This was originally going to be a comment over at No Lawyers, but I really hate having to register with new accounts to comment. John posted about the annual Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Congressional Shoot-Out, and he noted some of the press release quotes that caught his attention:
It is good to see both Democrats and Republicans supporting the shooting sports. However, judging from some of the comments by the co-chairs, many of these legislators still confuse supporting duck hunting with supporting the Second Amendment.
I don’t think it’s fair to criticize them for making hunting-related comments in a press release from an organization focused on hunting & fishing policy representing a caucus dedicated to hunting & fishing legislative topics.
Considering that Rep. Mike Ross is leading the “Second Amendment Task Force” in Congress and has a consistent A+ NRA rating, I don’t think it’s fair to say that he truly believes the Second Amendment is just about hunting. The same goes for Rep. Jeff Miller who has been a member of the Second Amendment Caucus and has an A rating from NRA.
It’s a shooting event to support a caucus that focuses on hunting policy. A press release quote on that very topic doesn’t show any kind of bias against their understanding of gun rights.
Since I’m making this a full post, I’ll also address one of his other suggestions with a dose of DC-practicality.
Next year I’d propose a little different shooting competition. Instead of trap, skeet, and sporting clays, why not make it a 3-gun competition? You’d still have the shotgun involved but would add both rifle and pistol to the mix. Now that would be interesting! It would also show the ATF Shotgun Study team that 3-gun competition is a sporting use.
As an alternative since so many Members of Congress announced after the shooting of Gabby Giffords that they had a concealed carry permit and planned to use it, make it an IDPA pistol competition. That would let us see how serious they are about self-protection and what level of real training they have.
My standard response to this is similar to what I say to people who think that the NRA meeting should be in their backyard: Where would you propose doing all of this? The PG County Trap & Skeet Center only has shotgun ranges. It is chosen as one of the closest ranges to Capitol Hill. The reason why? It’s tough to line up to two dozen members of Congress at the same time to shoot three-different shotgun events that can all happen on the same range. If you waste hours fighting traffic to get members out to a facility that could host any of those events, they won’t come. And then you don’t have any members of Congress participating in any shooting sport.
The other reason is that sporting clays, trap, and skeet are closely related to hunting, one focus of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Instead of lamenting that the hunting caucus is doing hunting-related shooting, perhaps these suggestions might go to the Second Amendment Caucus instead.