Archive for Sunday, February 25, 2018

Editorial: NRA in schools is a bad idea

February 25, 2018


Credit Kansas lawmakers for having the wisdom to cancel debate on a bill that would push a National Rifle Association gun safety program on Kansas schools.

That debate was to be Thursday on House Bill 2460, which would create a standardized firearm safety program for school districts that choose to teach it. The bill mandates that the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program developed by the NRA be used for children in first through fifth grades. For grades six through eight, the bill would allow for either the Eddie Eagle program or the Hunter Education in our Schools program offered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Finally, the bill would offer hunter education for students in grades nine through 12.

“We don’t need to be doing that right now,” said state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Republican from Overland Park. “It’s much too soon” after last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., killed 17 people.

In canceling debate on the bill, House Speaker Ron Ryckman said a more comprehensive plan is needed, one that could include mental health initiatives.

The NRA gun safety program is three decades old. The organization estimates that 30 million U.S. students have taken such a course. The bill’s advocates said the program teaches young children to avoid guns they see and tell an adult. Rep. Ken Corbet, R-Topeka, told The Associated Press he would think schools “would like a class like this to offer,” especially after mass shootings.

But Corbet is naive if he thinks school districts wouldn’t have concerns about opening their elementary school doors to one of the most politically strident groups in the country. The NRA, founded to promote marksmanship and shooting as a sport, has a long history in gun safety and education. But over the last half century the NRA has become an unabashedly political organization. This is the group that made famous the saying “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” and whose leader, Wayne La Pierre, once referred to federal officials charged with enforcing gun laws as “jack-booted government thugs.”

The NRA is fully engaged in an American culture war that has no middle ground. You’re either with them or you are a target. And the Legislature shouldn’t be in the business of giving activist groups like that access to the state’s elementary school students. Families interested in the NRA’s gun safety program for their children can certainly do so, just not through their public schools.

It was right to postpone debate on House Bill 2460. Hopefully, it won’t be a part of the comprehensive gun safety plan Ryckman hinted is coming.


Bob Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If you are against teaching firearms safety then you want to continue seeing preventable accidents involving firearms. That's valuing ideological purity over the safety of children.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Right, because the only thing keeping our kids from having thousands of deaths from grenades is grenade safety courses.

RJ Johnson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Not any different then having Liberals in the schools!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

See this is the problem. Is the NRA a conservative political organization or a supporter of gun education.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 3 weeks ago

No, the problem is that you think they can only be one or the other.

Conservatives have long been supporters of voluntary firearms education and safety training. They have even largely supported mandatory training and hunting licenses before hunting on public land. The fact that they are not willing to give up the right to defend themselves and/or hunt on their own property does not mean they are opposed to gun education. It simply means they are not willing allow any restrictions which would let dishonest people like you disarm them by simply moving the goal posts of those requirements.

Jim Phillips 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, Dorothy the problem is that you know nothing of the NRA other than what your preconceived bias and the gun-grabber elitists allow you to believe. While the NRA is based in Conservative values, they also support Democrat candidates who support the Second Amendment. They are also the single largest educator of firearms safety programs in the world. A little research will show you every topic that the NRA teaches. So, the short answer to your question is that they are both, despite what the media wants you to believe.

Mike Riner 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Any time Dorothy reads about a tragedy like an "accidental" shooting, she screams from the rooftops that gun safety should be a priority. Training! Safe gun handling! Unless it furthers her agenda to change lanes, of course.

Ken Lassman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

John Hopkins University has developed one of the premier gun violence research centers since the Center for Disease Control has been hamstringed by NRA backers in Congress to not do research involving firearms. One of the more interesting conclusions that John Hopkins research has come up with is that we can reduce gun violence deaths 30-50% just by approaching guns the same way we've approached alcohol: instead of banning them, restrict purchases to high risk populations, monitor abuses and vigorously prosecute accordingly, and let the public know who is selling illegally so that they take voluntary measures to reduce abuse or face public consequences by the gun-buying public. Nobody wants to buy guns from sellers who supply guns to criminals. Note that this approach does nothing to curb Second Amendment rights. I would hope that Kansas legislators strongly consider taking the kind of measures that John Hopkins has identified as part of their comprehensive gun legislation reforms.

Here is a link:

Ken Lassman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Since you judge everything through your ideologically filtered lenses, you obviously didn't notice that this is a research based source that is not based on liberal or conservative bias. Try taking off your ideological blinders sometime: you can see much more clearly without them.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm pretty sure that unless it's from InfoWars it's liberal.

Bob Summers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Ideology derived from a genetic condition. DNA plays a big role in human nature.

Ken Lassman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

ooh--ooh: do I detect an ever slight drift away from the neo-eugenics determinism stance??? Is it possible that there are other factors, even environmental and social that are strong enough to override any sort of epigenetic and genetic tendencies??? I surely am reading wrong your language when you say "DNA plays a big role" instead of your previous deterministic propaganda about DRD4 polymorphism.

Jim Phillips 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Ken, federal law prohibits selling firearms to convicted felons, anyone with a drug conviction or admitted drug users, those convicted of domestic abuse, anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, people adjudicated mentally ill, anyone on the government terrorist watch lists, those who are not of legal age, and people illegally in the country. As far as handguns are concerned, federal law also prohibits the on the spot selling of handguns to out of state residents. So, who is it exactly that is not on the list of "high risk populations" that you want added?

