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calendar   Thursday - January 31, 2008

A bit of misdirection in the news

W.Va. may offer gun training in schools

When you see a title like that on a news item, what do you think the story will be about? It sounds like West Virginia is getting on board Kim Dutoit’s NoR idea, “Turning America back into ... A Nation of Riflemen ... one citizen at a time”. Then spend a quarter nanosecond thinking how the libs will react to that title!

But when you go and read the article , you find out that the proposed training isn’t about marksmanship or militarism, it’s a proposal that the state run the hunter safety training classes. Which is how it was in NY when I took the class ... 33 years ago? Egad.

But I do like the concept behind the proposal. Like every other state, West Virginia is losing hunters over time. More and more land is being Posted so there are fewer places for the average person to go hunt. And lack of hunting leads to some species going wild and overpopulating areas, like the deer and the Canadian geese do in NJ. So West Virginia is trying to reach out, and provide safety instruction to all potential hunters there ... and in W VA you can hunt at 10. (hmm, didn’t we have a post about children in the UK hunting with guns just a couple weeks ago?)

This proposal may also be a bit of a power play, because currently hunter safety training there is not run by the government. So it’s a certainty they’ll talk about “standards”, and this educational effort will then become a minor part of the state’s revenue stream. But if the kids are already in the school building you don’t have to worry about them getting to the classes.

From reader PGrossJr, here’s the link.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A significant drop in the number of hunters in West Virginia has left a hole in the state’s budget, and one lawmaker thinks he has a solution: Allow children to receive hunter training in school.

Children as young as 10 years old are already eligible for hunting licenses in the state, but training courses are typically offered outside of school. Proponents of the plan hope embedding training during school hours boosts interest.

Seventh- through ninth-graders could opt for instruction in topics ranging from survival skills to gun safety, but the weapons would have dummy ammunition or be disabled. Sen. Billy Wayne Bailey, who introduced the bill this month, doesn’t envision students firing real guns during class time.

Well duh. I don’t think the kids should have options here; give them all of it. But letting them handle real guns with dummy ammo ... cool! We had to watch that ancient film where the stupid hunter shoots at the buck on the hilltop, misses and plugs some guy on the other side right between the eyes. That one was even grosser than the old “you’re all gonna die” films from Driver’s Ed.

To secure a license, (W VA) residents have to complete at least 10 hours of training and be at least 10 years old when they take the test, which includes demonstrating proper gun safety. Would-be hunters have to show they can load and unload a gun, carry it across obstacles, and keep the muzzle pointed in the right direction. The fee for a license is $33.

Is 10 hours enough? Granted my class was perhaps 4 hours, but I’ve heard that many states require 40 hours. On the other hand, the Pistol Safety class I went to was about the most worthless thing I’d ever attended. Even the instructors were falling asleep halfway through it. So I’d say the content is more important than the hours, but you want to hammer in the key points many times when you’re dealing with kids. Is there an exam? I don’t know. If the boys are still in Scouts, do they get the various gun merit badges from this? I don’t know that either.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/31/2008 at 06:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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