Give An Inch, They’ll Take A Mile: Look Why Democrats Want To Ban Archery Programs In Schools

Manhattan Democrat Assembly member Linda Rosenthal is making moves to get rid of archery programs and other similar electives at high schools which she says encourages “gun culture.”

Rosenthal argues there is an ideological bridge between wielding a bow and arrow and using a gun. “Schools should not be supporting the spread of gun culture in society,” Rosenthal said, per Time. “If parents want their children to have shooting instruction, there are opportunities that have nothing to do with the school.”

As News 10 reports, she has “introduced the bill to ban such programs in the state after it was revealed that the Parkland Shooting suspect honed his shooting skills in a marksmanship program at the very school he’s accused of killing 17 people.”

Here’s more, per Time:

Jillian Zakrzeski’s skills with an air rifle earned her three New York state high school shooting championships, a berth in the Junior Olympics and even recruitment to a college rifle team.

“It’s an amazing sport. It’s not popular like soccer or tennis. But it changed my life,” says Zakrzeski, a 19-year-old criminal justice major at the University of Mississippi. “I can’t see my life without it.”

But a proposal in New York’s legislature would outlaw all high school shooting sports programs in the state — including air rifle teams and archery clubs — on the premise that they feed into a gun and shooting culture that could lead to violence.

Rosenthal’s proposal has yet to reach a vote and its prospects in the waning days of the legislative session are uncertain. But already it has reopened a debate about the benefits of responsible gun use, largely split along cultural lines between the New York City-centric downstate, and upstate areas where hunting and target shooting are more prevalent.

Rosenthal’s proposal immediately sparked backlash from some of her colleagues.


“I am unaware of any evidence that links gun violence to these programs and the student athletes in my district who are involved in these teams and are great, responsible kids,” fellow Assembly member Will Barclay, who is a Republican, said.

According to the report, supporters of the programs argue the invaluable skills translate well into the classroom:

Air riflery is currently the smallest varsity sport in New York state, with 28 teams statewide and 266 participants last year. It has also emerged as a very female-dominated sport, with girls winning 19 of the last 31 state individual air rifle championships.

“It’s a sport that takes a lot of concentration and discipline,” says George Hathaway, riflery coordinator for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. “The more scholarly kids are the ones attracted to it.”

Zakrzeski, from the central New York town of Constantia, says the attributes that made her a riflery champion also carried over to the classroom, where she was an honor roll student. Her younger sister Kamille, who is still involved in the high school program, says she nearly cried when she heard there was a proposal to shut it down.

“It was shocking to me,” the elder Zakrzeski said of the proposal. “Nothing bad has ever happened in marksmanship programs.”

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino responded to the proposal, “The stupid is spreading, quickly.”

Here’s what some other people are saying online about the proposal:

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views held by Sarah Palin.


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