New York Democrat Linda Rosenthal introduced legislation to ban shooting sports from New York schools Friday, claiming the sports “spread gun culture.”
If the legislation is passed, high school shooting teams, including air rifle and even archery clubs, would be disbanded, Time magazine reported on Thursday. These programs can lead to violence, Rosenthal claimed, citing the Parkland shooter’s involvement in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program before executing his mass killing.
“Schools should not be supporting the spread of gun culture in society,” Rosenthal told reporters. “If parents want their children to have shooting instruction, there are opportunities that have nothing to do with the school.”
Assemblyman Will Barclay, a Republican, derided the legislation as “nonsensical.”
“I am unaware of any evidence that links gun violence to these programs; and the student athletes in my district who are involved in these teams are great, responsible kids,” he said in a statement.
Other members of the Parkland JROTC were stellar examples of how the program trains high schoolers to be leaders. Zackary Walls and Colton Haab saved countless lives with quick thinking and a little bit of kevlar during the horrific attack.
While leading a group of roughly 60 students outside in response to a fire alarm suspected shooter Nikolaus Cruz pulled, Walls realized the students’ “fire zone was exactly where the shooter was,” the JROTC company commander explained.
“I heard the first two or three shots; I knew it was gunshots, and I look back at all the kids behind me. There’s 60 kids looking at me,” Walls continued. “‘What do I do? Where do I go?’ and I just yell, ‘get back in the classroom!'”
Walls and Haab, a JROTC captain, eventually took shelter in the same classroom, where they decided to build a shield out of the kevlar curtains used for JROTC training exercises to protect the students.
“I brought those curtains out because I knew exactly what they were made of,” Haab added. “I never thought that we’d need them … but after yesterday, I’m glad that we had them.”
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