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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Does Media Bias Hurt Team USA’s Olympic Shooters?

On Friday, Bloomberg News reported on the difficulty Team USA’s shooters have in acquiring major sponsors. Although the feature alluded to similar sports with lower-visibility outside of the Olympics, the headline painted Team USA’s shooters as pariahs: “Olympics Sponsors Want Nothing to Do With Team USA Shooters.”

Or handball, table tennis, archery, sailing and race walking. Peter Carlisle of Octagon Worldwide told Bloomberg, “The biggest challenge is limited exposure.” However, Bloomberg claimed Team USA’s dedicated—and highly successful—shooters were stigmatized by what it called the “rise in gun violence and mass shootings.” 

If there is any truth to that claim, the media, like Bloomberg (himself no friend of gun rights), share the blame for linking all shooting to violent crime. Case in point: After Team USA’s Kim Rhode won a shooting medal at her unprecedented fifth-straight Olympics, CNN’s Piers Morgan asked her about the Aurora mass shooting. Yet has CNN ever asked NASCAR champions about drunk drivers?


Kim Rhode Makes Olympic History With Shooting Medal

U.S. skeet shooter Kim Rhode made history yesterday in Rio when she became the first female athlete to win a medal in six consecutive Olympic Games.

The 37-year-old six-time Olympian won a bronze medal in the event, narrowly winning a shoot-off with China’s Wei Meng. Italian shooters Diana Bacosi and Chiara Cainero won the gold and silver medals in the event. 

Rhode is certainly no stranger to the Olympic podium. The veteran shotgunner ruled Olympic double trap competition for years, winning a gold medal in Atlanta in 1996, bronze in Sydney in 2000, and gold in 2004 in Athens. After switching to skeet shooting, Rhode took silver in Beijing in 2008 and gold again in London in 2012.


U.S. Sen. Manchin Suggests Expanding Right To Carry Will Embolden Criminals

This week’s “Huh?” award for the most incoherent sound bite goes to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., who suggested on Monday that criminals obey gun laws and that allowing lawful citizens to carry concealed firearms without a license—as Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming currently do—will somehow lead to criminals ambushing police. 

Speaking at a town hall meeting for Orbital ATK employees in Rocket Center, W.V., Manchin showed he’s definitely not a rocket scientist when he said of West Virginia’s new constitutional carry law: “Before, we always knew who we were chasing—the bad guy—but we knew most of the people didn’t have a gun concealed, and if they did, they were responsible. We don’t know that anymore.” Again: Huh? 

As Breitbart pointed out, criminals ignore all laws. In reality, laws restoring the right of lawful people to fight back don’t embolden criminals—they put criminals on the run.


NRA Support Made Competitive Shooting Possible For Ginny Thrasher

19-year-old Olympian Ginny Thrasher—who won the 2016 Games’ first gold medal when she bested China’s Du Li in Women’s 10m Air Rifle—had only been shooting four years when she took the podium last Saturday. Her shooting career began when she joined her high-school shooting team—a team that might not have existed without help from The NRA Foundation. 

The NRA Foundation routinely gives grants to scholastic shooting programs, allowing high schools and universities to create and improve shooting teams. Ginny’s school, West Springfield High, was the recipient of two of these grants. The first allowed the school to purchase the equipment necessary to found the team, and the second funded enough additional equipment for the team to take on more members—one of whom was Ginny Thrasher. 

“Without [The NRA Foundation’s] support, there would be no rifle team at West Springfield High School, and Ginny would not be shooting precision rifle at the 2016 Olympics,” Ginny’s high school coach, Edie Williams, said, adding that the NRA grants “provide the means for young people who may not otherwise engage in a varsity sport activity, to join a sport that holds many other opportunities.”


NRA Leaders Endorse Sen. Roy Blunt

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who is seeking re-election this year, was joined at a recent campaign stop by NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Chris W. Cox.

Addressing the crowd gathered in Missouri, Blunt said, “The problem is not that we don’t have enough laws, the problem is the administration isn’t enforcing the laws we do have.” 

LaPierre, NRA executive vice president and chief executive officer, concurred. “The whole discussion about gun control has nothing to do with making people safer. It is simply that they have a political agenda that they don’t want Americans in this country to own guns,” he said. “They should enforce existing gun laws against the people who commit crimes, and they don’t do it.” 

The NRA leaders also took the opportunity to endorse Blunt. NRA-ILA Executive Director Cox called the senator a “champion for individual freedom” and urged voters to turn out in November.


Second Road Rage Incident Ends Badly For Killer

A Florida man who had just been released from prison for a road rage killing  more than a decade ago met his fate on Wednesday in another road rage incident—this one involving a legal gun owner.

According to local police, Gary Lynn Durham had just been released from prison after serving 11 years for killing a man in a road rage incident in 2001. On Tuesday, Durham was involved in a similar incident, where he stopped his car, got out and was menacingly approaching another vehicle. During the ensuing argument, the other driver warned Durham to stay back, but when he continued to approach the man shot him.

Local media reports said that people who knew Durham were not surprised by Wednesday’s encounter, saying they knew it was bound to happen because of his anger issues and violent tendencies. In the earlier incident, Durham had punched another driver so hard that he was comatose for days before dying.


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