Teaching firearms safety in public schools is an idea worth talking about

Teaching firearms safety in public schools is an idea worth talking about

Buy Photo Gun-rights advocates last week filed an initiative petition to make firearms-safety instruction mandatory in all sixth-grade public schools in Oregon. Condemnation was swift among those convinced that such a requirement was tantamount to endorsing gun use. Maybe it is. There also was talk of instruction adding to the prevalence of guns in children’s lives. Maybe it would. But it is an idea that is worth talking about and should be considered by the Oregon Legislature. We have too many stories in our community about gun accidents that might have been prevented if young people had been shown how to recognize gun danger and act appropriately. Personally knowing how to recognize gun danger can help save lives. Initiative Petition 6, filed for the November 2020 statewide general election, suggests mandatory gun safety classes. The petition, which is supported by Independence’s own Rep. Mike Nearman, was filed by Prineville resident Ston McDaniel and Jerrad Robison of Redmond. Robison also is a chief petitioner of a gun-rights initiative in Deschutes County, which would allow county sheriffs to block enforcement of local, state or federal gun laws that the sheriff deems unconstitutional. That’s more authority than any single county employee should have, which has prompted many to dismiss the gun-instruction initiative as well. Indeed, the initiative is flawed with provisions such as empowering county sheriffs to usurp other mandates. But that doesn’t mean school gun-safety instruction is a bad idea. Consider some parallel construction of the petition’s gun-safety instruction provision. Gun-control […]

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