Firing range 101? For schools in South Carolina, a class in firearm safety may soon become a reality. A group of South Carolina legislators have filed two bills “mandating gun safety courses and Second Amendment related curricula in state schools,” according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The mandates are designed to replace the zero-tolerance policies on guns in schools.
One bill, proposed by Senator Lee Bright, allows schools in South Carolina to offer courses on gun safety, marksmanship and gun rights to their students. The bill would allow schools to bus students to gun ranges off-campus. There they would learn about the use of firearms as well as firearm safety.
Senator Bright said that the firearm safety courses would be not unlike the driver’s education courses offered in many schools.
Another bill, proposed by State Representative Alan Clemmons, would establish an educational unit focused on the Second Amendment. The unit would run three weeks and be open for all grade levels.
In addition to the unit, schools would also see the installment of a Second Amendment Awareness Day to be held each year on Dec. 15 -- the day after the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. This would require all state schools to hold a poster or essay contest centered on the theme “The Right To Bear Arms: One American Right Protecting All Others.”
According to The Greenville News, Rep. Clemmons said that he was inspired to write the bill after he heard of an incident in which a student was arrested at school because of an essay he wrote in which he talked about buying a gun to kill a neighbor’s pet dinosaur.
He told reporters that this zero-tolerance attitude towards guns disregards the respect for the Second Amendment, saying, “In this case, it squelched a student’s First Amendment rights, in responding to an assignment, to talk about the Second Amendment.
“We are giving short shrift to the one amendment that protects all others.”
This initiative sets itself in the backdrop of many gun-related tragedies at schools. Although events such as the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut -- which saw a lone gunman shoot and murder 20 students and six adults in a Newtown elementary school -- have sparked the outrage of people all across to country to push for stricter gun laws, many parents have pushed for firearm courses to be taught at schools as a response to would-be shooters. Since the tragic event, a small group of schools have even decided that perhaps arming their staff is the best way to protect the students.