The Guardian has discovered that there are summer camps in the US where kids can develop the skills to participate in the fun and exciting sport of Practical Shooting. Or as the UK based newspaper puts it “Alternative summer camp: where children learn to shoot assault rifles.”
The article itself wasn’t that bad. It was pretty neutral on the politics and did go into how there were instructors and rules to make sure everybody was safe.
The article made a valiant attempt to be balanced, interviewing some pro-gun people from the camp as well as Ladd Everitt from the CSGV. It is Ladd’s comment that I want to focus on here.
“The lesson you are teaching children is that guns are the solutions to problems,” said Ladd Everitt, the director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He said that his group is opposed to anyone under age 18 participating in practical shooting. “There are plenty of other healthy sports that don’t involve the risk of accidental injury that practical shooting does and don’t involve teaching violence.”
First of all, USPSA doesn’t teach “guns are the solutions to problems” any more than youth boxing, jiu jitsu, karate, or MMA teach that beating the crap out of someone is the solution to problems. But thanks for trying.
Where I really wanted take apart was the statement “There are plenty of other healthy sports that don’t involve the risk of accidental injury that practical shooting does.”
How many young people who participate in USPSA are counted in the 135,000 youth sports related brain injuries that occur every year?
What about the fact that pee wee football has a worse brain injury rate than the NFL.
Of the 1.35 million youth sports injuries per year, how many are gunshots?
What about the fact that youth sports injuries are on the rise as coaches and parents become more competitive and push children from an early age to excel in a sport with the hopes of a college scholarship?
I tried to find out how many people per year are injured while participating in USPSA, and I couldn’t find any injury statistics. I also couldn’t find any records of any accidental shootings during a USPSA match either. Doing my best to find out how many accidental shootings occurred during sanctioned shooting competitions of all types yielded no results.
I’m not going to say that it never happened, but it seems to be so rare that there are no statistics for it.
Just going by the numbers, it seems that kids are a whole lot safer at the range than they are on the gridiron on soccer pitch.
That largely has to do with the contrasting cultures of the sports. In shooting, the coaches and RSOs are there to make sure everyone is being safe all the time.
In most other sports, the coaches are there telling the kids to hit harder, dig deeper, and push themselves to the breaking point for a win.
Buy why let facts get in the way of your point?