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SUZANNE DOWNING: Biden School Rules Target A Cherished Rural American Pastime

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Suzanne Downing Contributor
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The Biden Administration is, if nothing else, busy getting up in our business. Besides interfering in the 2024 presidential election in court, pressuring Facebook to ban conservatives, and forcing schools to adopt radical gender ideology, President Joe Biden is now bullying youth rifle and archery programs.

Last week, it was revealed that the Department of Education is blocking funding for school districts that offer training in archery, hunting, or precision shooting sports, which flies in the face of America’s deep-rooted values of independence, self-reliance, and federalism.

The Biden anti-hunting agenda has the goal of transforming the country’s heartland into the hellscapes of the big cities, where gender dysphoria is encouraged and where firearms are kept out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, so that lawbreakers can rule the streets.

Rifle and archery training activities are proven programs that build self-confidence, skill, poise, and a sense of teamwork among young people. These clubs are particularly popular in rural and small-town America – places where a country singer like Jason Aldean is revered for boldly reminding the ruling class that small towns across the country have their own ways. (RELATED: JENNY BETH MARTIN: Media Elites Don’t Understand Heartland America, And These Chart-Toppers Prove It)

Youth who participate in shooting sports are able to use the activities to win highly competitive ROTC and other college scholarships. Some of these young people go on to regional, national, and Olympic teams.

As Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn. says, “It’s hard enough to get kids outside these days without the Biden administration discouraging it. You don’t learn to respect nature by staying inside and playing video games, but this is what the Biden administration would rather kids do instead of allowing students to learn these time-tested and cherished skills.”

Yet for political purposes, the Department of Education interprets the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” to shut down school activities that are favored by conservatives.

Why target rifle and archery teams? They are “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,” prohibited by the act that was passed last year.

“There is no question that different states and regions have different cultures and values. It’s part of the beauty of our country. Tennessee and Alaska clearly value shooting sports, that might not be the case elsewhere,” Rep. Green says. “But that’s why our Founders set up a federal system of government. The Biden administration has no place telling local schools which elective classes or programs they can or cannot have. I know many of the students in my state would be devastated to lose these educational opportunities. It’s them I am fighting for.”

Meanwhile, millions of students across the nation are impacted by the Biden decision to strip funding from these programs, which comes at the same time America sees young people living sedentary lives and joining the national epidemic of obesity.

Fully 17% of our young people considered obese and Pentagon study published in 2022 shows that 77% of young Americans cannot qualify for military service without a waiver because they are obese, are using drugs, or they have mental or physical health conditions.

Alaska will have to rely on Rep. Green from Tennessee to fight for local control, because our own member of Congress, Rep. Mary Peltola, won’t stand up to President Biden and, in fact, has fully endorsed him in his bid for reelection.

Rep. Green filed the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act during the August recess to address this federal overreach. It amends the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act to specify that “training students in archery, hunting, or other shooting sports” is, indeed, eligible for school funding.

Green, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, will have to wait to have his legislation heard, as members are in their districts for the entire month. Even then, if the bill passes the House, the Senate is in the hands of Sen. Chuck Schumer and his anti-Second Amendment Democrats who may bury the bill in committee.

Then there’s Joe Biden, who apparently believes only the government should be armed and that the public is better off if young people play Fortnite for hours on end.

Thus, it’s not likely that the Department of Education will reverse course before the school bell rings this fall. There’s just not enough pressure from Congress.

Federal taxpayer funding will continue to be made available by the CDC for schools to start LGBTQ clubs this fall, but schools offering rifle and archery clubs will have to throw some bake sales to keep their programs alive.

Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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