By Danny Y.
With a deep breath, I finally put down the pencil. I closed the booklet and took a quick glance at the clock. I had 30 minutes left before my New Jersey Assessments of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) math test would be over. As always, finishing a long test early always had its drawbacks, and now I had to sit silently for the next hour and a half. However, since I had some pencils and sheet of scrap paper the teachers had handed out for the math portion, I did what all the other students do: draw . . .
The possibilities of what I could draw ran through my head, and I finally settled on sketching a M1911A1. Since fourth grade, I had been heavily interested in military history, especially about World War Two. My studies of WWII, which had consisted of hours of reading books at the library, and reading many articles online, sparked my interest in firearms. I quickly became interested in firearms development, the weapons of WWII, modern firearms, and gun politics. My years of research on firearms, had an M1911A1 firmly etched in my head, so I was easy for me to doodle it.
By the time I had sketched a rudimentary 1911, a teacher walked by my desk, and looked over my drawing (not pictured above). The teacher began freaking out over the fact that a 13-year-old student had drawn a pistol on paper. (I don’t mean any disrespect, because I appreciate and respect the hard work of teachers, but I feel the teacher’s reaction may have been over the tops.) Said teacher had me write my name on the page, for future identification or proof, and then confiscated it and began showing it to other teachers.
Fortunately for me, the two teachers that teacher chose to show my drawing to, were my Social Studies and Language Arts teachers, who already knew about my interest in history and firearms. They were very understanding and shrugged it off like it was no big deal. This was extremely lucky for me. Like most schools around the country, my school had a zero-tolerance policy, and like in the case of the Poptart gun a simple image of a gun could have landed me in a really big mess. At the time, I had recently transferred into the school and was unaware of this policy.
This little story wasn’t written for fun, it’s a call to action. It was to prove how anti-gun our schools have become. To the mothers and fathers who are reading this, your child(ren) are most likely growing up and being educated in an anti-gun atmosphere at school. School has a heavy influence on a child’s views on society and the world, and in recent years, our education system has been becoming more and more afraid of guns and against them in general. These changes are more evident with the implementation of zero-tolerance policies, and the extremely stupid cases of students being suspended over “finger guns” or “Poptart guns” in school. This anti-gun mentality in my school has already affected all the kids in my class.
In a recent class debate I was the only student who was against gun control. So in a class of 25 kids, only one student (me) was pro-gun. These teenagers are going to soon grow up and run our country. Having our future politicians already mostly anti-gun, will not help our gun culture survive in the future, and help to push our agenda of removing draconian and unconstitutional gun laws and regulations.
So what is my call to action? We need to target the younger audiences and educate them on firearms, because the American education system is failing to do its job in that area.
Yes, educating other adults on matters such as gun control and firearms is an important thing to do, but our priorities should be on the younger generations who are to run this country in the future.
As a 14-year-old student, who is the only pro-gun teenager in his class and has grown up in an education system which viewed guns as a “scary, black stick that goes boom and kills people,” I believe that it is time we started enlightening the younger age groups.
Although “infiltrating” schools with pro-gun knowledge and education may not be an option in these years, if parents keep their child(ren) up to date with knowledge on firearms and politics, then we can see a change. These children can help influence our schools in the United States, and perhaps, in the future, bring about change at a national level.
Please educate the young ones.