The inane column by anti-gun author Bob Herbert of the New York Times (editorial page Dec. 15) typifies the asinine approach of the gun-phobia crowd to the complexities of teaching gun safety.

Herbert's approach is to deny all education about guns, their safe use and handling and about hunting to any young person. His approach denies all the good that has been done in the past 30 years by gun safety instruction directed at young people about to embark on their first hunting experience.This instruction has been so successful that hunting-related gun deaths in the nation are a tiny percentage of what they used to be. Indeed, a young person cannot purchase a hunting license in Utah without first attending and certifying in a state mandated gun-safety class. How could Herbert be so stupid as to deny that same instruction to all children whether they intend to hunt or not? All are exposed to guns, whether at school or in the streets.

Herbert's logic is so specious as to be suspect. He must have a hidden agenda, as do so many who oppose the Second Amendment and the citizens' right to self-defense and to use guns recreationally. It has become obvious with time that spokespersons for the anti-gun movement are dancing to the tune of leftist music.

"Anti-gun" is the drumbeat of wrongheaded, socialist, property-confiscation doctrine.

Herbert's conclusion is exactly the opposite of what it should be. The schools should be leading in gun safety education. That is what they are there for - to educate. If they asked, numerous volunteers ready to contribute time and expertise would appear, just as they have in our states' volunteer-run gun safety program.

G.B. White