Students at Craver Middle School in Colorado City spent three days in March learning everything about safely handling guns—where they’ve come from, why we have them, and how to shoot them, as well as a thing or two about the American Revolutionary War. It’s the third consecutive year that Project Appleseed has reached out to students at Craver Middle School.
“We’re teaching them about the firearms so they are familiar with them, they can be safe with them,” state program coordinator Jim Heath of Project Appleseed said in an interview with KOAA Channel 5. In between the classroom training, shooting instructions and drills, the instructors share stories about specific individuals who played an important part in the American Revolution.
Project Appleseed started back in 2006 with the goal of “teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills”. The course aims to teach people across the country how to fire weapons accurately and safely, with a foundation of American history.
“I think that it’s better for them to have a respect for it [and] know how to handle it,” Heath said. “Not that they should, but that they are aware about the firearm. It’s not, ‘Oh, what’s this? What can we do with this?'”
Many students already had experience with firearms, having gone shooting with their parents, so they were more comfortable with guns. However, for those unfamiliar with firearms, Project Appleseed volunteers worked with the students to eliminate the element of fear associated with guns.
The goal of the program is to teach students that they should never be afraid of a gun, but should have confidence around guns, and to be careful with them.
When it’s not in a school setting, Project Appleseed is a rifle marksmanship training program that focuses on teaching traditional rifle marksmanship from standing, sitting/kneeling, and prone positions over a two-day weekend shooting clinic. It is one of the major activities of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that teaches and promotes traditional rifle marksmanship, while also teaching American heritage and history with the intent of encouraging people to become active civically.
Should we encourage more classroom programs to teach firearm safety at an early age?
What are your thoughts on this idea?