Olympic Shooter Kim Rhode Fires Back at Gun Control

Olympic Shooter Kim Rhode Fires Back at Gun Control
Kimberly Rhode at the Olympic Shooting Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Skeet shooter and five time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode spoke to Time magazine as she prepared for her sixth Olympic competition in Rio.

Of course, they asked Rhode about the politically charged gun issue. Fortunately for the firearms community, the superstar skeet shooter is an able advocate for the Second Amendment.

“We have that stigma attached to our sport,” said Rhode. “When you are talking to a NASCAR driver, they’re not asked to comment on an incident that occurred with a vehicle.”

Isn’t that the truth.

“We should have the right to keep and bear arms, to protect ourselves and our family,” she says. “The Second Amendment was put in there not just so we can go shoot skeet or go shoot trap. It was put in so we could defend our First Amendment, the freedom of speech, and also to defend ourselves against our own government.

The media elite and gun control movement is entirely ignorant about the American cultural traditions centered around firearms. They view all firearms as death weapons, but many in America associate their firearms with family hunting trips or days spent together at the gun range.

Rhode plans to continue those traditions with her three-year-old son.

“I hope to have him out there shooting, when he becomes of age,” she says. “I started when I was like 7 or 8 years old, and it was something that was a big deal in my family, to gain that right of passage.”

There is nowhere worse to own a firearm than California, where Rhode lives. She also shared her thoughts on the latest gun restrictions imposed by the state.

“I shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, so having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo, or every time I want to bring ammo in or out of a competition or a match, those are very challenging for me,” says Rhode. “Also, I’ve had guns in my family for generations that have been passed down, and now I’m going to register them as assault weapons. And they will not be passed on to my son, or to me from my father. It definitely does effect me and give me a reason to speak out more.”

One very sad consequence of being an Olympic shooter and an articulate supporter of the Second Amendment is the lack of corporate sponsors other champion athletes enjoy. She is sponsored by Beretta and Winchester but not Nike or Under Armour. Will we see Rhode on a box of Wheaties? Most likely not.

The shooting sports are no different than any other sport and the qualities of shooting champions are the same qualities we value from other great athletes: dedication, determination and hard work.

At stake for Rhode in the 2016 Olympics: the chance to make history. She would be the only U.S. competitor to win medals in six consecutive Olympic Games should she earn a medal. The women’s skeet shooting finals begin on Friday at 2 p.m. EST. Tune in to cheer for Kim and her teammate Morgan Craft, who are two of the six shooters competing for medals.

Next page: Find out how Rhode became the most decorated female shooter in Olympic history.

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