‘I have been brought up around guns all my life,’ New Hampshire student pens op-ed for New York Times on what it’s like to be a teenage gun-owner

“It can be uncomfortable to be a gun-owning teenager right now, when high schools have become the centers of gun control protests.”

Students participate in a walkout on March 14 to protest gun violence and honor victims of the Parkland shooting at James Logan High School in Union City, California.

As kids across the country prepare to participate in the March for Our Lives on Saturday, one New Hampshire student is explaining to the world what it is like to be a teenage gun-owner at a time when rigorous debates and demonstrations over gun control are taking place at schools across the country.

In an op-ed for The New York Times titled, “Why I Didn’t Join My School’s Walkout,” Dakota Hanchett says classmates don’t understand that firearms are “tools” for some families:

It’s hard to talk about guns, as well as about hunting and farming, at school because no one there knows much about those three topics. They’ve been told not to touch or talk about guns, and some of the kids think it is just absolutely wrong for people to own them. That is their opinion, and I respect it and am open to talking about it. But even if people try to be nice, they don’t really want to debate it.

The junior at Hanover High School does believe in gun control and said there should “be stricter rules that require all gun sellers to do federal background checks.”

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Hanchett also suggested that firearm safety could be taught in schools by police officers.

“When I was 10, I took a hunter safety class through the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at a nearby elementary school at night,” the teen wrote. “It was free to everyone who was interested, and it was very safe because guns were not allowed to be loaded while on school property. I think the people who are afraid of guns should talk to the people who are familiar with them, and both should keep an open mind.”

Read the full op-ed at the Times.

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