Teaching youth gun safety is essential

As Minot Daily News has reported and as many with children or grandchildren in school likely know, youth trap shooting as a school sporting activity has witnessed an increase in interest and in participation.

Many young people are also involved in hunting. It’s part of North Dakota heritage and an aspect of the heritage of many rural states where outdoor sports are a centerpiece of quality of life, as well as providing rights of passage opportunities with a legacy in the country.

Perhaps the most important impact of youth sport shooting and youth hunting is the lessons family members pass on to young people about gun safety. A sporting enthusiast relative is generally going to start lessons for youngsters with basic safety, teaching responsibility and respect for firearms. These lessons result in young men and women growing to become adults with appropriate respect for guns.

It’s also routine for publications such as Minot Daily News, to receive calls and messages critical of stories published about sport shooting and celebrating important moments in young hunters’ lives. Some critics have said that young people shouldn’t be involved in sport shooting or hunting, but rather it should be reserved for adults – although often it seems the subtext is a general disregard for the Second Amendment overall.

This is a conflict featuring a weak argument.

Yes, there is too much gun violence in the country and too many incidents involving young people.

Are those perpetrators current or former young people taught proper care and handling of guns and respect for firearms?

Generally not.

Guns are part of the nation’s legacy and culture. Until and unless Congress or a Supreme Court ruling dismembers the Second Amendment, that is always going to be the case.

So, education and training is bad?

Minot Daily News disagrees. Respect for firearms leads to responsible gun owners, who are not those generally contributing to gun crimes in the country.

There can be a legitimate debate about the parameters of the Second Amendment. Fine.

But the idea of teaching young people respect and responsibility seems a no-brainer.