Today at tutoring I had a 10 minute conversation with a 6th grader….about guns. To preface, I’m mildly worried/freaked out by this kid to start with. All I ever hear him talk about is guns or weapons of some sort. Any assignment I’ve seen him do where he was creative liberty on the topic, it’s something about guns, bows, or weapons. No one else seems to be concerned about this, but it freaks me out.
Anyway, tonight he was bored and decided he liked me so he kept talking to me. He says, “Do you think there should be like two well trained men with guns in every school, to prevent something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?” I told him I didn’t know what I thought, for several reasons. For one, I don’t think that’s something appropriate to talk about at school, or for a “teacher” to discuss with students, and I honestly am not sure how I feel about it. So anyway, then he goes on to tell me about this “stupid girl” who said that you shouldn’t fight violence with violence and that having people with guns in schools wouldn’t be benefitting anyone. He said he told her that she wouldn’t be able to fight someone with her hands if that person had a gun. Now, this was the point when I was going to tell him that he shouldn’t call her a “stupid girl” or think that her opinion is stupid, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, he didn’t give me a change to interject. He just launched into a 10 minute conversation (if you could call it that, because he was basically talking at me) about guns. He was telling me about all this training people can do to become eligible to carry around assault weapons, and then he explained the difference between two types of assault weapons, how you reload them, and what they’re like to shoot (complete with sound effects). Then he started talking about other guns and what it is like to shoot them, including how it felt the first time he shot that specific gun. He’s in 6th grade. These guns aren’t typical hunting rifles. He explained how when you’re just shooting a gun at a target, you’ll get a big kick-back, because you’re focusing so much on what the backfire will be like, but if you’re shooting at a moving target, you’ll be more focused on the target, therefore causing less backfire. I couldn’t really respond at all, because I don’t know anything about guns, and I was just too freaked out that all of this was coming from a 6th grader. Maybe it’s because I’m not from a hunting family. But is this normal?!