Just Say YES (Youth Education Summits) to Guns!

Anonymous said...

Ink Stained Wretch,

Do you have any substantiation for your assertion that "Now the NRA and the gun lobby want to push kids to carry in schools."? I have never, ever heard of such a policy initiative by any group, and particularly not by the NRA.

Besides Hunter Safety Education -- which is about 80% gun safety and education (and the balance about hunting laws and hunter ethics) -- the only NRA youth program I am aware of is "Eddie Eagle" which teaches kids who find guns to 1) don't touch it, 2) leave the area, and 3) tell an adult.

Frankly, I think your assertion is a canard of the first order. You are obviously a gun control advocate, but to make up (or pass along) false stories just to feign outrage ("This is lunacy") is itself outrageous.

Again, I look forward to seeing any reference or documentation for your allegations.

June 11, 2007

Well here you go!
This is a good one for starters: NO Gun Left Behind

"The gun lobby is pushing legislation that would allow 18-year-old kids to carry handguns to class, and kids even younger than 18 could possess AK-47 assault rifles with high-capacity magazines on campus. The gun lobby also wants to arm K-12 teachers."

Brady Report Online:

Gun-rights advocates call for arming students

NEW YORK — "A gun-rights advocate said Tuesday that if Virginia Tech students and employees had been armed they would have been able to defend themselves in the rampage.

"The only person who is responsible to defend you is you - the police are incapable of defending each and every one of us all the time," said Mike Stollenwerk, 44, co-founder of Open Carry.org, a Virginia-based gun-rights networking group."

Or how about this letter objecting to campuses in Maine regulating guns on their property:
NRA Letter
Or this newpaper commentary: Maybe They Can Wear White Hats Too!
"The smoke was still hanging over Blacksburg when Gun Owners of America thundered, "It is irresponsibly dangerous to tell citizens that they may not have guns at schools."
Then there was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, by no means a voice in the wilderness in his political realm, declaring that every "law-abiding" citizen has the right to carry a concealed weapon anywhere, including schools.
Syndicated columnist Michael Barone, appearing in The Star, noted -- with approval -- that concealed-weapons restrictions are not fashionable among the states. While Virginia Tech boasted of a gun-free campus, he intoned, "Tragically, they were not safe." Not safe, inasmuch as no professor or student -- who needs the cops? -- could whip out his or her piece and drop that punk.
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, writing in USAToday, denounced "anti-gun schemes" and advocated a distinctive brand of school choice.
"Every option should be put on the table and available to fit the needs of a particular district or school," he said. "All Americans -- parents, teachers, administrators, law enforcement and military personnel -- must come together and unite to secure our schoolchildren."
Actually, the NRA has a record of far more explicit support for allowing guns on campus and even for prohibiting educators from "opting" to ban them."

Another Newpaper Commentary:

"Several recent letters by National Rifle Association supporters in the Tribune didn't mention the real reason for the NRA's push to get guns in parking lots and to what lengths the NRA is willing to go to get them there.

Most everyone realized this is simply about the NRA's continued push to get guns in yet another place, since the NRA has forced legalizing them, with few if any controls, on your person, in your home, in public places, in our state forests, in your car and even tried to get them into our schools. Little wonder they would now push to get them into parking lots.

This current bill would bring them into parking lots and right up to the front door of every business in Florida!"

Just Say YES (Youth Education Summits ) to guns. An NRA program.

State Youth Summits
"The state Youth Education Summit (YES) program began in 2002. Its purpose is to introduce rising high school freshmen, sophmores and juniors to their state government and the roles that future generations of voters will play. A special emphasis is also placed on the benefits of firearms ownership."

To be fair to your criticism, The NRA does have a positive role to play in responsible gun ownership and the Eddie Eagle program is probably a good example.
My original statement did not mention the NRA alone but the Gun Lobby including the "No Compromise On Gun Regulation. Gun Owners of America

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ink Stained Wretch (or whoever scrounges up all that text from various websites):

Your first two references (and your first quote) are from websites run by the Brady Campaign, a pro-gun control advocacy group. While it certainly sounds alarming, it is all opinion and conjecture regarding a Utah law that prohibits state government entities in Utah from violating the Utah Constitution by restricting the legal possession of guns on public property.

It does not call for arming students, much less kids. (As an aside, 18 year olds are adults, not kids.) It merely prohibits arbitrary restrictions on lawful firearm possession.

It does not change other aspects of Utah Firearms Law (Utah Code Title 63 Chapter 98) which prohibits children (that would be those under the age of 18) from possessing a firearm unless under the supervision of an adult or engaged in specific activities (e.g. attending hunter safety class, lawful hunting, or organized shooting competition).

It does not change Utah law regarding concealed carry, which requires permit applicants to be at least 21 years of age, have a record clear of any felony convictions, or other convictions of offenses involving violence, alcohol, drug, domestic violence, or moral turpitude. Numerous other restrictions apply to applicants, who must also undergo criminal background checks and graduate from a state-approved concealed carry course.

And it certainly does not in any way promote or permit the arming of kids on campus, nor does it allow kids under 18 to carry AK 47’s. The fact is, the contorted characterization of the law by the Brady Campaign is just wild, fear-mongering propaganda.

It it were honest about it, the website would say that the Utah legislation would permit 21 year old adults who have undergone a rigorous screening and training program to carry a firearm on state-owned property, including college campuses. That’s a far cry from their fear-campaign rhetoric that the gun lobby is pushing to arm kids in school.

The New York Daily News item you cite nect quotes a pro-concealed carry advocate (not an NRA representative, by the way) who is merely pointing out that the deranged VA Tech shooter was violating the campus no-gun policies by bringing his guns to school, and that all the law-abiding folks on campus were thus rendered less safe because of the policy and their compliance with it.

(Another aside: This calls to mind the old saying that "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”)

Next, the NRA letter regarding Maine gun regulation does denounce the proposed restrictions on lawful gun possession, but nowhere does it call for kids to be armed on campus. While I have not researched the particulars of Maine’s concealed carry legislation, I’m sure it’s not much different from that of most other states such as Utah (see above).

And finally, your citing of the NRA’s Youth Education Summits is extraordinary. That program is a tremendous opportunity for young people to see and learn first hand how their government works. YES is a seven-day, expense-paid leadership week in Washington, D.C. open to current high school sophomores and juniors. The Young people visit the nation’s capital to gain a greater understanding of the significance of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights while developing an understanding of federal government and the importance of active participation. It’s a great civic-education program that has nothing to do with “arming kids on campus.”

So in summation, your references just don’t substantiate your claim that “the NRA and the gun lobby want to push kids to carry in schools.” In point of fact, your own first reference, “No Gun Left Behind,” quotes NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre on this issue. Speaking at the 2000 NRA National Convention, he said “First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.” That sounds pretty reasonable and responsible to me.

There may be a few crack-pots out there who are advocating kids having guns in school, but it sure isn’t the NRA or any other mainstream hunting or gun rights organization.