Gun range opens at N.C. high school

Most public schools have 'zero tolerance' for weapons.

FILE PHOTO: (MARIETTA, GA.) In this Wednesday 9/27/00 portrait photo we see Ashley Smith, 11, holding the remnants of a chain on her keyring that got her suspended from the school for 10 days. The school's principal told Ashley and her parents that the chain violated the school district's "zero tolerance" policy on weapons. What Ashley is holding in this photo is what is left of the chain. School officials removed several inches of the chain (approximately 3-4 inches, according to Ashley and her parents) before giving it back to Ashley as you see it here in this photo. PHOTO BY ANDY SHARP/STAFF.

In 2000, an 11-year-old girl was booted from Cobb County schools because her 'Tweety bird' wallet chain was considered as dangerous as a sword. Not sure whatever happened to young Ashley Smith -- she'd be 27 today -- but hopefully she didn't grow up to rob banks with toys.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a public school has opened a shooting range .

The six-lane facility is used to train members of the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Smithfield-Selma High School.

The pellet guns used by students are probably more dangerous than a thin wallet chain, but training makes it safe, says the person being paid to teach kids how to shoot.

Students have to be able to score a perfect 100 on a shooting test before actually using the training facility, which seems backwards. So far only four students have qualified. Maybe more kids could pass the shooting test if they were allowed to practice at the training facility where they take the test?

Students also have to sign a "safety pledge."

"You have to have the trust in others that they ... are not going to harm you and you’re not going to harm them," said one trusting cadet.

I'm not sure shooting ranges at schools are the best use of our tax dollars. I learned to shoot the old fashioned way -- shooting bottles off fence posts at home.

But, it seems I learned a lot of things at home -- like "character" and "perseverance" -- they now try to teach at schools.

Guns seem to be more acceptable in places of learning these days.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal is pondering whether or not he will put his name on a "Campus Carry" bill that would allow guns on college campuses . No training required.

What's next? Gun ranges in Georgia high schools?

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