Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Where is Be SMART?

On Thursday, December 9th, with great fanfare a Be SMART initiative was announced at R2i2. It is to be a partnership between Richland 2, a number of other school districts, law enforcement agencies and healthcare sytems.

Three Be SMART volunteers showed up at the December 14th school board meeting to pose some "Did you know ...?" questions to the board. As I listened to the questions, which seemed straight out of the Everytown for Gun Safety anti-gun playbook, I wondered how much of the information was distorted. And there is a reason that I wondered.

Everytown and MOMs Demand Action (and now Be SMART) seem to me to be an anti-gun organizations, rather than specifically anti gun-violence organizations.

I awakened early today (3:45AM) and, before arising, glanced at The State newspaper on my phone. Bad habit; I know. There I read about a 13-year-old boy who died by gunshot at the Harbison Gardens apartment complex. That's over by Columbiana Mall, off I-26, in the City of Columbia. Apparently, another boy and he had gotten hold of a firearm about 11:00PM.

There is plenty of anti-gun talk around Columbia, but is anyone really doing anything to educate kids and young adults about firearms safety? I roughed out what I can do. What I can do is NOT wait for "government" (i.e., school districts) to assemble a grand program. I have ideas which will work right now. Some of them could even have been implemented since December 9th. I'm starting on them today.

Every kid should be exposed to the four (4) rules of firearms safety.

1. Treat every gun as if it's loaded.

2. Never point a gun at anything you don't want to destroy.

3. Finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond.

Most gun injuries and deaths are not "accidents". They are caused by negligence. Some are the result of just plain stupidity. 

Firearms safety should start at very young ages. Dispel the curiosity of firearms. Teach safety awareness and handling. 

The criminal use of firearms is another matter. Students' taking guns and other weapons to schools must stop. As in, S-T-O-P. 

A local group wants to slow down the school-to-prison pipeline. It's simple. Make it plain to the kids that committing crimes will land them in jail or prison. How do you stay out of jail? Don't commit crimes. What could be simpler?

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