Sunday, November 2, 2008

Teaching and equipping the next generation

Jerome, who attends high school with my two kids, came by for another reloading lesson. He assembled 120 rounds of .223 Remington ammunition using bulk 55-grain Hornady FMJ-BTs and H335 powder.

He recently joined the National Rifle Association. His parents didn't pay for the membership. Jerome works for a retired teacher who has a large farm. He's squared away and welcome here any time. Last summer he worked at a Boy Scout firearms range.

There are definitely more youth out there like Jerome than the wacko, teenage killers prominent in news coverage. It's just too boring and not deemed newsworthy to report on responsible youth using firearms safely while having fun. Shooting is a strengthening discipline, good exercise that will help ward off obesity, and will enhance a practitioner's mental ability and relieve stress.If you haven't already, introduce a young person to the shooting sports. Encourage them. Guide them. Set good examples.

The kids who kill are ones who have been ignored and isolated--expected to raise themselves and viewed as an inconvenience. They become visible through their cold rage and murderous acts. Maybe if a responsible adult had taken them turkey hunting or coached them in marksmanship, they could have been saved. Zero-tolerance policies, gun buybacks, gun locks, and more restrictions on firearms ownership are simply acts of closing a gate after the herd has escaped.

Jerome, it was a great afternoon. Thanks for visiting. Bring your rifle next time and come earlier.

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