The U.S. today is a bastion for overtly fearful, intellectually bankrupt, irrational lunatics, and nowhere is this more prevalent than on America’s high-school and college campuses when the subject turns to the Second Amendment or, increasingly, the military.

Despite ranking badly academically among industrialized nations — something policymakers and liberals alike (is there a difference?) have known for years now, mind you — leftists continue to pick the wrong battles to make their points about failures in American education. Failures the academic leftists, ironically, have caused to begin with through insane, inherently destructive policies and programs.

Such was the case last week when Kevin Ramirez, coordinator of some group called the “Military Out of Our Schools Campaign,” began flailing about in opposition to a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Mass., that teaches (gasp!) members how to shoot a rifle, among other disciplines.

Honestly, I didn’t even know that any type of school-sponsored shooting programs still existed in America the Irrationally Fearful these days; were I to venture a guess, I would have said such programs long ago had been banished from schools by hysteriacs and liberal academics who choose victimhood over survival every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And I sure as the world didn’t expect one to exist in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

But sure enough, there it is: Out of 11 JROTC programs in the state, the New Bedford program is the only one that teaches members how to shoot at a range in the school’s basement.

Perhaps Mr. Ramirez would rather these eager young waifs learned how to shoot on the streets of Boston, instead of being exposed to the art of shooting by professionals and in a controlled environment.

I don’t know, but personally — and after having had the experience of shooting under the supervision of Navy, Marine Corps and Army rangemasters — I’m sure more comfortable with the military training shooters than some coked-up rapper with a bad attitude or some white, overprivileged, suburban loser with an axe to grind. The military knows its business when it comes to firing weapons — any moron knows that.

Or maybe lots of morons don’t, but should. Ramirez seems to fit the mold of the latter.

“Kids are conditioned to guns at a very early age through media, television video games. … This is just an extension of that violence,” Ramirez wailed to the Boston Globe last Friday.

On the heels of celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection yesterday, it pains me to use unflattering labels, but as a trained observer I have to call ’em as I see ’em: Mr. Ramirez is a dolt, and his “concern” is so misguided as to border on mental illness.

I have no idea whether Mr. Ramirez has any military background — I am doubting that, judging by his membership in this particular group and his asinine characterization of the New Bedford JROTC program.

But even so, clearly his opinion goes beyond sheer ignorance of the subject of military marksmanship training, and his irrational, uninformed speech is a slam to the military, a slam to its tradition of making young people better, and an insult to the institution that guarantees his freedom to say such stupid things.

Ramirez was reacting to the arrest of an 18-year-old high school student named Donald LaBerge last week, who was charged after cops found a “small arsenal [note: “arsenal” is a liberal buzz word] of explosives and machine gun bullets in his home. …” LaBerge, who at one time was in the JROTC program at New Bedford but was no longer a member, showed up in court wearing his uniform nonetheless.

For that, Ramirez is content to trash the entire program. It doesn’t teach “discipline,” honor, self-control, and self-confidence as the Army says it does, argues Ramirez, it teaches our kids violence because it teaches them to shoot — and does so at (horrors!) school.

Worse, Ramirez’ organization doesn’t even want the military recruiting in schools at all, which is so far out in left field, I can’t think of one legitimate reason why he would advocate that.

But the point is, no thought went into this opposition. Ramirez and his group hate the military, period, and regardless of what the military does — or where it does it — this group and this guy are gonna oppose it.

That is not the basis of rational opposition; it is hating for the sake of hating, and my hope is our public policy regarding education and social problems and guns in the future will hinge less on this kind of hate rhetoric and more on common sense solutions with proven results.

Is there “violence” incorporated into military training? Well, yeah (duh!), but Ramirez is trying to equate that kind of intentional, purposeful violence with the indiscriminate, random and misguided violence that permeates so many campuses these days.

It isn’t the same, and I’m not trying to parse words here. Consider that one form of violence is usually in defense of American national interests and the other form — well — isn’t. Clearly a difference.

It irks me when brain-dead leftists who are responsible for most of what is wrong with our education system in the first place trash the very few things that are right with it. Teaching kids self-respect, discipline and — in terms of gun instruction — the very real nature of destructive behavior, is a good thing and a great controlled counterweight to the very uncontrolled (and unexplained) flood of violence our kids see in other venues.

Ramirez and his group question the purpose and usefulness of the JROTC program in many of our nation’s high schools, even in the face of clear (and what should be obvious) benefits such programs provide our children.

Why aren’t these boneheads questioning why the liberal education programs they support have not produced smarter kids or schools without cops, drug-sniffing dogs, metal detectors and a rash of teacher-student sexual relationships?

Perhaps to do so would, shall I say, be akin to “shooting” themselves in the foot.

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