Yet One More Reason Why There’s No Hope for the Future

I’ve been an NRA-Certified Rifle Instructor for (I think) 20 years now, and I’ve arrived at two conclusions about the people I’ve coached: The best pupils are women. God bless them, they listen. The worst are young boys, followed by teenage boys. There are some good kids, but many of the ones I’ve run across have attention spans of 15 seconds, no manners, and--thanks to the tens of thousands of hours they’ve spent watching television, movies, and video games where people get shot in carload batches--no fear of guns whatsoever.

They inhabit a curious world that exists largely on screens and is powered by batteries. The rules of behavior that governed my generation are largely unknown to them. ("If you ever want to be a man, kid, you better…")

They apparently grow up according to form. A Montana outfitter I know, who runs challenging horseback hunts into elk country, says that the people who flat-out quit are not geezers in their 50s and 60s but men in their 20s who have never been Up Against It, and when challenged, fold.

After a day or two of long hours in the saddle and hiking of foot, rising at 3 a.m., constant cold, and no guarantee of success, they take to their tents and don’t come out. The older folks have it just as hard, but they learned as kids that when faced with adversity, you shut your mouth and did your job. Like a man.