Team Biden cuts funding for school archery and hunting programs

by WorldTribune Staff, August 1, 2023

The Biden Administration is blocking federal funds to schools which have hunting and archery programs.

Funding earmarked under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 for schools with hunting and archery programs is being eliminated as the Department of Education announced it has determined that, under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) passed last year, school hunting and archery classes are precluded from receiving federal funding.

‘Since they can’t flatly ban these traditional common practices, they are falling back on the next tool in their kit. They will deny federal funding until the schools fall into compliance.’

“The interpretation could impact millions of American children enrolled in such programs,” Leslie Eastman wrote for Legal Insurrection on Monday. “It is not hard to see this is an attempt to punish programs that are Second Amendment adjacent. Sadly, it appears to be working.”

Eastman noted that there are nearly 9,000 schools in the U.S. which still offer hunter safety and archery classes.

“But many of them have already reported that they are curtailing those classes in the next semester in order to avoid losing their funding. So this shadow attack from the Democrats is working as intended,” Eastman wrote.

Others noted it was not surprising that Team Biden would target archery and hunting programs given that the woke mob even considers not using a person’s preferred pronouns an act of violence.

“Both archery and hunting, whether it’s bow hunting or hunting with a firearm, involve ‘weapons,’ ” Eastman noted. “And weapons are bad. And since they can’t flatly ban these traditional common practices, they are falling back on the next tool in their kit. They will deny federal funding until the schools fall into compliance.”

A survey of students who take part in the National Archery in the Schools Program reveals that 40 percent of the students report being more engaged in the classroom because of the program and 91 percent said they would pursue other outdoor activities. Nearly 15,000 students participate in the program with some 1,300 tournaments held annually, Chris Dorsey wrote for Forbes on Monday.

High school competitive shooting programs have grown dramatically in popularity over the last several years. According to a recent Time feature, “In 2015, 9,245 students, in 317 schools across three states, participated in the USA High School Clay Target League. Since then, participation has spiked 137 percent: in 2018, 21,917 students, from 804 teams in 20 states competed.”

The Time report went on to add, “No scientific research has shown that joining a shooting team makes you more likely to do harm with a gun. And there is no shortage of anecdotal evidence, at least among shooting teams, that describes such structured activities as an antidote to the afflictions often attributed to students who have carried out school massacres, including alienation and social isolation.”

Ball State economics professor Paul Niekamp examined the relationship between violent crime and deer hunting seasons in 21 states over 20 years. He concluded that not only does hunting with firearms and the hunter education training that goes with it not lead to increased firearms violence, but it also decreases it. “My research provides strong evidence that enormous increases in recreational long gun prevalence are not associated with any increase in violent crime,” he said. “In the least populous areas, where long gun prevalence increased 530 percent [during deer seasons], estimates suggest that violent crime actually decreased.”

Tommy Floyd, the president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, slammed Team Biden’s move: “It’s a negative for children,” Floyd told Fox News. “As a former educator of 30-plus years, I was always trying to find a way to engage students. In many communities, it’s a shooting sport, and the skills from shooting sports, that help young people grow to be responsible adults. They also benefit from relationships with role models.”

Archery is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

According to a 2016 nationwide survey by Responsive Management, on behalf of the ATA (Archery Trade Association), archery is one of the fastest growing sports in America. The survey found 76% of archers shoot recreationally, while 35% are bowhunters who shoot only to prepare for hunting. Competitive archers make up 20% of the participants. (Some archers participate in multiple ways, so those percentages don’t total 100%.)

Eastman added: “Parents will now have to step up, one more time, to ensure their children have access to activities important to their families and communities. … I can only encourage others to support archery and hunting to use their time and talent to pass down the knowledge and skills to the next generation. Hopefully, we will see a new administration voted into office in 2024 that is less hostile toward children.”

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