Ken Lassman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Law enforcement has been able to track down weapons used in committing crimes to their source, i.e. which retailers are selling the weapons who are getting into the black market. It turns out that there are just a few retailers that cause a lion's share of the problems. Unfortunately, there was a 2003 law that Congress passed that protects those retailers because law enforcement was increasing their effectiveness in shutting down those conduits. If we once again make those retailers more responsible for whom they sell to, have red flag laws that can lower the suicide and relationship homicide risks, plus publicize retailers whose guns end up in the hands of criminals public, we can get the gun violence numbers down significantly. The details of these measures are in the article link I provided above: I suggest you check it out.

Vicki Smith Hale 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Aren't the people on the government terrorist watch lists allowed to buy guns but they can't fly? I thought that was one of the loopholes that could be closed. As to other "high risk populations", what about the gun shows where almost anyone can buy a gun? I would consider that high risk.

Bob Summers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Firearm safety was taught in government inculcation centers in the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's.

Firearms were carried in back windows of trucks in government parking lot's for hunting after school.

Why do the Liberal masterminds want to keep children ignorant of firearms now?

How is ignorance bliss here?

Why do the Liberals flood the country with MS-13 gang leaders that teach drug sales, rape, murder and give them sanctuary, yet, hate the NRA for wanting to teach firearm safety?

Dale Miller 2 months, 3 weeks ago

There is no doubt firearms safety programs are a great safety measure for these kids.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The Eddie Eagle program is excellent, I do not care if you choose another program. I and my brothers, and most everyone I knew as I was growing up, were taught firearm safety by their parents or friends parents. Now as both parents have to work in order to survive, that option is not as available. With all the misuse of guns, children need to be taught how dangerous they are. Some good program needs to teach children at an early age, the dangers of firearms if misused. At that age they need to be taught not to touch them, and to get an adult. This will save a lot of lives.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

And what about all the adults who need this eduction, but aren't required? Are we willing to wait a whole generation for properly trained gun owners? Why can't there be a requirement to have training to won guns? I don't understand why anyone would be against this.

Bob Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, do let us build more requirements you have to pass before enjoying a Constitutional right!

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Would you be willing to conform to my training requirements in order to vote? If you say yes, you are naive. If you say no, you are a hypocrite. Either way, putting such a requirement on a constitutional, if not inalienable, right is anti-thesis to what such a right really is.

No, the problem is that people like you, who are now bemoaning the lack of training, are the same ones who removed that training from the school system in the first place. I missed out on the days when firearm safety and marksmanship were part of the PE curriculum, but I made up for that by learning from my Dad, participating in 4-H Shooting Sports, completing Hunter Safety Education, and honing my skills through hunting and target shooting. You have only yourself and those like you to blame for the ones who didn't get any training in school and didn't pursue any outside of school.

I have the training and skill that you claim to want in a gun owner, so quit trying to take my guns!

Mike Riner 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dorothy, I personally don't have any problem with a requirement for gun education prior to the issuance of a concealed carry permit to a person. I don't personally agree with no requirement for either the training or the permit. But that's just me. (and yes, I've had a lot of gun safety education! and training)

Bob Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I've not belonged to the NRA for ages. Just rejoined today.

Daniel Kennamore 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Congrats on renewing your 'I care about gun maker's profits over innocent children' card.

Bob Summers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"Congrats"....says the Liberal following the critical thinking genre of giving sanctuary to MS-13 gang members, some being DACA qualified, to run free in America.

Yeah, you and your fellows travelers can talk about playing the "innocent children card"

How many "innocent children" are going to be raped, drugged, or murdered this week by sanctuary afforded MS-13 gang members?

Vicki Smith Hale 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess you won't be getting some of the former discounts on a variety of products.

Dale Miller 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Because their bill the Instant No Gun Restriction List was passed to prevent mentally ill, drug users, and criminals from getting guns legally, I too wIll be joining the NRA this evening for the first time.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The editorial has it right. We don't need a political organization that has turned away from it's roots promoting anything in schools.

At one time I considered joining the NRA. But, after seeing them transform into little more than a political organization supporting gun sales much, much more than marksmanship and safety I have no desire to join.

Bob Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I suspect that the NRA's focus changed because of the concerted efforts of Democrats and other leftists to destroy the Second Amendment.

Bob Summers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Exactly. The droves of emotionally hypersensitive individual's that seek "safe space" and sanctuary for MS-13 gang members have been effervescing.

Richard Aronoff 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Does anyone recall attacks on the NRA after a Bernie Sanders supporter shot and nearly killed Congressman Scalise? Neither do I.

I heard that a CNN commentator said that the fact that an officer (or officers) did not go into the school during the shooting proves that a "good guy with a gun" doesn't work. It doesn't prove any such thing.

What it proves is this: if you are a law enforcement officer or a firefighter and your first thought when you leave your house in the morning is getting home safely that night, you're in the wrong profession.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 3 weeks ago

How out of touch conservatives are throughout the nation .... out of touch with voters and reality.

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