From Minnesota to Florida, trapshooting sponsored by public schools may be the last best hope for preserving the 2nd Amendment.
The renaissance in a sport older than our nation among teens, especially female teens, is helping to change the conversation about guns and the right to bear arms at a grassroots level.
Bob Adelmann of the New American reports that trapshooting is probably the fastest growing school sponsored sport in Minnesota. This comes despite being a notably blue state with an anti-gun state legislature and media that seeks to denigrate the sport at every turn. As one supporter of the sport in the state said, “Kids, guns, and schools. You can imagine the reaction.”
While the reaction is not good on the liberal elites of Minneapolis, kids and their parents have seen trapshooting change their perspective on guns and the 2nd Amendment. Adelman notes:
The trapshooting renaissance is reaching many students who have never shot a gun before, some of whom are becoming aware of the war on guns and the Second Amendment in the process of learning how to shoot. And that is helping change the conversation.
While the mainstream media continues to repeat false claims about mass shootings and foster distrust of gun owners, owning and handling a gun properly has changed the viewpoint of students and parents.
Tom Koppe is a perfect example. Recently graduated from Hopkins High School, Koppe first joined a trapshooting team in the seventh grade. He and others from his school competed in the state’s annual clay target state tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake with 30 other teams from around the state. Koppe said that, “Hopkins [located in Minnetonka, a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis] is not exactly an outdoorsman community … [and] some of the kids thought we all drive trucks [because we must be backwoods people, rednecks, and gun nuts]. I drive a Prius.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has funded many of these programs, providing $4 million from 2014 to 2016 and has seen young trap shooters become their best emissaries. Andy Krebs, a high school student from Minnesota who comes from what was formerly an anti-gun home said, “I don’t know if I really would have been exposed to that had the team not come to the school.” Now he wears a t-shirt that boldly proclaims, “Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.”
Operations manager at the Wisconsin Trapshooting Association and NRA member Dennis Taylor told reporters, “These kids are going to be future legislators, and they’re going to get in there and know the truth about weapons.”
After the Parkland shooting in Florid, Minnesota student, Logan Kluever, joined the national walkout at his school. But he says he came to regret that decision because what he thought was going to be a memorial for those who lost their lives was really an anti-2 Amendment rally. “I got out there, and everyone was talking about trying to get guns banned. I’d never support taking away one of my favorite things that’s passed down for generations.”
Perhaps the best indicator of how trapshooting has changed the conversation is that formerly anti-gun parents are investing in $1,400 shotguns and $600 Glock 17 semi-automatic pistols.