In most states, it is illegal to have a gun on school property. Now, in North Carolina, lawmakers are opening up to the idea of having gun safety education classes offered as a high school elective. This is a great bill, and all high schools should think about implementing a gun safety course into their curriculum.

House Bill 612 proposes a comprehensive firearms education course in which students will learn the, “history, mathematics, and science related to firearms and firearm safety.” Law enforcement officials and firearm agencies will help to create the curriculum. It is important to note that the bill strictly prohibits the presence of any ammunition to ensure the safety of the students and instructors.

samantha moore/ Art director

samantha moore/ Art director

It is so important to take care of a gun properly and is something that often gets overlooked and first time gun owners forget about. For example,  Gguns can not be shoved in a closet for three years then used without cleaning them thoroughly. This can cause the gun to misfire and, in extreme cases, can lead to death.

Opponents of this bill say that high school students are too young for such a class. Under federal law, however, people over the age of 18 can buy shotguns and rifles. To put that into perspective, most people turn 18 before graduating their senior year of high school.

This course could be really groundbreaking for future generations of students. In 2015, there were 489 deaths in the United States due to unintentional firearm discharges. Many of those being people under the age of 25.

This course would not be designed to promote gun use or promote students to bring guns to school;, rather, it would teach them how to be safe around guns if they ever were put into that situation.

In high school, health class covers everything from pregnancy prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and drug awareness, to CPR certification and how to do the heimlich on a person who is choking. I think it would be so smart to add a section on gun violence awareness and gun safety o. Or even have an entire class for students to take if they plan on owning guns and using them. It makes sense. It is something these kids may be exposed to and it’s important to equip them with knowledge that could save their life.

Ignorance is not bliss in this case. Anyone who has ever held and shot a firearm can tell you that the first time is always a little intimidating. In the hands of a user, guns have the power to take a life. It is horrible how many fall victim to gun violence every day. It is even worse to allow more people to die because they are not educated on how to properly handle and take care of a gun.

Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at asalerno@kscequinox.com