This time the location is Britain, where a plan has been announced to encourage Britain’s teens into the Army, Navy or the Air Force. The idea comes at the suggestion of Labour MP Quentin Davies, who recently conducted a review into the role of the military in British society. As part of this review, Mr Davies found that many of Britain’s youth have no idea of military life.
This plan has the intention of strengthening ties between the military and the public, and has the backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Involved in the implementation of this plan is for “high school pupils to receive basic military training to help foster a greater affiliation with the defence forces“, which is quite an ambitious and worthwhile endeavour.
Service in the military is favourably looked upon in many industries. It generally shows abilities such as to be able to follow direction, to present well, to get the job done, to act with discipline, and to be able to look at a bigger picture than the one task at hand. Teaching a whole nation of children these abilities could be a very powerful asset to any country, whether the outcome is good or bad.
Also, a study has shown that Britain does indeed need to work on discipline with teens, and this initiative from Labour could also allow for many teenagers to lose weight, which is becoming an issue in Army recruitment. If a teenager is given the opportunity to lose weight while giving an Army career a “test run”, I can’t see what harm it would do to a teen. Any reduction on obesity levels could greatly help not only the teenager in question, but it would promote healthier living and the need for good food and exercise. Not to mention, many of these teenagers may actually find that they enjoy their taste of Army life, and decide to join up to protect Britain. Protecting their country, family and friends is a noble thing, and if they can sample a career in the military, recruitment may in fact increase.
But as with anything that can relate to a gun in any respect, there are those who criticise the plan. Anti-gun campaigners are stating that they don’t support the initiative because they believe that teaching teenagers to shoot guns will increase the amount of gun crime in Britain.
I think this is nonsense. Part of being responsible around firearms involves keeping the firearm secure and not using it to commit offences. It is also not guns which are used in the majority of offences, it’s knives, for the simple reason that they are cheaper, more readily available, and less restricted. A teenager trained in the military to fire weapons will learn to have a great deal of respect for that weapon, and is consirably less likely to use it to threaten another, as opposed to a teenager who is self-taught in weapons.
Rest in Peace Charlton Heston, who would, without a doubt, put my point much more eloquently than I ever could.