While the Trib might have added “self-control,” the headline of the news story “High school rifle programs foster maturity, teach discipline, responsibility” (Feb. 17 and TribLIVE.com) is exactly on point, which will likely surprise the anti-gun set, as is usually the case with facts.
I speak as a former high-power rifle competitor (30-06 & 7.62 mm NATO/.308 Winchester), who shot in both National Match Course (200-, 300- and 500-/600-yard matches) and long-range (1,000-yard) competition. A couple of points:
• When I gave up active competition (eye problems), I held an NRA “Expert” classification. I never made “Master,” likely due to lack of skill, along with insufficient self-discipline.
• Insofar as I know, nobody has ever suffered serious injury in competitive shooting, especially rifle competition — slightly bruised shoulders and possibly some sunburn not being “serious injuries” — which is a lot more than can be said of some other “sports.”
• Finally, as to the story's comment from Talyn Boden concerning “automatic weapons, or other guns,” automatic weapons are seldom used in competitive shooting events, Knob Creek being one exception I'm aware of. They are extremely expensive, in part due to really dumb legislation, and very closely regulated in federal law (National Firearms Act of 1934). As to “other guns,” specifics would have been appreciated and helpful.
It appears that people who engage in the competitive shooting game usually do not end up involved with or in legal difficulties — more than can be said for some who partake of other “sports.”
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