Friday, June 12, 2009

Girls in Shooting Sports

My oldest daughters made the front page (above the fold no less) of our local newspaper today. I can't begin to express how proud I am of them. When the reporter visited our home, the girls were professional and answered each question with grace.

The article is about their upcoming national 4-H shooting invitational. You may recall my oldest son took first place in muzzleloader two years ago. Laura is aiming for Christian's title while Mary is shooting for first place in .22. To accomplish that, they've been practicing at various ranges 4 days a week.

The reporter did a nice job on the story, especially depicting the girls' personalities and their love of the sport. However, there are a couple of clarifications to be made. First, Mary and Laura are the only girls on the Michigan team, but there will be other girls from other states at the national invitational.

Another clarification is the reporter's use of the word "weapons." A hand can be a weapon. A box cutter, as we know all too well from 9-11, can be used as a weapon. However, we do not regularly refer to our hands or box cutters as weapons.

In 4-H, we use firearms or shooting sports equipment. We do not use weapons. Team members shoot at targets, never people. As in Boy Scouts, 4-H does not allow paintball or airsoft because those are games that include the shooting of humans. Team members also never shoot at targets that mimic the human shape.

It would be correct to refer to firearms as weapons in police work where one is dealing with criminals who do use them to cause harm and death. However, it is completely inappropriate in this case.

On a similar note, I once heard a judge say, "I've never had a 4-H kid brought up before me."

If you'd like to make a donation to Mary and Laura's shooting sports team email Ingham Sharpshooters Club for more information.


Lisa said...

That was neat!

Amy said...

Way cool! I have four daughters and no boys. My husband loves to hunt and fish. Our girls are in the thick of things with him. Both my 11 yr old and 13 yr old have there own .410's for hunting pheasant. It is nice to see other girls with similiar interests. Thank you also for straightening out the use of the word weapons! God bless!

Fritz said...

Congrats to you daughters! What a nice feature.

Interesting distinction on weapons/firearms terminology. Glad you mentioned it. Especially as the tools of our sport (fencing) are weapons, and rightly called such as we use them to attack humans.

Of course this does lead to problems. I occasionally demonstrate fencing with my kids in schools, and one time a kid told the principal that her teacher had asked me to bring my weapons to school for a demonstration. That was immediately nixed until I met with the principal and explained what weapons I was bringing and how they really weren't that dangerous if properly protected.

Since we carry large weapons bags, we're told that if we are stopped by police officers to be careful about mentioning what we are transporting.

And when we travel by air, we always claim we are carrying "sporting equipment," saying that you have a bag of weapons tends to freak out the airlines employees.

And yet we still have problems. Recently I read about a college in Virginia that required fencers to store their weapons with the campus police!! Amazing, as if there is a risk of a massacre with such.

I'll bet those in firearms sports face even greater challenges than fencers!