Firearms Education May Lead to Reducing the Rate of Violent Crime

By Snyder, John Michael | Insight on the News, March 1, 1999 | Go to article overview
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Firearms Education May Lead to Reducing the Rate of Violent Crime


Snyder, John Michael, Insight on the News


According to the elitist liberal establishment, mandatory sex education in schools benefits America. The more kids learn about sex from competent instructors, they say, the less sex crime there will be. The more kids learn about the intricacies of sexual intimacy, even sometimes with the use of "anatomically correct" dolls, they affirm, the fewer "unwanted pregnancies" there will be.

So why not apply the same reasoning to youngsters and guns? The more kids learn about guns in school, the fewer "gun crimes" there will be. What America really needs, then, is mandatory gun education in the schools. Then you'll really see the rates of crime committed by kids with guns take a nosedive.

Let the elitists in the liberal establishment be consistent for a change. Let them avoid the allegation of public-policy schizophrenia they now face because they support sex ed in the schools on the one hand but, on the other hand, oppose the mere presence of guns on or even near school grounds.

It's gun education rather than gun prohibition that will lead to a safer social environment and preclude an explosion of gun crimes in our schools. Let boys and girls learn all about handguns, rifles, shotguns and ammunition from competent instructors in required classroom and laboratory programs. If mandatory sex ed will reduce sex crime, surely mandatory gun ed will reduce gun crime.

Actually, the outlines for full-scale national firearms handling, safety and competency programs already exist. These may be found in the "Eddie Eagle" and other youth programs developed and sponsored by the National Rifle Association. With these programs, school-age youngsters receive thorough training in the safe and efficient use of firearms.

This is not as far-fetched an approach to the youth crime and guns issue as it may seem at first glance to some people. Research demonstrates generally that laws facilitating firearm ownership and use by law-abiding citizens correlate with reductions in rates of violent crime.

Conversely, laws which restrict such activity correlate with increases, rather than decreases, in rates of violent crime. In the most recent study in this field, the book More Guns, Less Crime, published in 1998, University of Chicago law professor John R. Lott Jr. disputes those who supported the national five-day handgun-purchase waiting period mandated until Nov. 30, 1998, by the Brady law. "No statistically significant evidence has appeared that the Brady law has reduced crime," he writes, "and there is some statistically significant evidence that rates for rape and aggravated assault have actually risen by about 4 percent relative to what they would have been without the law.

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