BP in school?


October 13, 2008, 11:27 AM
The recent "what got you started in BP" reminded me of a Jr High ( middle school these days) American history class in the '60s. Our extremely liberal first year teacher of American History got to the War Between the States section and suggested that the next school day folks should bring items from that era to school.

She did handle herself quite well when the results you guys might expect occurred.

Allison brought in her great to the nth granpappy's 1851 Col Navy, Billy Joe brought in his great the the nth granddaddy's three band Enfield (and a really neat story about his grand dad using it in the great depression for hunting), SOme other kid brought in his great to the nth's grandpa's 1861 Contract rifled musket and Whispering Bill brought in a Spencer Carbine supposedly picked up near Chattanooga by a great to the nth gramps. A guy from a class ahead loaned his Sharps Carbine which dispite his hopes of it being a bring back his dad appearently bought from Bannermans or some such in the 1930's. I only brought in some minie balls and round shot from a recent family vacation that took us through Virginia.

I am trying to imagine such a show and tell in a "modern" and "improved" public school today.

Anyone else?

BTW my son's private school principal has expresssed and interst in parents doing a show and tell of ACW repros and originals and of re enacting gear. Yet another reason to like the private school option. (Even if it does mean less toys for Dad.)

-Bob Hollingsworth

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October 13, 2008, 11:41 AM
Unfortuantly in public schools today every child would be hauled out of school & up on charges of firearms posession on school grounds & the weapons would be confiscated & possibly never to be seen again.

I remember back when I was in High School it was not unheard of to have a minimum of a dozzen pickup trucks in the parking lot with a rifle or shotgun in the racks & shells either under the seat or in the glove box waiting for the bell to ring for some of us students to go hunting before it got dark.
Now if the vehicle is even across the street the student can get into troubble.

October 13, 2008, 12:12 PM
I do remember in high school wood shop class we were allowed to bring our rifles and shotguns to refinish the wood stocks for a grade ...and most of us ended up makeing some sort of gun rack before the year end .

October 13, 2008, 12:26 PM
There's a Colt Firearms Collection at the CT State Library located nearby in Hartford, CT which many area school children visit on field trips.

Among the other field trips that area students take regularly is to the local Museum of American Art with many early American paintings, a trip to Boston and its famous Revolutionary War sites, the Sturbridge Village living re-enactment museum in MA, the similar Plymouth Plantation museum about the Mayflower, pilgrims and Plymouth Rock in MA, the Mystic Seaport living history re-enactment museum showcasing a 19th century whaling era village in Mystic, CT. There's an Indian history museum too.
While none of these are specifically geared to the Civil War, kids are exposed to some of the old historic battles and firearms and how they were made.
Most urban public school students aren't very knowledgable about historical guns anyway, so specific gun information doesn't really stick unless they learn more about them independently or as adults on their own.
For instance, I do remember learning about the Spanish Conquistadors conquering the major South American Indian civilizations, but the specific guns used never seemed to be really important.
It's the same with naval cannons and ships, we heard about them but the specific models never seemed to matter.
My Civil War/U.S. History teacher was into trains to such a large extent that his nickname among students was "Choo-Choo Charlie". And he was probably right that our nation should have re-invested in trains instead of eliminating them more and more in recent times. :)

October 13, 2008, 12:30 PM

Having taught in the modern improved public schools as a Social Studies teacher myself I am well aware of what would legally happen. This was one of the major points of the post, it ain't this way any more and ain't it a shame?

Once I got into high school back during those dark late '60s days yes they were guns in cars and trucks for hunting and just because. Our school had JROTC and dispite folks being sure that all the guns had been demilled, they were wrong. Most of the M-1s and later M-14s had only had extractor and ejector and associated springs and firing pin removed and between 20 and 30 were fully functional for use in field training, drill teams and color guard details. Today's JROTc etc are lucky to get rubber M-16s.

Until recently some public schools have welcomed re enactors by invitation with rifles pistols and cannon. Dispite the allowence in the law for firearms in school sposored events, most schools in this new century seem to be afraid of such shows. Somefolks complaind about eight years ago when the local post office invited re enactors to share knowledge o the grounds failing to read the and for lawful purposes section of the appropriate regulations.

Would you belive we had folks complain about the "pictures of guns" when a local post office (where my PO Box is) displayed pics local vets had loaned for vets day? Now nearly 80 y/o Korean war vet with Thompson was not appreciated or the host of othes from WWII shots with M-1s to M-60 door gunner in Sunny 'Nam, to current server on an Ma Deuce seemed appropriate to some.

But this ain't supposed to be politics so let's get back to BP experiences in school, OK?

University of FLorida Fightin' Gators (how about them Gators this past weekend?)used to have an ROTC manned six pounder that fired salutes for the flag rasing and Gator touch downs at home games.

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 13, 2008, 12:57 PM
I didn't mean to make this political but I see where my posting can be pushed that way... Sorry.

