At a time when America’s debate about gun control is at a fever pitch, young people are learning to use firearms in ever greater numbers.It was just a couple months ago this blog included a post about a Bloomberg News story that reported how schools are embracing shooting as the hot new sport. The Globe story reported what instructors and parents of young shooters have known for years - that the demands of target practice improve a child's focus as well as a high level of personal responsibility. Additionally, the Globe noted that youth shooters are routinely asked at some clubs to bring in their report cards — good grades can be a condition of participation.
Participation in the nationwide 4-H Shooting Sports Program, which includes archery, hunting, pistol, rifle, and other firearms, has nearly tripled since 2009 and last year drew 336,558 program participants nationally. The actual number of youths involved is doubtless somewhat different than that, as some sign up for more than one offering and not all states report, but the trend is clear.
Also, after a long decline, participation in hunting in the US increased by 9 percent between 2006 and 2011, and one of the main reasons appears to be an array of youth recruitment and retention programs sponsored by local clubs and national youth organizations, according to a recent study funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hat tip to Bearing Arms.