There are no completely urban states in our nation. Almost all have some degree of rural area which almost means there’s some degree of outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. The only variance is how much of it.
Some states like Montana have a whole lot of it.
So it’s no surprise that some states are more upset over the Biden administration’s decision to end longstanding funding for hunting and archery programs.
Like, again, Montana.
Yet the state’s governor isn’t interested in taking the situation lying down.
Hunting and shooting sports are deeply rooted traditions in Montana, and training is an important part of developing safe, responsible, and ethical hunters, shooters, and bowhunters.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) August 11, 2023
Gov. Greg Gianforte noted that there are over 200 schools across the state being impacted by the decision and that “training is an important part of safe, responsible, and ethical hunters, shooters, and bowhunters.”
He’s not wrong, there either.
At a time when everyone seems inclined to trip over themselves talking about so-called gun safety, it seems idiotic to pull actually gun safety training from our public schools.
The Department of Education made a decision that isn’t going to make Americans safer. It’s going to do the contrary, yet Gianforte notes that they have defended the decision.
“This week, the Department defended its interpretation of the law jeopardizing these training programs, offering to ‘provide technical assistance on legislative language to address this issue.'” However, Gianforte was unimpressed with the offer, adding, “This is an insufficient, wholly bureaucratic response. I urge the Department to act without delay to reverse its decision and issue new guidance to protect archery and hunting education programs in Montana schools.”
Gianforte being upset makes perfect sense, though, because this decision isn’t just misguided, it’s vindictive in my opinion.
The truth is that the regions most likely to be impacted by this decision were regions that didn’t vote for President Joe Biden in 2020 and aren’t likely to side with Democrats in 2024.
Of course, that’s just my opinion, but even without that, this is still an awful policy, especially since hunter-education programs include gun safety training.
This even as some are arguing for state-mandated training in their states.
In fact, this kind of makes the point about training requirements for gun purchases. It’s not about safety and never has been, but about throwing up roadblocks to gun ownership. If it were about safety, these very courses would be preserved regardless of whether the law allows their ending or not.
This is especially true when you consider how much anti-gunners freak out over the possibility of a kid gaining access to a firearm and misusing it. To be fair, that’s a valid concern, even if the numbers show it doesn’t happen all that often.
The answer to that is more gun safety for kids, not less.
Montana is a state where there are a lot of guns, so it makes sense that they’d want these programs. Yet we’ve seen a lot of guns pop up in urban centers, often found by kids who don’t have any culture about how to use them properly or safely or what to do when they encounter one.
Gianforte’s letter needs to be heeded. Unfortunately, I don’t see that as likely.