Anti-gun voices routinely say they don’t want to interfere with hunting, they just want so-called weapons of war off our streets or whatever else they’re claiming. The purpose of saying that is to both pretend the Second Amendment is about hunting and to keep hunters from getting too worked up over gun control.
Yet the move earlier this year to cut funding for hunting and archery programs at public schools sure made it harder for me to accept that hunting is perfectly acceptable to anti-gunners.
But there’s been pushback on the Biden administration’s decision to cut that funding. Now, there’s a bipartisan effort in the Senate to push back, too.
The bipartisan group sent a letter to the Biden Administration on Tuesday demanding it reverse course on efforts to deny federal dollars to the school programs. The senators argued that the administration is misreading the changes most voted for in last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA).
“Unfortunately, and contrary to Congressional intent, the Department of Education (“the Department”) has misinterpreted the language to exclude certain educational activities from receiving federal resources,” the group said.
The dispute is the latest fallout from the BSCA, which is also at the center of a new fight over who has to obtain a federal license to sell used guns. Unlike the other disagreement over the text of the law, this one is pitting Democrats and Independents against the Biden Administration. The concentrated political pressure could produce a reversal from the Department of Education. If not, canceling the hunting and archery funding could cause political damage to those who backed the bill.
The letter was authored by Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas), who helped negotiate the BSCA last year. Republican Senators Thom Tillis, Shelley Moore Capito, Joni Ernst, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham–who all voted for the bill–signed on to the letter. Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Maggie Hassan, Tim Kaine, Martin Heinrich, Tammy Baldwin, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Kelly, and Joe Manchin also joined. So did Independent Kyrsten Sinema. Republican Roger Wicker put his name on the letter, too, making him the only Senator who didn’t vote for the bill to join.
That’s a lot of senators, and yes, most of them voted for the bill used to justify the cessation of funding for these programs.
It’s not enough to necessarily overturn the part of the law being used by the Department of Education, but it might be enough to at least cause the Biden administration to rethink its efforts.
Honestly, they should.
Hunting and archery programs don’t lead to violent outcomes. We all know that and no one has ever produced a single bit of evidence that shows that they do.
If anything, though, they do produce people who tend to not be really thrilled with the government wanting to take away their weapons. I can’t help but think that’s part of the problem here and why the law was “interpreted” in such a way.
Maybe the bipartisan effort will be enough to curb this kind of nonsense, especially when you look at some of the anti-gun voices that are signing this paper, or are people going to try and frame Amy Klobuchar and Mark Kelly as NRA supporters?
Will this do any good? We’ll have to wait and see, but we can damn sure hope it will.