Donor deluge: School rifle team scores $$ after board rejects NRA grant

The NRA offers grants to various high school rifle teams. (Screen capture, YouTube, WNEP)

A school board in Pennsylvania has egg on its face after local businesses in the Stroudsburg school district flooded the local high school rifle team with donations because the board on Monday voted to reject a $4,730 grant from the National Rifle Association, according to Fox News.

The Morning Call reported that one board member, Alex Reincke, described the proposed NRA grant as “dirty money.”

“I didn’t want to bring national politics into this but unfortunately we have no choice,” Reincke said, according to the newspaper account. “The NRA is a group that has transformed from a bunch of people who liked hunting in the ’50s to something that quite frankly is a hateful, divisive group that seeks nothing but to push guns on people.”

This compelled one member of the audience to reportedly remind the board that “we all vote.” However, the newspaper also noted that Reincke’s comments received applause from parents.

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In the end, money talked and the rhetoric walked as Fox News reported nine local businesses shelled out more than $6,000 to replace the rejected grant.

The community is located in east-central Pennsylvania roughly 75 miles north from Philadelphia.

The incident is yet another demonstration of the visceral chasm that has opened between Americans on the gun control issue. There seems to be no middle ground on the issue of Second Amendment rights versus restrictive gun control proposals.

This happened as Rasmussen was conducting a survey of likely voters about last weekend’s “March for Our Lives” that purportedly was organized and led by Florida high school students. Rasmussen found that 44 percent of likely voters “believe it’s at least somewhat likely that the March for Our Lives will drive changes to gun laws, including 13 percent who think it’s very likely.”

But according to Dana R. Fisher, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, the marches saw a lot more adults than high schoolers. She wrote about it in the Washington Post. That suggests a lot more anti-gun adults were using the nationwide events to bolster the public perception that their agenda is gaining traction.

There is certainly a lot of debate, and some activity toward erosion of Second Amendment rights. An initiative to ban so-called “assault weapons” has been filed in Oregon. Two Capitol Hill Democrats – Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – have filed legislation to require background checks for ammunition. Florida raised the minimum age for buying long guns to 21.

Depending upon to whom one listens, none of these measures would make any difference at all or they might make some difference in reducing violent crime.

According to Rasmussen, 51 percent think it is unlikely the marches will lead to gun law changes.

Back in February, Rasmussen found that most Americans blamed government error rather than lack of gun control for what happened at that Florida high school. At the time, 54 percent of the respondents believed that “the failure of government agencies to respond to numerous warning signs from the prospective killer is more to blame for the mass shooting.” Breaking down the numbers further, 61 percent of Americans with secondary school age children thought government was more to blame for what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, while 33 percent thought a lack of gun control laws was more to blame.

Since then, more damning evidence of Broward County breakdown has surfaced, including videos of a deputy who stayed outside the building while carnage was occurring inside.

Now there’s a new twist on the marches that Fox News is reporting.

The Rasmussen survey also noted that 49 percent of likely voters think high school students are more politically involved than they have been in the past. That may be partly due to the constant appearances of two students – David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez – may be contributing to that.

It’s not likely either of them would ever participate in a school rifle team.

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