May 3, 2013

Scott Dalrymple’s May 2 op-ed, “The day I took a gun to school,” reminded me of an experience I had in high school: the day the administrators brought guns to school. 

I attended James Madison High School in Vienna in the mid-1980s.  A series of classes within our driver education course was dedicated to hunter safety. These classes included many interesting topics, such as how to build a water still from simple materials to prolong survival in the desert. It also included lessons on gun safety. During one of these lessons, some of the school administrators brought in their shotguns and demonstrated how to set the safety and properly handle the firearm. The guns were not loaded or fired.

I never understood why this was part of driver education, but to this day I delight in showing off my Virginia hunter safety certificate, courtesy of my suburban Fairfax County high school.

Charlene E. Gomes, Silver Spring

I also took a gun to school 50 years ago. In fact, most of the boys did as part of our costumes for our annual Oklahoma Heritage Day. Of course, they were all toy guns (we assumed), but today even those would not be allowed.

As with Scott Dalrymple, I put away my guns as toys of youth and don’t feel the need for one now. Unlike Mr. Dalrymple, though, I am not inclined to accept the decision of a few people as the best way forward regarding gun control for everyone.

I have come to believe that America is so diverse that a single gun-control or gun-rights regime cannot be made satisfactory to everyone. What is best for the rural areas is not necessarily best in the metropolitan areas and vice versa. My imperfect solution would be to amend the Second Amendment to allow each state, county and city greater leeway to define its own gun laws as best befits the people in that jurisdiction.

Charles Holliman, Alexandria