What Could Go Wrong?

In the history of bad ideas, this one ranks pretty high.

[O]ne South Carolina lawmaker is taking the NRA’s “more guns will keep schools safe” argument even further, with a new bill that would teach teenagers how to shoot.

Sen. Lee Bright (R), the sponsor of the legislation, argues that “the more guns we have the safer we are.” “[H]ad there been someone in Newtown with a weapon, had it been a teacher, they could have stopped it early,” Bright explained. His bill would allow schools to offer gun training at an off-site location


Bright says he got the idea after hearing from older constituents who “remembered the days” when students could join a rifle team or learn about shooting during a school day. “We’ve got football, we’ve got basketball, and we’ve got baseball,” says Bright. “I think if they had a hunting team, it would be a great idea.”

Ah, yes, the good old days. Days when we did not have over 300 million guns in circulation including assault rifles with high-capacity magazines.

Do we really want to train possibly-unstable, sometimes-rebellious teenagers how to shoot?

Can we trust teenagers not to open fire in the midst of a melee? Can we trust teenagers not to shoot each other after engaging in a heated argument, or when a relationship turns sour?

And who would pay for this? Can we spare money to offer a shooting class, but not to properly educate students in math and science? Can we not afford to hire enough teachers to reduce class sizes, but spare enough to hire someone to teach kids how to shoot guns? Who will take responsibility when a student accidentally shoots himself in school?

  • Ted Green

    I can’t say I agree with Sen. Bright. However, I grew up with guns in my household, was and still am an avid hunter and was a member of the local shooting club as a teen. From the time I was eight I was learning how to safely and responsibly handle firearms.
    I respected firearms and what they could do. I understood their power and why it was wrong to use it to harm others. Even after ten years in the Military, I have a hard time pointing a fake gun at another person during training. I have this overwhelming feeling that it is wrong. That’s what I learned as a kid and its something we may have lost.
    Would something like I did prevent a Newtown, an Aurora, a Columbine? I don’t know, I think the issue is more complex than that.
    What I do know is that this past Sunday I visited my shooting club where I volunteer as an instructor. We have over fifty children attending on a regular basis ranging from 10 to 18 years old. I’m proud to help teach a generation of kids that sporting firearms can be safe and fun if done the right way.
    There is a way to teach kids about the dangers of firearms and how to give them the respect their power deserves. This might not be the way to go about it, but to casually write it off as right wing lunacy is wrong.

  • Draxiar

    The stupid!….IT BURNS US, PRECIOUS!

  • incredulous72

    I got news for ‘em; The kids in South Carolina already know how to shoot. The folks down there teach kids how to shoot early . . .
    . . . REAL EARLY.

    So this Lee Dimwit thinks that teenagers bringing guns to school will prevent gun violence?
    The education system in South Carolina is far worse than I thought.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Seriously, can’t we just give them Wyoming? Just for everyone who wants to pack heat wherever they go, just turn the whole state into Glenn Beck’s Randroid utopia, and let all the crazies move there.

  • muselet

    Lee Bright has even come up with a name for his lunacy: the “South Carolina Gun Safety Program.”

    George Orwell would be both proud and horrified in equal measures.


    • Victor_the_Crab

      There have been a lot of things coming from the American right over the past 30 years that would have horrified George Orwell.

  • Grant Beaudette

    Of course we have to arm the kids. It’s only a matter of time before one of those teachers we armed snaps. It’s called staying ahead of the curve, people!

  • zirgar

    It’s pure irony that this douchebag is named Bright, right?