Besides, what really is the purpose of BB Guns? To go hunting, right? Then why do you need them in school? We all know there has been too much violence in school. Keep them AWAY. Not too long ago, in my town, there was a school shooting at the university level. We all know there have been too many shootings in schools. Why on earth would we allow gun contests on school property?
The proponents for having the BB Gun competion at the local school were stating last night at the meeting that the children were the best children, the most disciplined ones, and grew up to be professionals. One gentleman at the podium even pointed to another gentleman and said, "See, Loyd over there. He's an engineer." I almost fell off the couch in laughter. So what if Loyd grew up to be an engineer?
Obviously this gentleman didn't know about Toby. Toby lived behind me when I was a child. And he shot me with his BB gun. And it HURT. Fortunately he only got me in the leg. I am glad his aim wasn't too good. Thing about it is, I had several layers of clothing on because it was snowing outside, and I didn't want to get cold or wet. So the bullet only went through a few pairs of my pants. Thank God for that. All children who shoot are not disciplined.
That reminds me of another story. When John was younger there was a teenager who was shooting at neighborhood kids. He was doing it for twenty minutes and refused to stop. John told him to quit. Finally, when he wouldn't stop, John came up to him, took his gun away, and smashed it. The kid got so upset he went and got his big brother. When his big brother came after John, John told him that his brother didn't deserve the gun, because he wasn't using it properly and he had repeatedly been told to stop shooting at children. The older brother turned around and walked away.
See, not all children who shoot are disciplined. And you don't know who is going to be bringing the BB Gun to school after you start the policy.
So the school board voted after they had discussed everything extensively. Now you have to understand I live in a conservative area. Which is often not a bad thing. But this time I was scared.
The vote was very close. I was worried listening to the board as each weighed in. Everybody held their breath because you couldn't tell how the board would vote by the way their discussion had been going before the vote.
It ended up 5 to 4 to keep the BB Gun competition off of school grounds.
So what is your opinion? Do you think a BB Gun competition should be held on school grounds after school is let out? Keep in mind that the contest is not school sponsored, but, most of the children that are shooting the BB Guns attend the school where the shooting is going on.