Gunning for the future
Almont senior going great guns after NRA trip to D.C.
|Lyndsay Klebba pauses in front of Capitol building during recent NRA sponsored trip to Washington, D.C.|
September 12, 2007Having been taught to respect firearms at an early age, Lyndsay Klebba intends to share her knowledge of gun safety with other young people.
The Almont High School senior will soon implement a gun safety program as part of her commitment to the National Rifle Association's effort to educate the public on matters pertaining to gun use and safety.
A recent participant in the NRA's 11th annual National Youth Education Summit (YES) in Washington D.C., Lyndsay had the chance to tour the White House, lunch at the Library of Congress, and spend a day at the Quantico Marine Corps base, where she took part in a night vision obstacle course.
At Quantico, she joined 40 other teens from across the nation who competed in an NRA-sponsored shooting event, finishing second among the exclusive group.
A strong proponent of the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms), Lyndsay, 17, says her interest in guns dates back to the age of 12.
"My dad is a hunter and I started going hunting with him when I was about 12," Lyndsay recalls. "He took me out bird hunting. It was around that time I took a hunter's safety class."
After several years of heading out into the woods after game, Lyndsay landed her first buck on the family's property last year. "It was a little four-point, but I was pretty excited about it," she says.
Not only did her dad teach her how to shoot, he insisted that Lyndsay exercise extreme caution around and while using firearms, lessons she espouses today.
"My dad always keeps our guns locked up, and we're not allowed to use them unless we are in his presence." says Lyndsay. "He's always impressed the importance of gun safety."
As part of her commitment to the principles of the NRA, and in the pursuit of $30,000 in scholarship money from the organization, Lyndsay plans to start an Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program for K-3 students, under the auspices of the National Rifle Association.
"The class would involve adult instruction, workbooks for the kids and DVDs," says Lyndsay. "It has nothing to do with using or touching guns. The program is about warning young children to stay away from them.
"The purpose is to warn children to stay away from guns, and if they see one, to immediately inform an adult. It's a proactive program to help avoid gun-related accidents and to instill in kids that guns are not toys."
She is also contemplating starting up a skeet shooting club for high school students, predicated on obtaining support from the school district.
In the interim, Lyndsay, who carries a 4.0 grade point average, is focusing on keeping her grades up in hopes of being accepted to a top-notch college next year.
"My current aspirations are to get my college appli-cations done," says Lyndsay, a task complicated by her involvement in school sports, drum major for the band, student council presidency, and volunteering with the National Honor Society.
Still, Lyndsay figures she can continue juggling her multiple interests for at least another school year.
"My goal is to have some stability in my life, and for me that means going to a good college and getting a good education."
|Lyndsay pauses during shooting practice.|
Her recent trip to the nation's capitol was an education in itself, providing Lyndsay with opportunities rarely experienced by a young person.
"Seeing the White House was amazing," Lyndsay says. "The building is so reverent. It's so old and meticulous, with all the history involved. It kind of takes your breath away.
"We think we might have seen Dick Cheney, but we weren't really sure. The Secret Service, which was everywhere, told us he was very near. You can sense how tight the security is now since September 11."
Lyndsay said the group's visits to NRA headquarters and the Quantico Marine base were equally educational.
"At Quantico, they made us get into two lines and march around," she says. "They told us we would be treated with respect as long as we acted with respect. We got to eat their food, which was pretty good, and I got to be first in line at the night vision course."
She also spent two days at the NRA headquarters, taking part in various shooting exercises, using a shotgun, rifle, a pair of revolvers and a semi-automatic pistol.
"It was the first time I'd ever shot a pistol or handgun," says Lyndsay. "I think I'm going to get into pistol shooting now that I've done it. I told my dad I'd like one for Christmas."
Not one to avoid the national political debate surrounding gun ownership and usage, Lyndsay believes the Second Amendment has been under attack by the anti-gun lobbies.
"I think the Second Amendment is being threatened," says Lyndsay. "It's fundamental that we maintain our right to bear arms to protect ourselves.
"If a president were to declare martial law, our guns could be taken away and we would be left defenseless. It's the same thing that happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Those people were left defenseless."
Lyndsay is the daughter of Cathy and Virgil Klebba. She has two siblings; Stephanie, 18, and Jared, 12.