The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

So It’s Alright…

…for kids to listen to music that talks about shooting people, and watch movies and shows where people get shot, but it’s not okay for them to learn about gun safety in school?

Our General Assembly passed a bill this year that allowed local school boards to include gun safety in their teaching curriculm if they desired. Here’s the text of the entire bill:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 22.1-204.1 as follows:

§ 22.1-204.1. Firearm safety education program.

Local school boards may provide firearm safety education programs for students in the elementary school grades. To assist local school boards electing to provide firearm safety education programs, the Board of Education shall establish curriculum guidelines for a standardized program of firearm safety education for the elementary school grades to promote the protection and safety of children enrolled in the public schools. The curriculum guidelines shall incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules upon which the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program offered by the National Rifle Association is based. Local school boards electing to provide firearm safety education shall offer instruction pursuant to the Board’s curriculum guidelines and shall integrate firearm safety education into appropriate subject areas, if feasible, to ensure that every elementary grade student completes the course of study in firearm safety education.

Yeah, that’s revolutionary. God forbid kids learn how to handle weapons safely.


And yet, people are objecting…not because of what’s being taught, but who’s providing a lesson plan:

In another example of the degree to which he’s prepared to pander to his allies in the political fringe, Gov. Bob McDonnell has taken action to give the National Rifle Association an exclusive mandate to “educate” all primary school children in Virginia on their idea of gun safety.

In the 2010 session, HB1217 was introduced as a firearms safety measure to be added to the K-6th grade curriculum of public schools. This legislation would require the Board of Education to adopt curriculum guidelines using the National Rifle Association materials.

I’m pro-2nd Amendment, but not so much so that I’d join the NRA (or Gun Owners of America, which I’ve heard is the more conservative of the two). I still getting used to my friends in the VCDL who carry openly; it’s just strange to me. That said, if someone’s willing to offer schools a way to teach gun safety and responsibility in a way that kids can relate to and understand, I’m not going to turn them away. Especially if those lesson plans happen to be of positive benefit to the inner city, where guns are all too prevalent.

Again, God forbid.

But, another issue: coming up in the military, I learned the difference between “shall,” “will,” and “may.” Shall was something you said when there way a task that, if not done exactly, would kill you, will was something used to suggest that a direction was in your best benefit, and may gave you options. Using that logic, do you see an “exclusive mandate” for the NRA in the bill text above? If there’s a school system that doesn’t like the NRA’s plans, they’ve got the option to come up with something better…or to not do anything at all.

The vote on final passage of this bill will take place today. We’ll see who’s willing to do the right thing for the people I live with.

HB2DF, Coby


Written by Coby Dillard

April 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

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