Firearms Classes Taught Me, and America, a Very Dangerous Lesson

Harel Shapira, past Member (2021–22) in the School of Social Science, provides a first-hand account of civilian firearms training and offers insight into the psychology of gun ownership and its broader societal impact.

"I did not grow up around guns, but 10 years ago, I started attending firearms training classes. I wasn’t there to learn how to protect myself or my family. I was there to learn what was taught in the classes themselves, which a broad coalition of groups — including many police officers, Republican and Democratic legislators and gun violence prevention organizations — have hailed as a path out of the nation’s epidemic of violence.

I found something very different. The classes I attended trained students to believe that their lives are in constant danger. They prepared us to shoot without hesitation and avoid legal consequences. They instilled the kind of fear that has a corrosive effect on all interactions — and beyond that, on the fabric of our democracy."

Read more at New York Times.