Why is Biden withholding funding for schools with archery and hunting programs?

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Even with all of the troubling things that the Biden administration has been doing over the past two and a half years, I’ll confess that I didn’t see this one coming. According to a recent report from Fox News, the White House is blocking federal funding for public schools that have hunting and archery programs for students. The excuse they are offering is that a provision in the Democrats’ “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” last year precludes federal funding for public schools with these programs. Of course, that wasn’t the actual intent of the bill, but as we’ve learned by now, the names that Washington politicians give to bills rarely have much to do with what’s inside of them. For proof, look no further than the hilariously named “Inflation Reduction Act” which was actually a climate change bill.

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The Biden administration is blocking key federal funding earmarked under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 for schools with hunting and archery programs.

According to federal guidance circulated among hunting education groups and shared with Fox News Digital, the Department of Education determined that, under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) passed last year, school hunting and archery classes are precluded from receiving federal funding. The interpretation could impact millions of American children enrolled in such programs.

“It’s a negative for children. As a former educator of 30-plus years, I was always trying to find a way to engage students,” Tommy Floyd, the president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “In many communities, it’s a shooting sport, and the skills from shooting sports, that help young people grow to be responsible adults. They also benefit from relationships with role models.”

As noted above, the BSCA was promoted as a way to make public facilities, including schools, safer and to reduce violence. Nothing about archery or hunting was mentioned anywhere in the legislation. The portion being cited by the White House as justification for withholding the funding wasn’t even included in the original bill. An amendment tacked on at the end included an exception that would withhold funding to schools that “provide any person with a dangerous weapon or provide training in the use of a dangerous weapon.”

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Some GOP Senators immediately objected, pointing out that the intent of the amendment was to “withhold education funds for programs training school resource officers.” That would be bad enough by itself since we clearly need more resource officers in our schools. But hunting and archery classes weren’t even mentioned in the bill’s language. This is just another case of the Biden administration making things up as they go along.

But why? What is this administration suddenly finding so objectionable about hunting or archery? And why wouldn’t you want students who are interested to be trained in both safety and environmental conservation? The answer should be fairly obvious. Both archery and hunting, whether it’s bow hunting or hunting with a firearm, involve “weapons.” And weapons are bad. And since they can’t flatly ban these traditional common practices, they are falling back on the next tool in their kit. They will deny federal funding until the schools fall into compliance.

Sadly, that scheme is already working in a broad fashion. There are nearly 9,000 schools across the country that still offer hunter safety and archery classes. But many of them have already reported that they are curtailing those classes in the next semester in order to avoid losing their funding. So this shadow attack from the Democrats is working as intended.

This is all little more than yet another thinly disguised attack on the Second Amendment. (This is ironic since the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting.) What they are actually doing is producing a generation of young people who will be less well-trained in safety when they take to the field anyway. It’s all an effort to stop people from handling guns and now, apparently, bows and arrows. That’s rather strange since you pretty much never hear about people committing murders or other crimes using archery equipment. There have been a couple of exceptions, like one bow and arrow robbery in Virginia in 2015 and another in Illinois in 2016. Far more people are killed by clubs and bats, so I suppose the Democrats will try denying funding to schools with baseball teams next.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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