THE BLOG

What's Next? 5 Year-Olds with RPGs?

08/28/2014 04:55 pm ET | Updated Oct 28, 2014

Like many kids in the late '70s/early '80s, I attended summer camp in the Catskills.

One of the activities for our group -- a group of about 20 rambunctious boys of 11-12 years-old-- was Riflery.

This was in the days before schools and shopping malls turned into the Wild West and your son/daughter needed a bodyguard to go the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Our instructor, a guy named Jeff, whom I assumed to be in his 40s, would lead us down a huge hill to this field in the middle of nowhere, where the only thing visible for miles was the gazebo we stood inside and the targets we fired at.

Jeff would line us up, about five at a time, on our bellies and put a fully-loaded .22 caliber rifle in our hands. At which point, we would fire several shots at the targets, as instructed.

Never did it even occur to anyone that one in our group may turn and fire the gun at one of us. Never.

Boy, how times have changed.

Can you imagine, in today's world, a lone instructor leading a group of two dozen prepubescent boys into the middle of nowhere and putting loaded weapons in their hands? Within sixty seconds, Twitter would be flooded with tweets from people lambasting the irresponsible mothers who let their sons wander off with some crackpot into the wilderness, while gun advocates all over the world would be shamelessly calling these mothers ignorant and over-protective. God forbid one of those kids decides he doesn't like another one and puts a bullet through him. That's where the preachers and politicians step in and marches down Main Street are organized and the instructor is publicly crucified.

Back then, we had just as many arguments and problems as the kids of today do; e.g. arrogant bullies, quiet loners, incessant teasing of the weak by the strong, etc., etc., But, no matter the conflict, we never took it past our fists. It simply wasn't in our DNA.

It would have been so completely foreign and unfathomable for anyone to even broach the subject of one camper shooting another, the person who suggested it would've most likely been committed for psychiatric observation.

And now, fast-forward several decades and if you as a parent or an administrator, don't provide a contingency plan in the event one of your students decides to play Dirty Harry with the others, you'll be brought up on charges of negligent homicide.

After all we've seen in recent years, for a 9 year-old child to be allowed to fire a FULLY-LOADED SUBMACHINE GUN, practically unrestricted, is just mind-boggling. Not that I think there was any intent to kill on the part of the girl, but, should there have been, would the story have been any different? We're already conditioned to kids killing on a routine basis, so, all we'd really be talking about is the "freedom" to allow a child to possess a fully-functional Uzi. What kind of freedom is that?

How can this ignorant, irresponsible behavior in the name of the second amendment be allowed to continue? Oh. I forgot. It's the United States of Ammunition. My bad.