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Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Old 03-07-19, 01:24 PM
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Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I just returned from doing some volunteering in my daughter’s 5th grade class. 11 year olds. I supervised a reading group. They are reading My Brother Sam is Dead an historical fiction novel about the American Revolution.

I can’t find the text, but here’s a reading from Chapter 4. The relevant parts are around 13:00 and 16:00. Two brothers are fighting over possession of a musket.


The kids’ comprehension was pretty good. But the words they did not know were muzzle, trigger guard, ramrod, and everything about “pulled the horn from around his neck, poured the powder, and loaded the shot.”

Kids today don’t know anything about guns! When I explained that muzzle means like the barrel one kid said, “ Oh like the part you put up to your shoulder?”

They thought the horn meant he had a musical instrument. Like an actual horn. Toot! Toot!

I’m not sure these kids fully grasp what’s going on. There’s not a lot of context clues. The book takes for granted the reader understands these things.

I grew up with guns, had my own gun by second grade, completed the hunters safety course around 10. Repeats of Davey Crockett and maybe some irresponsible mayhem action movies of the ‘80s did the rest. And I was a suburban California kid. Not some farmer’s son.

The book was was written in 1974. I think times are changing.
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Old 03-07-19, 01:26 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Oh and this AFTER a big immersive assembly near the beginning of the year where they dressed as historic figures from the Revolution and even re-enacted a battle with wooden guns and a description of how muskets were loaded was given.
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Old 03-07-19, 02:15 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I grew up in Eastern Kentucky. We had firearm safety training in elementary school, I was given my first rifle when I was eleven, and my high school had a firing range in the basement. I was a high school letter man in sharpshooting.

Of course, now that I'm a latte-sipping big city elitist, I haven't fired a weapon in a couple of decades.
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Old 03-07-19, 03:14 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I think times are changing.
He says while posting on a dying medium from the 90's.
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Old 03-07-19, 04:33 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I grew up in Virginia. Dad taught me firearm safety and gave me my first BB gun at 7 and my first shotgun the following year. I earned my Rifle and Shotgun Shooting merit badge around 12. My experiences were not unusual for someone of my generation and location but I can understand how city folk and upper middle class kids on the left coast especially nowadays might be unfamiliar with firearms as a whole.
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Old 03-07-19, 04:42 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Blame movies and tv. They don't make many frontier shows anymore. That's where we learned about muskets and powder horns. Today's kids don't get a lot of exposure to westerns. Wonder what common things associated with westerns they have no idea of.
Asks your kids what "circle the wagons" means. Not as a metaphor but literally.
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Old 03-07-19, 05:10 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Still trying to figure out why a kid today should need to know anything about powder horns. Don't tell me they stopped teaching telegraphy basics as well!
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Old 03-07-19, 05:27 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Things have certainly changed quickly over the last couple of decades. Seems like Columbine was the start of the change..

I remember in high school kids regularly showing up to school with hunting rifles in their trucks and nobody batted an eye ... and this was in the early '90.
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Old 03-07-19, 05:35 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Yeah, I reckon knowledge of old technology is best left to enthusiasts and scholars. Joe Sixpack Jr. is likely to hurt himself or worse, destroy an irreplaceable antique.
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Old 03-07-19, 06:15 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I think we had to read My Brother Sam Is Dead when I was going to that Jewish school in seventh grade.

I also wonder if this thread is in the wrong forum.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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Old 03-07-19, 07:40 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Well, not that I'm any great fan of guns myself, but this is just another fine example of how the pussification of what we are teaching our "smart" kids continues. Just because I don't necessarly like guns doesn't mean that I wasn't educated about them and gun terminology, etc.

This is revisionism at its worst level. In order to learn about the American Revolution, etc, kids need to know what a muzzle is, what gunpowder is, etc. That's just general and basic knowledge that a 5th grader should have, especially when studying US history and / or reading American literature. Not that it should be forced down the kiddie's throats, but it is something that is naturally assimilated through the early school experience. An 11-old should *know* it, especially the boys.

