Following an AP report earlier this year that the NRA has been granting millions of dollars to schools across the country in an effort to promote shooting sports, a debate has arisen over whether public schools should accept money from the organization, with some calling the payments “dirty” money.
The Sacramento Bee recently ran a story featuring 16-year-old Katie Gibson, a high school junior on her school’s shooting team. When she was made aware that the NRA granted her school’s team $124,559, she was conflicted because she disagrees with some of the NRA’s politics, but was ultimately thankful for the funding.
“Should (The NRA) have as political of a mindset? Probably not. But they definitely do amazing things for our team, and I’m very grateful for that,” she told the Bee.
Some believe that schools receiving NRA grants should cut ties with the organization.
But others see the value in accepting such grants.
Schools in Placer County, Calif. received about $350,000 in grants. One school which benefited was Woodcreek High School and its Sportsmen’s Club. “I appreciate the people who give to our group including the NRA who help us run this organization without huge expensive costs we couldn’t afford as a public school,” Woodcreek Principal Becky Rood told the Bee.
Chastising the NRA has become ingrained as a liberal talking point for years now, but not everything the organization does should be attacked. Democrats, Independents — and even many Republicans — agree that gun regulation is necessary, and all reasonable people should agree to come to the negotiating table to figure out the best compromise for all sides to win.
But it does no good to criticize the NRA for funding a school activity that teaches children how to responsibly handle firearms and provides them with an extracurricular activity that does no harm to others. Shooting competitions should be looked at just like bow and arrow competitions and other traditional high school sports programs.