Having the right to bear arms is a constitutional right and an important one. Dad owned a 357 Magnum and a PPK Walter which I got to fire both with him at a shooting range once under strict oversight by him. The blowback on a 357 Magnum is powerful. It is scary. He always put them back in a lockbox with the bullets unloaded and hid it far away from our reach.
A gun is quite a weapon. The use of it can and does bring a finality to things. Dad always took care to emphasize the level of safety and responsibility to have with a gun. He was well acquainted with weapons, having been part of special force units for the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army., as a 101st Airborne Ranger. He parachuted into over 300 countries as a paratrooper. His learning and experience qualified him to handle weapons.
Again, having the right to bear arms is a constitutional right and an important one. But should their be a better vetting process for the purchase of guns and large weaponry, like machine guns? Likewise, not always, but a great deal of the time, many shootings are done by youth. Could better nation-wide gun laws also address core causes of youth gun violence and help support smart community initiatives to create healthy after school and weekend programs? Skateboarding and dancing, archery and soccer, sailing, surfing and swimming, these all move the body and engage the mind at the same time. They set the stage for all kinds of personal breakthroughs.
What would happen if more great skateparks where built across America?
Did you know that in Afghanistan skateboarding has received an incredibly positive response by the youth, especially the girls? Skateboarding is therapeutic and its international. At Scalzi Skate Park in Stamford, Connecticut there are people of different ages, ethnicities, walks of life, languages and socio-economic strata going out with their skateboards to learn and fail forward.
I have requested one meeting at the local technical school to start a conversation on benefits of skateboarding as an addition to the curriculum. I plan to approach other schools to see if they would pilot a skateboarding program at their school.
Can executive function skills be developed? Which? How? How would skateboarding classes benefit students?
Can skateboarding parks be built in every town? Are these outlets?
Smart gun laws that make common sense to all parties and people address the gun violence issue from a community standpoint of concrete intervention strategies as well as on a national scale with smarter gun control vetting processes. This is not to do away with our constitutional right to bear arms. But let's make sure the arms are in the right hands. Let's also make sure we focus on fostering and supporting smart programs that teach 21s century skills to kids early on. The idea of social entrepreneurship can point young people towards valuing awareness that if they want to see positive change in the world, that they have to be that change first. How would this be played out as part of a school curriculum? Could schools have quivers of skateboards and skateboarding teachers? Could their be way more dance teachers and art and music teachers? Could more vocational schools be created whereby a child goes to music school and yet also skateboards as part of the curriculum and writes an essay on how the two relate? We have to put passion into teaching and learning and that means we have to make changes here and there in order that we continue to engage our students at a meaningful level that not just gets them to get a good grade makes the learning process one of active social responsibility towards each other and the community. When schools start busing in their students all with skateboards and safety gear (and signed waivers) into local skateparks that is when awareness on the value of the skateparks will dramatically increase.
Their is a freedom that comes from skateboarding much like in surfing. More need to know about this. This is a great way to channel energy.
Skateboarding may not be the sole answer. Everything rests on relationships. The activities, though they develop great cognitive skills, such as executive function skills and aid in the rapid neural synaptic connectivity of the right and left hemisphere, merely serve as the context for people making connections with people. Sometimes there is a child who may go through a whole day with no one talking to him much. Engrossed in our own life we may not think twice about it or observe the reality. Skateboarding, dancing, soccer, archery... all these require bodily movement which break us out of a daily shell that forms the older we get. That same child who was hardly spoken with can express themselves through these movement activities.
If skateboarding was part of every schools curriculum along with practicing social entrepreneurship how would this tip the scales?