Students at Craver Middle School in Colorado City spent Monday and Tuesday learning everything about safely handling guns — where they’ve come from, why we have them, and how to shoot them.
“We’re teaching them about the firearms so they are familiar with them, they can be safe with them,” program coordinator Jim Heath said.
“It’s a lot of guns to have in a school, especially because you don’t have this many just at your house or something,” 8th grade student Courtney Proctor said.
Heath, a state coordinator of Project Appleseed, brought the three day program to Craver Middle School. 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 like 8th grader Courtney Proctor already had experience. “I feel OK, because I’ve been shooting a lot when I was younger with my parents,” she said.
Volunteers from Project Appleseed and the NRA worked with the students to eliminate the element of fear associated with guns. It’s the group’s third consecutive year bringing the program to Craver Middle School.
“I think it’s pretty cool, it’s something that you don’t get to see everyday. It’s something that you just get to come in and say ‘Wow, look at all these just nice, awesome firearms,'” 7th grade student Tristin Baker said.
Baker said only halfway into the class he had already taken away an important message.
“You should never be afraid of a gun, never, ever,” Baker said. “You should have confidence around the guns, you should say, ‘this is a gun, we’ve gotta be careful with this.’ Even though we should never trust guns, we should always be careful with them.”
These skills were put to the test Wednesday, when students spent the entire day at a gun range, this time, with loaded guns.