Students in the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Smithfield-Selma High School used the school’s new 1,200 square foot, six-lane indoor shooting range for the first time this week, according to a report on WRAL.com.
Smithfield-Selma’s JROTC members hand-built the range over the last five months with $10,000 from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Predictably, the anti-gun media jumped all over the school’s decision.
“What will the students use to practice their shooting skills?” Inquisitr screeched. “Many experts have pointed out that gun ranges at high school is a very bad idea. Apart from the risk of nurturing a lethal killer, many have questioned about the immediate safety of other students due to the presence of firearms on campus.”
There’s just one problem. Students who use the range won’t be using firearms—they’ll be using Daisy air rifles and pellets. They’ll also undergo an extensive safety test and be required to observe strict safety measures while on the range.
“There’s a marksmanship safety test they have to take, and they have to get a 100 on it,” Commander David Wegman told WRAL. “In addition to that, they have to sign a safety pledge, get permission from home and then finally demonstrate on the range that they know how to handle one of these air rifles safely.”
The shooting range poses no threat, Wegman continued. “The procedures that we have in place ensure that we do the same thing, the same way, every single time.”
Only JROTC members are eligible for certification. Four are currently certified, though Wegman said he would like to certify all the seniors by the fall.
Inquisitr acknowledged these facts, but not before a little good-old-fashioned fear-mongering. “Given the rising instances of mass shootings in schools and the added danger of students carrying lethal weapons,” the author opined, “it is simply unwise to offer these impressionable minds a venue to improve their marksmanship without leaving high school premises.”
I imagine that could sound more condescending, but I’m not sure how. The author concluded with this gem:
“Amidst the rising incidents of gun violence on campus, experts stress it is not the guns, but the art of conflict resolution that should be handed to the students. Many argue guns and shooting ranges aren’t meant for high school students as these ranges teach a violent skill.”
Never mind the fact that members of the JROTC will likely need to learn marksmanship to defend Inquisitr’s right to publish such nonsense. Never mind the fact that air guns could never be used to perpetrate a mass shooting. Never mind the safety tests and adult oversight.
No, the anti-gun media will take any opportunity to push their agenda, no matter how ridiculous their arguments.
Kudos to the Smithfield-Selma JROTC. They’ve done a great job, and hopefully, other JROTC programs will follow their lead.