Opinion

Guns Aren’t the Problem. It’s Always Been About People

Twenty-six-year-old rookie police officer “Tara O’Sullivan had been shot with a rifle while responding to a domestic violence call. As O’Sullivan and other police were helping a female victim gather her belongings and leave the home where the domestic violence allegedly occurred, the assailant opened fire.”

The aftermath demonstrates how our society’s moral foundation has eroded. Officers “were securing that horrific and deadly scene when apparent residents of the neighborhood gathered and began berating them. [A] video shows the residents taunting the cops, praising the shooting of the officer, and even threatening police with more violence.”

“Take that gun off. I’ll whoop your little butt,” one woman’s voice can be heard saying. “All y’all cowards.”

Keep in mind those cowards were there to protect a female victim of domestic violence as she attempted to leave a bad situation. It is a miracle that the victim was not also wounded or killed by the ambush shooter.

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The videos of these California residents mocking and praising the death of a young female police officer who was responding to a cry for help from a female victim is a disturbing, shameful display, but it’s hard to use the words “shocking” or “unexpected” over such things anymore.

You can see that it’s not guns. The rifle didn’t murder the young officer. The man did. He picked up the rifle, loaded it, aimed it, and fired. For some people, this was OK. Is it any wonder that young people, following the example of adults, have few qualms about beating, knifing, and shooting people? It’s the way they’ve been raised.

It wasn’t always like this.

My wife grew up in a small town in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania. The schools closed for the first day of deer season. There was no reason to hold classes because most of the boys would be out with their dads hunting deer. No one ever took a gun to school to shoot anyone. You could see kids riding down the street with a rifle across the handlebars.

Many people do not know that many high schools across the country used to have shooting clubs. Some still do. I recall visiting a school in Prospect Heights, Illinois, that had been sold to a Christian school that also operated a home-schooling curriculum company. The school was huge. It had three gymnasiums, wide halls, and a beautiful brick front. It also had a shooting range. This once-public school had a shooting club that competed with other schools.

I came across a Physical Education textbook that included chapters on riflery and archery – implements that shoot pointy projectiles.

The book Physical Education for High School Students was originally published in 1955 with a revised edition published in 1960 and a second edition in 1970.

Here’s the opening paragraph from the chapter on “Riflery”:

The United States of America was built, it is said, with three implements: the axe, the plow, and the rifle. The axe, in the hands of the stalwart pioneer, felled trees to clear the way for fields of grain. It also provided timber to build the houses, barns, and fences of our farms. The plow cut into the virgin soil of our foothills, plains, and prairies to grow the food for a young and hungry country. The rifle brought down the deer, bear, and other game to give the hardy frontiersman and his family food and clothing. It also stood as the only means of defense against his enemies, both savage and civilized.

Throughout this chapter, there are very good instructions on how to use a rifle properly and safely. There’s even a picture of an “assault weapon.” The chapter ends by declaring “Shooting is probably the safest of all sports…. By practicing a few simple rules every shooter can become a safe shooter.” This next sentence will make a liberal’s head explode: “One of the greatest sources of pride for the National Rifle Association is the splendid record in the safe handling of firearms set by their junior members.”

The NRA is praised by a public-school textbook!

The issue is not only the safe handling of firearms but the character of the person handling a firearm that matters most. Moral relativism is the operational worldview of the day. Everything is up for grabs. It’s OK to kill unborn babies, redefine marriage, and even change your sex. In fact, you don’t even have to change your sex; you can just declare yourself to be whatever sex you want. It’s topsy-turvy morality, and if you say so, then you’re a racist and a homophobe who does not have the right to express your opinion.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a gun control bill into law to protect the children. But it wasn’t too long ago that New York had rifle teams in its schools. Even New York City had them. This is from Charles C. Cooke’s article “Gun Clubs at School”:

In 1975, New York state had over 80 school districts with rifle teams. In 1984, that had dropped to 65. By 1999 there were just 26. The state’s annual riflery championship was shut down in 1986 for lack of demand. This, sadly, is a familiar story across the country. The clubs are fading from memory, too.

A Chicago Tribune report from 2007 notes the astonishment of a Wisconsin mother who discovered that her children’s school had a range on site. “I was surprised, because I never would have suspected to have something like that in my child’s school,” she told the Tribune. The district’s superintendent admitted that it was now a rarity, confessing that he “often gets raised eyebrows” if he mentions the range to other educators. The astonished mother raised her eyebrows — and then led a fight to have the range closed. “Guns and school don’t mix,” she averred. If you have guns in school, that does away with the whole zero-tolerance policy.”

Times have changed. Actually, what people believe and are taught in schools have changed. There is no longer a fixed set of moral standards.

You can get a sense of the change by watching the film Lean on Me (1989). It’ about an inner-city New Jersey school that was first-rate until the social engineers tried to make education fashionable. The school was in disrepair, and most students could not pass a basic skills test. School officials were desperate for a quick turnaround. They brought in Joe Clark, a no-nonsense administrator who dealt with crime by throwing out the criminals. Here’s the scene:

I want all of you to take a good look at these people on the risers behind me. These people have been here up to five years and done absolutely nothing. These people are drug dealers and drug users. They have taken up space; they have disrupted the school; they have harassed your teachers, and they have intimidated you. Well, times are about to change. You will not be bothered in Joe Clark’s school. These people are incorrigible. And since none of them can graduate anyway, you [turning to the incorrigible students] are all expurgated. You are dismissed! You are out of here forever! I wish you well.

At this point, Clark’s security team escorts the former students out of the school. Cheering erupts from the remaining students.


The problem is not with guns; it’s with some young people and the amoral world they’ve been raised in. If it’s a woman’s right to kill her unborn baby up until the time of is or her birth and beyond, then who’s to say it’s wrong to anyone?

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