The NRA has a new idea for gun policy in the U.S., and it’s even more ridiculous than all their other ideas. Instead of schools being gun-free zones, they’d like to see schools become gun-required zones. They’d like to see gun training become a compulsory part of every child’s education, with proficiency demonstrations necessary for advancing to the next grade.
According to Media Matters, NRA commentator Billy Johnson believes that the U.S. does not have gun policy, but rather, that we have anti-gun policy, and that needs to change. The icing on the cake of that idea comes with his assertions that regulating guns amounts to limiting access to public parks based on a past history of littering, or limiting access to education, lest people learn how to think for themselves. He said:
“The point is that as a country we often write policy to protect access to something; education, parks, jobs. But one for one of the most important protections, a constitutional right, we write policy designed to limit access. Among Second Amendment supporters it’s common to talk about U.S. gun policy. We worry that policies will encroach on our rights; we share our concerns about overreaching gun policy that fails to make any of us safer.”
He also says that gun policy should go with the assumption that people need guns to make their lives safer and better (families of shooting victims, and of accident victims, might beg to differ). We should, he seems to say, be teaching children that there’s a very real need for everyone to have guns in our society:
“Gun policy driven by our need for guns would insist that we introduce young people to guns early and that we’d give them the skills to use firearms safely. Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency. It wouldn’t matter if a child’s parents weren’t good at it. We’d find them a mentor. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t want to learn. We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade.”
That would be all well and good if we were still a hunter-gatherer society; guns would indeed make our lives better and easier in that case, because they would provide us with a better way to hunt our food. The idea that we need guns to make our lives better is what Johnson believes to be the founding fathers’ real intent behind the Second Amendment. Gun policy driven by some imagined need for guns would encourage people to “keep and bear arms at all times,” and possibly even reward people for doing so. However, to take the same attitude towards teaching this that we do towards teaching reading and writing is just insane.
Even better than that, though, is that Johnson thinks gun ownership should get government subsidies, like education healthcare, food and retirement. So…what, people under a certain income level would get vouchers, or “stamps” with which to purchase guns? That’s quite out there, even for the NRA. But the NRA is getting nuttier and nuttier with each passing day.