The Hibbing Minnesota School District has become a battleground in the culture wars around the Second Amendment. When the Lincoln Elementary School was being built in 1956, it was seen as reasonable and proper to include a gun range in the basement. The range has been in continuous use for almost 60 years. The range has a spotless safety record. There have not been any injuries in the entire 60 year history of its operation. From hibbingmn.com:
Director Jeff Polcher noted that there have been zero incidents at the gun range in its nearly 60-year existence. He said requiring a safety officer to be in charge of granting access to the gun range could resolve some of the issues.
“Now someone raised a stink literally two weeks ago and now we’re talking about shutting down a landmark of the school district,” Polcher said. “No one has never been injured down there. The perception that guns are harmful is wrong. Guns are a way of life up here.”
Such a spotless safety record is only possible in a culture of individual and community responsibility. People from other places have decided that the range cannot be allowed because “guns!” Superintendent Brad Johnson made these comments. From hibbingmn.com:
“People are more sensitive than they used to be,” said Johnson. “There are concerns from people who are here for activities or events from other towns who are seeing people going down to the rifle range. It’s causing lots of questions and concerns.”
The school district quickly caved to a tiny minority of “concerns” while telling the community that it was not caving. The range was closed, indefinitely, while the Superintendent made noises about it not being “closed”. From hibbingmn.com:
“We’re not closing the gun range,” said Superintendent Brad Johnson. “No one said we’re shutting it down and I’m sick of hearing it. As the superintendent, I’m trying to find an amicable solution.”At the Oct. 5 meeting, the school board formed a committee to research ways to ensure safety while allowing access to the gun range. Due to safety concerns from the community, the gun range was temporarily closed and will remain that way until there’s a solution in place.
Consider this. A local institution, in use for 60 years with a spotless safety record, is closed on the mere disapproval of few gun haters. It is not maintained in operation while a committee investigates. It is immediately shut down on emotion, with no evidence of any problem.