When I was in high school, back in the Stone Age, many if not most American high schools, both public and private, had shooting teams. Then the wilting violets and pansies took over and set about effecting Fundamental Emasculation of American society. But now, gradually, shooting sports are coming back:
U.S. gun sales have begun to level after a spike caused by fears that mass shootings, including the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, would lead to restrictions. High-school trap offers a wholesome marketing opportunity for gunmakers and retailers like Cabela’s Inc., which underwrite events and donate to teams. Manufacturers tailor products for smaller bodies and budgets, such as the lightweight $480 SXP Trap by Winchester Repeating Arms. The league estimates teams’ spending will top $5 million this year.
Competitive musketry dates to 16th century England and has been an Olympic sport since 1896. Today trap, a cousin of skeet and sporting clays, is as popular with Minnesota’s urban boys and girls as it is with their counterparts in rural areas, where hunting’s in the DNA. “It’s just cool, because I get to use a gun,” said Stephanie Petsilis, 17, who shoots for Wayzata High School outside Minneapolis with a $1,430 Browning BT-99 Micro.
Zac Olson, 15, used a SKB Century III 12-gauge as a member of the Lakeville South High School team, which he joined after an injury ended a budding gymnastics career. “All you need to do is practice,” he said, wearing the team’s black-and-khaki vest. “You don’t have to be super fast or super strong.” His mother, Courtney Olson, went from being repulsed at the thought of guns in their house near Minneapolis to buying Zac the $1,400 shotgun and a $600 Glock 17 to nurture his newfound interest in becoming a police officer. “To see your kid this happy is incredible,” she said.
Here’s the part that will make the gun-banning Left especially unhappy:
For the National Rifle Association, which lobbies against firearm restrictions, youngsters… represent an important new constituency. “These kids are going to be future legislators, and they’re going to get in there and know the truth about weapons,” said Dennis Taylor, an NRA member and an operations manager at the Wisconsin Trapshooting Association.
One quibble: the Bloomberg story refers to the “gun-rights debate.” There is no gun-rights debate. The right to arms is in the Constitution and is not negotiable, no matter how much the Left would wish otherwise.