This is a response to Don Heinzman’s editorial about teaching kids to handle guns in high school. Students have four short years to acquire the skills that serve them as adults. While I appreciate any activity that allows a student to strive for a goal, I think there are better ways to utilize those precious years than learning to accurately shoot a shotgun. I speak about the activity I know best: speech.
Compare the benefits – accurate marksmanship versus the ability to be heard and understood by people of differing backgrounds. Hitting a fast flying clay pigeon won’t get you a promotion at work or help you make that presentation or seal the deal on a highly competitive sale. Understanding your audience and speaking with clarity and confidence will.
Admittedly, I have a bit of prejudice on this topic. I am a speech coach. I have seen students blossom from shy, reticent speakers to people who boldly inspire others with their ideas. A friend once told me, “You can always spot the speech kids. They stand out.”
One more thing, Don says that kids won’t leave their guns in their cars while in the school’s parking lot. That is unrealistic. People forget things in their cars all the time. I once forgot a container of goat cheese on a very hot day – enough said.