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Monday, December 22, 2008

Guns for kids

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 6:46 AM

Tax credits for children's recreational expenses are mostly a political sop to middle class families, but so far as the tax credits actually increase physical activity among youngsters, it's hard to criticize them.

As the provincial Department of Health Promotion and Protectionexplains,

The tax credit, or healthy living incentive, provides an allowable tax credit of up to $500 per child to help with the cost of registering children and youth in sport or recreation activities that offer health benefits.
But what sort of recreational activities qualify? The complete list of authorized organizations shows organizations promoting such noncontroversial sports as skiing, baseball, football, hockey and the like. Other sports are less popular, but few would argue they don't fit the criteria of "offer health benefits": badminton, judo, the truly physically demanding (seriously) rope skipping, etc.

But then we get to these:

36. Nova Scotia Rifle Association

41.Shooting Federation of Nova ScotiaAnnapolis Valley Shooting Sports ClubAtlantic Marksmen AssociationCape Nova Rifle & Revolver ClubChignecto Handgun ClubChignecto Muzzle Loaders SocietyClare Shooters AssociationCumberland Marksmen AssociationHighland Gun ClubIPSC Nova ScotiaNorth Mountain Gun ClubNova Scotia Muzzle Loaders AssociationNova Scotia Rifle AssociationPictou County Military Rifle AssociationSt. Mary's Shooters AssociationScotia Sportsmen's Associationa

Forget the other public policy issues involved; what, precisely, is the "health benefit" of teaching kids to shoot? If there's even one piece of scientific evidence showing that children who know how to shoot guns are healthier than those who don't, I'm completely unaware of it. On the contrary, their risk of early death is increased several fold.

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