One of the things the National Rifle Association does is provide grants for school rifle teams. It’s a sport few people know about as even available for high school students, especially in an era of zero-tolerance rules where kids are punished for having Pop Tarts shaped like guns.
With the demonization of the NRA lately, however, it’s not surprising that some schools may be hesitant to accept such grants. Particularly when you’re looking to virtue signal by refusing to take the money.
However, one school in Pennsylvania saw a major community outpouring in response.
A decision Monday by the Stroudsburg Area School Board not to accept National Rifle Association money for the high school rifle team has spurred two fundraising efforts as well as accusations that the issue has been politicized.
A GoFundMe campaign by state Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, brought in $8,700 by midafternoon Wednesday.
A separate effort by some local business leaders raised $6,750.
Each fundraiser surpassed the amount of the NRA grant, which was $4,730 and offered to the team for the first time this year. The Stroudsburg High rifle team has been using equipment from the 1970s. It intends to use the money for new rifles and vests for its 21 members.
Brian Winot, president of Northeast Site Contractors, and Tim Primrose, president of Primrose Landscaping, cut off donations Wednesday before giving Superintendent Cosmas Curry a check from local business leaders.
“It is important to note, they are all members of the NRA and strongly disagree with the school board’s decision and further attempt to politicize guns in this country, on the backs of our kids,” Winot said in a news release. “Guns and hunting are part of the very fabric of the Pocono community.”
Winot, who said he joined the NRA Tuesday, noted the business community understood the team’s need and wanted to fill it.
Obviously, this is great. Communities should be supporting these teams.
But they haven’t.
Instead, the NRA has been doing it because no one else would. In an ideal world, the NRA wouldn’t be offering any grants because every rifle team would be funded and every school would have a rifle team.
But that’s not the case.
Instead, the community allowed the team to languish for years. It wasn’t until the NRA stepped in to help that it became an issue, and the school’s virtue signaling spurred the entire community. It’s sad that it took something like this to make that happen.
At least now the team is funded; pretty well funded too.
Unfortunately, the demonization and stigmatization of the NRA and gun owners continue. After all, Director Alex Reincke of the Stroudsburg School Board referred to the NRA grant as “dirty money.”
He added, “The NRA is a group that has transformed from a bunch of people who liked hunting in the ’50s to something that, quite frankly, is a hateful, divisive group that seeks nothing but to push guns on people.”
Of course, he’s unable to find a single example of the NRA trying to make anyone buy a gun who doesn’t want one because it just doesn’t happen, but that’s been the perception the left has foisted on people for years now. Unfortunately, people are starting to buy it. Clearly.
While it’s great the team got the money they needed, it’s a shame that millions of Americans were given the proverbial middle finger in the process.