Thursday, October 22, 2009

Students Taking Pledge Not To Use Guns To Settle Disputes

The Student Pledge Against Gun Violence, a Minnesota based organization, is asking students across America to take an anti gun violence Pledge this month through their schools.

October 21st, 2009 was the latest Day of National Concern About Young People and Gun Violence. However, thousands of students will be taking the anti gun violence pledge throughout October.

In some areas, such as Birmingham, Alabama, as many as 80 kids out of 100 carry guns. That is a frightening and ominous statistic. Some ten year olds have even had gun charges there. This pledge asks students not to carry guns and not to use them when they are angry.

On the surface, the pledge does not seem to be overtly anti-gun ownership. Nor is it known who the financial backers of the organization are. However, it is likely that many liberal public school teachers who administer the pledge will put their own anti gun ownership spin on the program and the pledge to influence students to their liberal way of anti firearms thinking.

The Pledge organization says that, “Each student will be give two copies of the pledge. One is a copy for himself/herself and the other goes to the most trusted adult in his or her life: a parent, a teacher, a minister or rabbi, an older sibling, grandparents, or a counselor. The students will be asked to remember that they have signed a contract and made a promise; the older adult can remind them of that importance of that promise.”

Here's the pledge for older students:

“I will never bring a gun to school;

I will never use a gun to settle a personal problem or dispute;

I will use my influence with my friends to keep them from using guns to settle disputes.

My individual choices and actions, when multiplied by those of young people throughout the country, will make a difference. Together, by honoring this pledge, we can reverse the violence and grow up in safety.”

And, there's a simpler pledge for younger students, sounding like it comes from the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" gun safety program.

"If I see a gun, I won't touch it.

I will remember that any gun I see might be loaded.

I know how important it is to keep myself safe."

Unfortunately, this pledge will not be taken by school drop outs, a significant portion of young people. They will never be exposed to this particular anti violence by guns pledge. Alabama, for example, with its high illegal youth gun use, is cited in one study as ranking 44th in graduation the nation, with a 66.2 percent graduation rate in 2006 , well below the national rate of 74 percent. Even worse is Detroit, where Education Week, a weekly education newspaper did a study showing that the Detroit school dropout rate is 75%. Education Weekly also showed that in 2006 that the Washington D.C. graduation rate fell to 48.8 percent, down 8.8 percentage points from the previous year.

Teenage dropout "Gang Bangers" and self styled "Gangstas," who comprise a significant portion of so called “children” reported killed or injured by guns in studies highly promoted by Brady type groups will not be taking any pledge. That is, except pledges to their fellow gang members to keep rival gangs off their home turf by any means at their disposal, including the use of illegal guns.

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