U.S.A. — “Minnesota helped launch a nationwide boom in youth trap shooting,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. “And the NRA is funding.”
Adding that last bit was deliberate, as we shall see in a moment. In the meantime, we are told “USA Clay Target League is the largest youth clay-target shooting organization in the country, with more than 46,000 members in grades 6-12,” and “In just two decades, clay target has become one of the country’s fastest-growing high-school sports.”
“Students say they develop skills and friendships through the sport,” the report notes. “But they aren’t the only ones benefiting from the league’s explosive growth.”
Here it comes.
“Retailers sell more firearms and ammunition,” the report observes. “More controversially, the National Rifle Association stands to bolster its ranks with youth trap shooters by donating millions to the sport, unnerving advocates of gun-violence prevention.”
That’s followed by the ominous section heading: “Targeting youth.” That means it’s time to befoul the punch bowl, and who better to do it than a career prohibitionist?
“The NRA’s influence concerns Kris Brown, president of Brady, the national gun-violence prevention group. “I look at anything funded by the National Rifle Association with a jaundiced eye, because about 30 years ago they stopped talking publicly about any risks associated with firearms,” she said. “In this country, suicide with a firearm is at a 40-year high, and that is particularly true with teenagers.”
The article admits “USA Clay Target doesn’t promote Second Amendment rights,” and NRA’s role is strictly one of encouraging the sport. That’s too bad, really, and if the schools were doing their jobs, they’d be the ones educating tomorrow’s voters about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Likewise, if teen suicides were a problem amongst adolescent clay shooters, you can bet Brady would be first in line dancing in the blood and crowing over the numbers. That they don’t have any tragedies to gloat over shows it’s not, but Brown had to bring it up anyway just to play on ignorance in order to gin up fear.
Time for another section heading: “Inherent risks.”
The truth is that shooting sports don’t even make the list of the most dangerous or even common high school sports resulting in injuries.
“Clay Target League Remains Safest High School Sport,” the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League reports.
“According to the latest statistics from the Center for Injury Research & Policy, boys’ football tops the list of most dangerous high-school sports with over 3 million injuries estimated nationwide each year. Football is followed by both girls’ and boys’ soccer, with about an estimated million injuries for each,” the League notes. “What about injuries in Clay Target shooting? None. Since the High School Clay Target League’s inception in 2008, there have been no recorded injuries to athletes, coaches, or spectators. Ever.”
The other thing young people involved in shooting sports aren’t doing: Getting into running gun battles with gang rivals. Doing drive-bys. Knocking over bodegas or executing fast food workers.
In fact, no less a source than the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention had this to say about boys who lawfully own guns with the approval of responsible parents:
“Boys who own legal firearms, however, have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns.”
There goes the narrative. It’s funny what raising kids right will produce.
But thanks to naked, ignorant prejudice, we read about one young competitor and learn, “His teammates say they feel some stigma (‘We’re kind of the oddballs,’ one says; ‘People are a little weirded out,’ another adds).
They can thank career prohibitionists like Kris Brown, opportunistic and treasonous politicians, and narrative-parroting media dolts for creating that impression. These young people should be proud of who they are, that is, real pride based on what’s relevant and worthy, character and achievement. Those who want them to think they’re the weird ones are projecting.
And speaking of weird, there’s one other “observation” in the story that merits a facepalm:
“Moving the sport into virtual reality would eliminate its equipment’s inherent risk.”
If it’s “safety” these people want, moving the useful idiots to North Korea where they could live in gun-free Nirvana and leave the rest of us the hell alone would seem the surer bet.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.