Shooting Programs on Rise at Colleges

College students across the United States—including those in some Ivy League schools—are learning life lessons through using guns in school.

When you think of the “elite” and “privileged” students who attend the nation’s most prestigious colleges, you might think most busy themselves with subjects such as law, medicine and science.

But thanks to groups and businesses involved in Second-Amendment advocacy and the shooting sports, more colleges and universities have overflowing shooting classes and programs.

The Washington Post and related news services reported this week that, thanks to investments made by trade, advocacy and firearms-friendly business, shooting programs are thriving at colleges and universities across the country—even at some institutions that might surprise you … like a number of Ivy League schools.

In a positive front-page story appearing in the Sunday, March 15, Washington Post, writer Michael S. Rosenwald detailed the experiences of students participating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rifle and pistol teams.

The article reported that teams are thriving at a diverse range of schools, including Yale, Harvard, the University of Maryland, George­Mason University and at small schools such as Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Connors State College in Oklahoma.

“We literally have way more students interested than we can handle,” Steve Goldstein, one of MIT’s pistol coaches told the reporter.

But the surge in college shooting programs didn’t happen by accident, or overnight. Since 2009 the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm and ammo industry’s primary trade association, has awarded more than $1 million to help start about 80 college shooting programs.

In addition, groups like the Midway USA Foundation and others have added nearly $100 million to help youth and college programs, including MIT’s.

And for years, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has organized and sponsored rifle and pistol championships and has supported collegiate and competitive shooting programs. In fact, this weekend (March 20, 2015) marks the beginning of the NRA Intercollegiate Rile and Pistol Championship at Fort Benning, Ga.

A recent post on the MIT admissions office’s blog featured student Lydia Andreyevna Krasilnikova commenting on her rifle competition class. She wrote that competitive shooting has taught her many things to improve her life, metaphorically speaking.

“Focus on the shot you’re lining up now, not the one you just took, not the ones you’ll take in the future,” she wrote.

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