I guess not anymore, though! My mind is blown...
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Old 03-07-19, 07:56 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by funkyryno View Post
I remember in high school kids regularly showing up to school with hunting rifles in their trucks and nobody batted an eye ... and this was in the early '90.
Kids at my high school did the same thing. Of course we were sort of a hick school so of course no one batted an eye. This was the LATE 90s. I graduated a year before Columbine. My high school is only about 20 minutes drive from Columbine.
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Old 03-07-19, 10:12 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I've quizzed a few 5-year olds on real 101 COBOL and FORTRAN and they don't know any of it. And yet we're in a "democracy" air quotes
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Old 03-08-19, 01:27 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by cultshock View Post
Still trying to figure out why a kid today should need to know anything about powder horns. Don't tell me they stopped teaching telegraphy basics as well!
So they can understand their reading asignment in 5th grade.
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Old 03-08-19, 04:14 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
I've quizzed a few 5-year olds on real 101 COBOL and FORTRAN and they don't know any of it. And yet we're in a "democracy" air quotes
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Old 03-08-19, 08:59 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post

So they can understand their reading asignment in 5th grade.
I don't understand your logic, should the reader have an understanding of 19th century whaling before reading Moby Dick?
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Old 03-08-19, 09:11 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by Talkin2Phil View Post
I don't understand your logic, should the reader have an understanding of 19th century whaling before reading Moby Dick?
It probably wouldn't hurt to know some of the basics. But Americans' understanding of their history is so woeful that knowing the difference between a muzzle loader and a flintlock isn't going to help.
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Old 03-08-19, 09:22 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

I grew up in the inner city, only drug dealers and gangsters had guns.
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Old 03-08-19, 10:04 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Today's kids don't understand a rotary phone. I wouldn't expect them to do any better with revolutionary war era items. As a kid in the 60's there were westerns and Davy Crockett on TV. My father was a war history buff so if there was a war movie on TV we watched it. We also went on field trips to museums, Fort Niagara and Gettysburg. Not the least bit unusual for pre-teens to have BB guns, pellet guns or .22's. These have all largely been nixed today. Seeing that they have no opportunity to be exposed to it. It doesn't surprise me they have never heard of such a thing.
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Old 03-08-19, 10:44 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Today's kids don't understand a rotary phone. I wouldn't expect them to do any better with revolutionary war era items. As a kid in the 60's there were westerns and Davy Crockett on TV. My father was a war history buff so if there was a war movie on TV we watched it. We also went on field trips to museums, Fort Niagara and Gettysburg. Not the least bit unusual for pre-teens to have BB guns, pellet guns or .22's. These have all largely been nixed today. Seeing that they have no opportunity to be exposed to it. It doesn't surprise me they have never heard of such a thing.

This is the episode "Party invitation" from season 1 of Leave It To Beaver. Beaver is the only boy at a girl's birthday party. When Beaver wanders into the den, the girl's father lets Beaver hold real guns.

Skip to 20:40

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x54dcuy
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Old 03-08-19, 11:19 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

That’s classic. That guy just keeps handing over guns without checking if they’re loaded. Not the best safe handling practices.
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Old 03-08-19, 11:24 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by Talkin2Phil View Post
I don't understand your logic, should the reader have an understanding of 19th century whaling before reading Moby Dick?
Uh, yeah. And they should be pretty well versed in archaic sailing terminology too. Or have a dictionary handy.

I remember reading Melville’s Billy Bud in high school. A lot of the context had to be explained to us. For instance the book just starts talking about “the press gang” without any explanation. I guess back in the day readers knew what that was.

And thats what I’m talking about. Providing context. I had to provide these kids with context so they’d understand the story. I was surprised it was necessary. That’s all.
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Old 03-08-19, 11:49 AM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
That’s classic. That guy just keeps handing over guns without checking if they’re loaded. Not the best safe handling practices.
Ward and June slept in separate beds too, so let's not let a '50s sitcom inform us about the societal norms of the day.
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Old 03-08-19, 12:47 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Observing that fact actually does tell us about the norms of the time. They slept that way due to advertisers’ concerns that audiences would find it inappropriate. That says a lot.
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Old 03-08-19, 01:30 PM
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Re: Kids and Guns (not a school shooting thread)

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Today's kids don't understand a rotary phone....
Hell, lots of kids (and adults, for that matter) have difficulty operating a baseball cap correctly.



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