Anti-gunners are reportedly furious about a recent field trip to a Woodstock, Ga., gun range by youngsters from a local private school, but the gun range owner is defending the trip, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta.
The controversy ignited after images of youngsters handling firearms appeared on Facebook, the station reported.
The station quoted Tammy Dorsten, owner of the Holdheide Academy in Woodstock, who said parents had approved the “hands-on” lesson that correlated with lessons about Annie Oakley and Davy Crockett, two American folk heroes. Apparently, only two students actually made the trip, and contrary to some reports, they were not pre-schoolers, but first and second-graders.
“It was definitely a part of our Georgia-approved curriculum,” she told the station.
On the Academy’s Facebook page, it is clearly noted that “parents were informed of the trip beforehand and we had signed permission slips the day of the event.”
Dorsten, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, had received death threats after the story spread across social media.
And now the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is getting mixed up in the controversy. That agency released a statement: “We are currently investigating to determine what children were involved in the field trip and whether it is within DECAL’s jurisdiction to take appropriate actions.”
By no small coincidence, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has just released an Industry Intelligence Report that revealed, among other things, that in the two decades between 1995 and 2015, accidental firearms-related fatalities among children aged 14 and under declined a startling 73.5 percent.
The NSSF report, based on data in the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2017 edition and other sources, also noted that, “Firearms are involved in just 1.2 percent of unintentional fatalities among children 14 years of age and under, and are among the least likely types of unintentional fatalities among children.”
Gun range owner Sean Jerguson told the station that there had been other groups from private and home-schools visit the range.
So, what is the problem, really?
Fox News may have provided a hint by publishing a message posted on the Academy’s Facebook page from someone who signed herself as Jessica James.
“Taking young children to a gun range? Taking pictures of young children posing with their finger on the trigger? Unacceptable, irresponsible, and dangerous,” James reportedly wrote.
It was not clear whether James is a parent of one of the academy’s students, or just someone sounding off.
Interestingly, it appears the majority of Facebook comments support the academy’s field trip. One man, Mark Morrison, observed, “It’s just leftists doing what leftists do. Freaking out about guns and anything associated with them. If you took the kids to a trans day camp where they explored the 266 types of gender they would be ecstatic. You can’t fix stupid. Good on you for out-of-the-box thinking and an education that doesn’t keep them chained to a desk.”
Holdheide’s Facebook page message noted that, “This WAS NOT a lesson on guns. The only guns that were shown were an 1894 Winchester rifle and a 6 shooter from the same era.”
But it has evidently turned into a lesson on politics and extremism. What are the children supposed to learn from that?