Guns in Schools
Scott Shine 6/22/2017
If you want to get guns out of schools, the best place to start is with parental and adult responsibility. The research is clear – the gateway for youth access to firearms is too frequently through parents’ or guardians’ failure to keep guns away from children. The Administration at Duval County Public Schools recently provided a list of firearms arrests on school property, and the findings show the source for more than half of these firearms were by way of parents or adults connected to the student’s family. it is important for everyone to understand that allowing a child access to a firearm, by any means, mistakes or otherwise, is a criminal act in the state of Florida (Florida Statute 790.174). If a child gets access to your firearm, you can be arrested and prosecuted – and this happens with regularity all over the state.
As many of you know, I am a supporter of the Second Amendment and have been involved in shooting sports most of my life. Today, my experience includes five different shooting sports instructor level certifications, including firearms safety instruction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Clearly, every “right” has an associated “responsibility.” Keeping firearms away from children is a responsibility every gun owner needs to take seriously. Among the things I always teach in firearms safety, keep all your firearms unloaded and under lock and key when they are not within your direct control. In addition, it is recommended to keep ammunition stored under lock and key in a different location. This is important in preventing unwanted access by children.
We are fortunate in that we have not had a shooting within our school system. Most of the firearms we find are due to the fact that a student had the courage to speak up and let an educator know about the weapon. These young people need to be commended. They are unsung heroes whose actions could have saved lives. This is another part of the solution, making sure our children know what to do when they are exposed to firearm in a school or other restricted environment. We have been providing this instruction in schools for a number of years through the “Eddie Eagle” program – and, it appears to be making a positive difference in school safety.
As a community, we need to realign our relationship with firearms. They are a part of our constitutionally guaranteed liberties. But, they are inherently dangerous in the wrong hands and they, by no means, belong in schools in the hands of students. Please practice a strong “safety ethic” with your firearms. Store them under lock and key when not under your direct control. You can learn more by visiting the Eddie Eagle program online at https://eddieeagle.nra.org/. If you and I do the right thing, we can vastly reduce guns in schools. Remember, every right has an associated responsibility. It takes both the be a safe gun owner.