From safety, good sense about guns is emerging

Might be I’m misreading the tea leaves a bit here.

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Still, it’s worth a mention.

For several years now, I’ve been helping to teach a basic hunter education course. Most states now require them before you can purchase a hunting license.

These courses cover firearms safety, conservation, ethics, first aid, and survival — to name a few of the topics — plus there’s both a written and a firearms-handling test on the last night.

The results from such courses have been remarkable. Since states began requiring them, the number of hunting accidents nationwide has plummeted.

I’ve wandered a bit off course here because I was going to tell you about something I’ve noticed over the past several years.

Maybe it’s part of what started when “9/11” happened and people truly realized that there are, indeed, individuals and groups out there who are bent on causing harm whenever and wherever they can.

Maybe it’s part of what started when we developed a program whereby airline pilots could be armed.

True, that was a small part of a wider change – arming highly trained and extremely competent individuals to whom we’ve already entrusted mega-million dollar aircraft and several hundred lives – but we did it and many of us wondered why we hadn’t done it a long time before.

Still, since it’s been implemented and I ride a lot easier knowing that, if a bunch of loons attempt to take over an airliner in order to fly it into the side of an immovable object, there are individuals up front with the wherewithal to say “Sorry, sport, not on my watch.”

Maybe it’s part of what started when more and more of us simply got tired of reading or hearing about all of the outrages that can happen to us and took to heart the old saying that police are only minutes away, but the time you have might be measured in seconds.

I’m not sure when it started or why, but what I’ve observed over the past several years is that all of our classes are filling up much faster and a lot earlier each year and that it’s not just men taking the course. More young boys and girls are signing up and women are taking the course too.

What’s remarkable about this is the fact that we live in a time wherein young boys and girls can be expelled from school for pointing fingers at one another and saying “bang” and there are still moms and dads willing to take their kids (and themselves) through a course wherein these same boys and girls can – safely – be introduced to firearms and, then, take up the sport themselves.

I’ll get a few e-mails on this one. Normal stuff. “Guns are evil.” “Gun owners are Neanderthals.” “We’re teaching kids to kill.”

None of which are, by the way, true.

What is true, however, is that kids going through the course that emphasizes firearms safety with their parents is a good thing. For sure it’s better than learning about firearms through all of the foolishness that they see at a movie or on television.

In addition to this, I have a good friend who teaches a basic handgun safety course. He tells me that his courses have been filling up as soon as he offers them, that he could fill as many courses as he wanted to teach and, again, that it’s not just men taking his course.

There’s also been a huge surge in gun and ammunition sales since the recent presidential election. Likely, this is based on the belief that – given the beliefs and prior statements of many in the current administration as regards firearms – more restrictive laws are coming and many individuals wish to purchase while they can.

But what I’ve seen has been going on since long before this past election.

Americans are a pragmatic people. Most understand that firearms are simply tools that need to be handled carefully and with respect. Most know that proper training in the handling of firearms is important. Many also simply wish to pass on a hunting tradition to their kids.

From what I’m seeing though, maybe, just maybe, some common sense as regards the place of firearms in our society is making a comeback.

Lord, I’d sure like to think so.

Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Sen. June Robinson, D-Everett, left, and Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, right, embrace after a special session to figure out how much to punish drug possession on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in Olympia, Wash. Without action, Washington's drug possession law will expire July 1, leaving no penalty in state law and leaving cities free to adopt a hodgepodge of local ordinances.  (Karen Ducey/The Seattle Times via AP)
Editorial: Robinson smart choice to head Senate budget panel

A 10-year legislative veteran, the Everett senator displays a mastery of legislation and negotiation.

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Sept. 26

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Randall Tharp’s month recovery coins after battling a fentanyl addiction.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fentanyl crisis should force rethinking of approach

A continuum of care, that includes treatment in jails, is imperative, says a journalist and author.

School buses need seat belts and limits on capacity

My name is Grace Davis and I am a seventh-grade middle schooler… Continue reading

Congress must reauthorize funding act for Alzheimer’s research

With more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 120,000… Continue reading

Comment: Democrats have nothing to gain by backing Menendez

Unlike the loss of Al Franken, encouraging the New Jersey senator to go doesn’t cost the Democrats much.

Comment: Amid union victories, labor still faces big challenges

Federal regulations, such as the Taft-Hartley Act, have long stymied labor’s efforts to gain members.

Comment: Desantis’ $2 gas pledge should terrify Texas

He can’t get there unless oil is trading below $55 a barrel; nobdy wants to revisit those days.

Flowers bloom on the end of a dead tree on Spencer Island on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Restore salmon habitat but provide view of its work

Comments are sought on a plan to restore fish habitat to the island east of Everett with popular trails.

Most Read