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Monday, October 02, 2006

4-H Must Be Stopped

Why are we worrying so much about how video games might be giving kids a virtual lesson in marksmanship when so many are getting a real lesson in marksmanship:

Other competitors ranged from casual target shooters like Jacob to youths who compete in Junior Olympics and NRA-sanctioned events. Their firearms ranged from "little rabbit .22s," as Roxana called them, to expensive competition-grade firearms.

The competition site, 220-acre Cedar Creek Rod & Gun Club east of Columbia, echoed with gunshots all day. Youngsters aged 8 to 18 competed in shotgun, .22 ca. rifle, air rifle, BB gun, small-bore pistol, air pistol, muzzle-loading rifle, archery and hunting skills competitions. In all, they fired more than 28,000 shots, an average of more than 2,000 per hour.

With more than 1,800 people in attendance, the event was a model of efficiency. Youths strode purposefully between venues carrying cased firearms. Local contingents established impromptu headquarters consisting of dozens of lawn chairs clustered around motor homes and impressive trailer-mounted barbecue grills. The atmosphere resembled a huge family reunion.
-- Kansas City infoZine News - Shooting Program Builds More Than Marksmanship - USA

Course, I don't actually think that 4-H must be stopped. I'm just pointing out that real world examples of training kids are just as plentiful. I first fired a gun when my dad took me to range - I don't even remember how young I was at the time. My Boy Scout summer camp had rifle competitions every time I went. One of the best shooters I knew was a couple years younger than I.

Again, I'm not trying to demonize gun ownership or gun fans. My dad is something of a closet gun nut and yet he's also done nothing but advocate gun safey. You'd have a hard time so much as finding a gun in his house. Still, I think it's odd that our culture wants to jump on video games as the "trainer" when so many youth programs are clearly doing a better job.

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