October 13, 2008, 01:25 PM
I graduated High school in 2004. My junior year, out history teacher had a Civil War reenactor come for our class. He was from Terry's Texas Rangers, and had horse and all out on the front lawn of the school. He also had several black powder pistols, including a Colt Walker. I can't remember if he had any long arms, but I did get to hold one of the pistols. I also remember someone from a museum coming to our Kindegarden to talk to us about the pioneers. She had an old rfile, but I can't remember if it was percussion or flint. She said it didn't work, but I would be willing to bet that it did.

October 13, 2008, 04:50 PM
A friend of mine, a high school history teacher, brings his original 1861 Springfield into his class, no problem. And...here's the kicker...we live in MA.
We also shoot it every year.

Jorg Nysgerrig
October 13, 2008, 05:09 PM
I am trying to imagine such a show and tell in a "modern" and "improved" public school today.
I can tell you that I saw two different BP rifles on two different occasions in a history class at a public university just a couple of weeks ago and there was no SWAT team dispatched.

October 13, 2008, 05:37 PM
When I was in high school and JROTC, we had Springfields as drill rifles. OK, so they were plugged and most had the rear sights removed, but rubber they weren't.

In the same program, we had a rifle range. Right there in our building, right on campus. Small, indoor range, and what we shot were single shot .22s, but it was still a range in the school. Funny thing, this was from 1995-99, and it was at the 'inner city' school, where I was one of 32ish white kids out of a student population of 1000 or so. I don't know if that's important, ain't to me, but it sure was to a lot of folks in the county.

Oh, never saw any black powder guns at school that I recall, though we did have a few civil war re-enactors as teachers and went to a battle site or two to watch(was down in NC at the time).

October 13, 2008, 06:04 PM
My middle school teacher brought in a repro(revolutionary war era) flint lock rifle and even touched off the pan with some powder in it outside of his classroom to show us.

Now this was only about 10 years ago. He had the school's permission and no one complained about it.

Elbert P . Suggins
October 13, 2008, 06:37 PM
I attended high school 62-66 in a farming community and there were 35 in my class. In the spring we brought our guns to school to shoot squirrels along the way and in the fall the deer rifles were in the parking lot. I remember once when the principal came out to the parking lot at noon to compare his Model 70 with mine. I even had a Navy Arms Zouve 58 back in 1965 that I brought in to World History class. I think I got several of my fellow students interested in Black Powder and round ball shooting that day. Never again will we be able to do these things. Too bad.

October 13, 2008, 07:02 PM
I graduated High school in 1984 in a little town in Arizona. ANd in the spring I would carry my little remington .22 lr to school and keep it in my locker and after school a buddy of mine and I would go rabbit hunting until the sun set. Ah the good old days, LOL:D

October 13, 2008, 11:02 PM
Back in the 70's I was attending a junior college in California. One of the guys gave a demonstration of his STAR Progressive Reloader. The instructor was a retired marine and no one objected. The school was somewhat liberal and I always wondered if anyone outside of the classroom ever found out. Everyone seemed interested and some like me were impressed.

October 14, 2008, 10:30 AM
I'm only 19 and when I was in 5th grade I got my teacher to let me bring a 1851 for my project about the Civil War. That must have been in 2000 or so. Public school too.

Maybe their is still hope.

October 14, 2008, 01:22 PM

The M-1s and M-14s were pulled from public schools begining in 1973, because of the threat of domestic terrorism.

I happened to be home on leave when the change over happened in my county. I helped uncrate a few hundered M1903A3 rifles. Most apeared un used or lovingly cared for.

Imagin my horror the next day as Army folks showed up and began plugging the barrels with a metal rod welded at both ends and then turning the magazine off and welding the selector in that position so the blot could not be removed and no strippers used.

I actually went into a boys room and puked.

Later one school decided the sight on therir drill rifles were a nusiance that made small cuts and bruises on un wary cadets and hammered them off.

When my JROTC changed from M-1s to M-14s in 1971 our local Gaurd unit still had M-1s and I went with one of the Sargeants to teach stripping and immediate action drils to the Guard. We got a couple of M-16A1s for a week from aReserve outfit about 30 miles away and I got to take those to a Gaurd meeting as well.

In those days JROTC was worth while, one could go in the regulars or reserve or guard as a PFC with a three year program. I can honestly say the only thing I learned in Basic was the proper way to fols underware for inspection and in Infantry AIT I got to shoot guns I had not actually fired and use real explosives instead of training aids.

Thats what JROTC should be today but PC ism must rule.

Back on topic, one use of BP in Highschool I forgot was that we once used artillery simulators and grenade simulators which were basically super fireworks loaded with BP

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 15, 2008, 05:30 PM
In 1956, I could check out one of several .22 rifles from my science teacher and take it home for the weekend. Could also buy standard velocity .22 ammo for 50 cents a box from him. Had to have a note from my parents and couldn't take it home on the school bus.

Nobody got shot.

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