For many of you, the hair on your neck is already up!
I live 15 minutes from Sandy Hook. Guns couldn’t possibly be more controversial than here. But I once had a very successful troop meeting on gun safety – post Sandy Hook.
Specifically, gun safety as it relates to a young scout finding an unsecured gun in someone’s home, car or other. Any parent on any side of the issue can appreciate that this can happen – and have dire results.
There is a test I heard about (but can’t confirm) where a few young boys are left in a room with a real-looking pistol on the coffee table. They are instructed not to touch the gun because it could be dangerous. They always end up handing it when the adults leave the room.
Repeat with girls and it is a different story. They tend to leave the gun alone.
Send an email to your troop parents proposing a gun safety presentation by a well-qualified presenter. (Mine was an NRA certified gun range safety officer/physician’s assistant/Eagle Scout/Vietnam veteran.) Let the parents know you aren’t going to train them on shooting guns – but rather what to do if they discover an unsecured gun. Tell them you won’t have any guns there – real, model, toy, replica or otherwise. You’ll use a broom and a crescent wrench instead. Avoid all talk of how to shoot or handle guns. Avoid all talk of gun laws, guns shows, the NRA, or Michael Bloomberg. Let parents know that you can’t control what scouts will ask or say during the presentation. But that you’re presenter will steer all talk back to the target issue – unsecured guns. Discuss with your presenter and make sure, if they have a strong agenda, they can successfully leave it at the door.
In my case, we usually met at the Elementary School. I moved this particular meeting to the fire house to avoid any controversy for the school.
My parents were unanimous in supporting my idea and it was a very successful event. Maybe one day it will save a life.