Amherst County middle schoolers learn about gun safety

Students shoot with airsoft guns in 3rd annual CSI camp

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - At least half of the children in a room raised their hand to show they've shot a gun before.

On Thursday 31 seventh- and eighth-graders learned about the importance of gun safety by shooting with airsoft guns.

"How to respect it , how to carry it, how to hold it, how to load it, unload it and how to keep yourself safe and everyone around you," seventh-grader Ella Drewry said.

"To treat every gun as if it was loaded," seventh-grader Jared Moore said.

Through a grant from the attorney general's office, the sheriff's office annual CSI Camp teaches children different roles of a deputy such as traffic stops, finger printing and castings. But Sheriff E.W. Viar said telling 12 and 13-year-olds an adult has to be nearby when handling a gun and to make sure it's always locked up properly could help prevent accidental shootings.Last month in Roanoke a 2-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself.

"This will hopefully prevent something like that from happening. We teach them gun safety, not to pick up guns, point at anybody. Don't put your finger on the trigger. All the things you should know about gun safety," Viar said.

Viar also said school shootings happen too often in the nation. 

"It's scary. I just think,' What if it were to happen in my school?" Jared said.

Viar believe the lessons will not only pay off at home, but forming relations between the deputies and students will also help in the hallways.

"And you see what kind of rapport we have with them. They learn to come and talk to us. They learn we're not the enemy. We're there to help them," Viar said, "I want to do anything I can to make sure our students, staff and teachers are safe in the county."

The sheriff said it is $30 to sign your child up for the CSI Camp. To enlist for next year call the sheriff's office at (434) 946-9381.

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