Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why some duck hunters shoot sea gulls

(Note:  This post was inspired by a post on the blog, Hey, Judy.  What had started out as a short response to one of her posts turned into what we thought was a good post for here.  She has some good stuff over there.  Check her out!)

When two of us were in school, we had a two-week gun safety course in our eighth grade gym class.   We practiced shooting with BB guns, BB guns supplied by the school.   Out of the two weeks, we only got to shoot the guns on the last day of the course.   The rest of the time was spent learning what guns were, parts of a gun, how to use a gun safely, rules to follow when handling a gun, how to care for and clean a gun, how to store a gun, and a whole lot of “never do this with a gun” rules.

Two lessons stick with us to this day.

One: never, ever, point a gun at a person even if the gun is unloaded.  The gun always faces straight up in the air or straight down to the ground and the only time you point it horizontally is when you intend to shoot something.   You’d be surprised how long it took some of us kids to learn to load a gun with it pointing up or down and not at our teacher.

Two: never, ever stand on the shore of a river or lake and shoot into the water.  If that bullet hits the water at the right angle, it’ll skip across the water much like one can skip a stone.

Gun safety courses aren’t offered in our schools any more.  Too many city folk moved to our neck of the woods, got scared of the guns, and the curriculum was yanked.   We reckon the city folk felt safer letting those kids go out hunting without understanding how to use a gun than it was to offer a two-week course on gun safety in our schools.

Now look at what kids can learn on TV through PSA announcements: don’t text and drive, don’t be a bully, buckle up, just say no, only you can prevent forest fires, stop animal abuse, this is your brain on drugs, stop smoking, prescription drugs aren’t candy, suicide hotlines or general teen help lines, take a bite out of crime, reading is an adventure, buzzed driving is drunk driving, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, optimism – pass it on, stay in school, stop gun violence….

You get the picture, but guess what’s missing from all of these PSAs?   Yup.   Gun safety.

Today’s solution to gun safety?   Stop kids from playing cops and robbers.   Take away their toy cap guns and water pistols.   Suspend a child from school for daring to play a game where the child makes a “gun” with his fingers.   Make the students walk through metal detectors.

Our idea of gun safety lessons is to teach our children to fear guns before they are old enough to understand what a gun is and why someone may want to own one.

Funny thing is when hunting season begins, we don’t fear our kids walking around, shotgun in hand.   We fear the city folk who come down to hunt and have no clue what they are shooting.   We’ve had a duck hunter shooting sea gulls because he thought they were ducks.   (Sea gulls are a protected species and he paid a hefty fine for his mistake.)  A deer hunter shot a farmer’s cow.   (He bought that cow, too, but didn’t get to keep the meat.  The farmer donated the meat to a charity that fed the homeless.)   And our personal favorite: a hunter saw something moving through the trees and shot a Subaru.   He didn’t realize he was so close to a road.   Luckily, no one was hurt.

Maybe if these city folk had a gun safety course when they were in the eighth grade, they’d be shooting duck, deer, and squirrels and not sea gulls, cows, and moving vehicles.

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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