Saturday, February 21, 2015

Grades for Trades

Kid with a gunIn an effort to stem the tide of what seems to be an epidemic of accidental shootings at the hands of children, some cities are looking at a novel solution: asking children to turn in their firearms. The incentive? Receiving a good grade.

One official who chose to remain anonymous due to the possibility of threats from the NRA said, “It seems like you can’t go a day without hearing about some kid shooting another kid...or an adult. We think it could work to get guns out of the hands of children if we guarantee a passing grade in one of their classes.”

When asked how the program would work, he said, “Well, we haven’t worked out all the details yet. We’re thinking that the bigger the gun, the better the grade. Turn in a .22, get a C. A .38 Special would get you a B. A .45 Magnum? Definitely an A. We’re thinking of factoring in the difficulty of the class, too. If you want an A in Calculus, you’re going to have to cough up the big ones. It’s a win-win situation. Fewer guns in the hands of kids, and smarter kids. At least on paper.”

He went on to say that they are also considering a scholarship program. “If you turn in something like an AK-47, you deserve to get a break when it comes to college. Since you’ll be getting better grades through this program, you’re also more likely to get into college.”

NRA spokesmodel Tammy Sue Spratt reacted strongly to the possible program in an issued statement:
“It’s a child’s God-given right to own a firearm. We feel that this is more important than vaccines. A child can fight off those diseases. You can’t shoot a virus, but you can shoot the neighbor kid trying to steal your bike. The only way to stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun.”
When an official at the CDC was asked about the program, he placed his face in his palm and muttered, “You have got to be kidding me.”


This was a silly bit of fun that came to me the other morning. It’s really no laughing matter, though. Although the statistics are out there, it seems that there has been no comprehensive study of the numbers of children who shoot others, either accidentally or deliberately. It does seem to me that this seems to be happening more frequently, but maybe it has always happened, and we just hear about it more. The NRA has tried to block the CDC from studying gun violence as a public health issue, which strikes me as beyond absurd. Gun violence in this country is most certainly an issue that affects every American. President Obama attempted to direct the CDC to pursue this after the Sandy Hook shooting, but sadly, the CDC remains in fear of losing funding from a Congress whose balls are tightly in the grip of the NRA.

One can only imagine the long-term psychological effects such a shooting would have on a child, especially if they are old enough to realize that they have just harmed or killed a person...perhaps even their sibling or their parent. And yet...this still keeps happening and we ignore the consequences. It will continue to happen until people figure out that the NRA is not a benevolent organization. They are nothing more than shills for gun manufacturers.