Quote of the day–Henry David Thoreau

We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun; he is no more humane, while his education has been sadly neglected.


Henry David Thoreau
Walden Chapter 11. Higher Laws
[Thanks to Shyam who suggested I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan who used this quote in his book. I just finished the book about 90 minutes ago. It’s a good book. Perhaps a bit slow and wordy but opinion that might be because I grew up on a farm and have hunted and gathered food as well. A lot of the material covered was already fairly well known to me.


If we could but get the teaching of gun safety and shooting in our schools for all children to learn as they learn to drive automobiles we would be able to win the battle for gun rights. But then if it were taught in the schools that would mean we had already won. So we much teach the children ourselves outside the schools. Still it’s not an impossible task. The improved communication channel of the Internet favor the educated rather than the ignorant and no matter how repressive the anti-gun bigots it’s hard for them to repress our speech, or accomplishments, or recreation, and our way of life without revealing themselves for who they are. They are timid creatures afraid of confronting reality and willing to use the iron hand of government to crush the imaginary demons they manufacture in their narrow little minds from ordinary people who happen to own a gun.–Joe]

1 thought on “Quote of the day–Henry David Thoreau

  1. There was of course a time, not so long ago, when many schools in the U.S. had their own firing ranges, but discussion of such things is now apparently taboo.

    It would be an interesting project to acquire some of the founding documents, detailing the thought behind the creation of these public school and college gun ranges. You (Joe) and I already know the reasons, but most Americans today have never heard of such things.

    There are echoes of these institutional/educational ranges still in existence in the form of boy scout shooting ranges. One of them can be found near Harvard, Idaho at Camp Grizzly. I served as “RO” for an archery class there during summer band camp for Palouse/Garfield students in 2007. I was scheduled to help with a trap shooting (shotgun) class there in 2008 but the whole band camp was cancelled.

    Palouse/Garfield (Washington State) high school has a trap shooting club. Their coach is also the FFA director and Ag teacher (they have one of the top high school agriculture and ag sciences programs in the country, BTW). I taught a shotgun safety course at the school during the 2007/2008 school year, as part of the trap shooting program. We brought shotguns of several action types to show the proper loading and unloading techniques, using inert ammunition of course.

    These things can be done if there are only a few community members committed to the idea (especially if they happen to be on the school board). Sure; there are always a few protesters, but these banshees eventually shut up and slink away if properly ignored. As I recall, the school principal merely pointed out that a gun club was no more dangerous than an ag shop or a wood shop, and in fact probably much safer. One could go farther and point out that many kids hunt and shoot on their own, and that it might be good for everyone if these kids had some occasional instruction, guidance and supervision outside the home. One might further draw parallels between school shooting classes and school driver’s education programs, while pointing out the fact that traffic accident injuries are vastly more likely than shooting accidents.

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