sport shooting

Who Pays for College Shooting Clubs?

by David Higginbotham ,  |  published on March 15, 2013

A recent Mother Jones article posed the simple question, “Should colleges buy ammo for student gun clubs?”

The article, which remains almost balanced (surprising for the left-leaning rhetoric of Mother Jones), focuses on a much larger issue: in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, how will institutionalized shooting sports survive? How will shooting clubs and rifle teams at secondary schools and colleges escape the knee-jerk reactionary judgement of school administrators, parents and even other students?

The current flap is brewing at the University of North Carolina. Concerned about potential liability, Austin Root, a Student Congress Representative, authored a bill making it harder for The Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club to use school funds to purchase ammunition. The bill passed.

Why is Root concerned? In a Facebook conversation from last fall (pre-Newtown), Root wrote, “I don’t think [ammo is] an appropriate use of student funds.” Mother Jones was able to pull more from Root, who explained “it’s stored off-campus at someone’s house, and if someone breaks in and uses it for a mass shooting people might consider those who approved the funds to be at fault.”

Root’s heart might be in the right place, but he seems less concerned that someone might actually commit another horrific crime than the possibility that he might share in the blame.

Someone might get their hands on all of that .22LR. And if they didn’t sell it online for $200 a brick, they might be tempted to use all of the underpowered little rimfires for nefarious purposes. But it seems dubious.

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