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In Support of School-Based Shooting Clubs

Posted on May 30 2010 10:01 am
Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and polemicist. His works have been posted on numerous sites from The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). He blogs at Positively Churchillian.
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Some weeks ago, I was helping a local hunter move some guns and shooting -related products to a private location. There were no drugs involved. And yes, I expect to be the subject of an unfair and unbalanced Michael Moore documentary in the near future.  But it got me thinking. Why do so many people fear guns in schools and houses, as opposed to (say) slip-and-crack-your-head bathtubs? I’ve often asked myself this question.

On a related note, three socially disadvantaged teenagers in my region shared their pro-gun views with me last year. Or to paraphrase one local kid, “I really like shooting.  We go to the shooting range and have so much fun man!” Some famous private boarding schools in my region too have strong shooting traditions, to make a point about accessibility, and the safe sport welcomes people from a good many ethnicities, incomes, religions, and social backgrounds.

Or look at the UK. Shooting is one of the safest sports, according to Rob Gray, the head of National Shooting Week. But more than that, it is thrilling. The Country Alliance reports:

Rob Gray, head of National Shooting Week said: “National Shooting Week gives an opportunity for all the misconceptions about shooting to be put to one side but it also gives people the chance to understand that this is a sport that can be for everybody.”

“More than one million people take part in UK shooting sports. It is a thrilling, affordable, and accessible sport which is open to people from all walks of life. Shooting is also one of the safest sports.”

Yet, politicians and filmmakers with armed bodyguards always have the most to say about the evils of guns and students.  And, what’s the deal with school officials and their attacks on condom-free sports?  In More Guns, Less Crime, John R. Lott Junior provides some historical context (p.239):

It was common for schools to have shooting clubs. Even in New York City, virtually every public high school had a shooting club up until 1969. It was common for high school students to take their guns with them to school on the subways in the morning and turn them over to their homeroom teacher or the gym coach so the heavy guns would simply be out of the way. After school, students would pick up their guns when it was time for practice.

For the record, I wouldn’t stop Moore from purchasing a slip-and-crack-your head bathtub, but there’s a larger point here.  If the goal of education reform is to make schools more relevant and prepare students for the real world, then gun-friendly curriculums have the potential to make a positive difference.


Ben-Peter Terpstra is an Australian satirist and cartoon lover. His works have been posted on numerous sites from American Thinker (California) to Quadrant Online (Sydney, Australia). For more information see, Pizza Trays and Beer Bottles.

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