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.