Depriving Youth Access To Target Sports is Nonsensical

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
A bill was recently put forward by a Manhattan lawmaker that, if passed and signed by the Governor, would do away with marksmanship, archery, and shooting programs in New York state schools.

The bill would also ban gun safety classes on school grounds by prohibiting the use of firearms as part of the lesson.

Under this proposal, highly successful programs and teams that positively impact thousands of kids each year would be eliminated. Dedicated and trained professionals who instruct children of all abilities would no longer be able to teach skills that they can use for a lifetime.

The proposal would have a far-reaching effect.

According to the New York state Public High School Athletic Association, there are more than 30 air-rifle teams in New York with 300 student participants.

One team in Central Square recently earned top rankings in several events at a state-wide competition in West Point.

The New York State High School Clay Target League had 59 high school teams participate this year that included 1,149 students.

In addition to rifle sports, archery would also be eliminated.

This runs counterintuitive to what state officials and educators are doing to accommodate a growing interest in outdoor recreation.

In 2008, New York became the 44th state to offer the National Archery in Schools Program.

This program is coordinated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation which provides curriculum to interested schools.

Officials from DEC report that interest in the sport has grown in recent years.

Currently, more than 34,000 students participate in archery during the school year in physical education classes and in teams run through the schools.

This year, about 700 students from 33 school districts participated in an annual statewide archery tournament.

This is a great opportunity for kids of all ages.

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central Schools has a competitive team and once again, students ranked in this year’s competition.

Instructors for each of these programs point to strengths and benefits and the positive impact they have on kids.

For example, students of all athletic abilities can participate in target sports which makes them arguably more inclusive than other sports.

They help develop hand-eye coordination, grip, and body strength.

Educators say they engage the ‘unengaged’ student and as a result, this inspires students to reach higher achievement in other subject areas.

Educators also say these programs teach discipline, focus, and teamwork.

As with any team sport, kids get to learn the value of hard work and experience the gratification of seeing their work pay off as they improve over time and place in competitions.

If proposing to take these opportunities away was not bad enough, the sponsor also proposes to do away with hunter safety opportunities at schools.

These are voluntary courses which teach people the basics of firearm safety.

If we want to lower gun injuries and death as the sponsor suggests, we should create more training opportunities that teach people safe handling and other skills.

If you have comments regarding these or other state issues, please contact me.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by email at [email protected], or by calling (315) 598-5185.

You also can find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.


  1. They can shoot all they want at home. Nonsensical Rifle Addiction (nra) is passed on to the children either automatically (ackackackackackack) or semi-automatically (ack-ack-ack-ack-ack). Schools shouldn’t be contributors to the nonsensical addiction.

  2. The National Rifle Association (who by the way has done nothing to anyone) is a proud supporter and defender of our second amendment. That out of the way, I believe the article mentioned nothing about automatic, or semi-automatic weapons. It deals with common sense good stewardship of air rifles and archery equipment.
    These classes are valuable at teaching our youth good skills, and proper respect for weapons.
    I always find it hilarious when those who demonize the NRA always seem to be the people who blame the gun for the doings of the one using that gun.
    Schools have taught these classes for years, and I believe should continue as a very important supplement to what they learn at home.

  3. re: Taxed…ariel’s just doing what she does “automatically”, by shooting off from the mouth about anything she percieves as being part of a conservative agenda. Sometimes, it makes me laugh a bit like this (lollollollollollol), and other times, like this, (lol-lol-lol-lol-lol-lol). Every news story is a potential target for her to take aim at.

  4. How many children in school have been accused of any wrong doing with guns and/or archery? Central Square school has had a rifle team for over sixty years. I have heard of none those children ever having any issues with guns. I believe our country is becoming to liberal!!!

  5. Sean Simpson, a teacher a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School was trained to weaponize at school. He was subsequently arrested for leaving his handgun in a public bathroom. If it wasn’t so potentially tragic, it would be hilarious. Nonsensically addicted. Ack atchya, Wizard.

  6. @a hunter: here is a partial list to your question: Seung Hui Cho- 32 killed; Adam Lanza-27 killed; Nikolas Cruz- 17 killed; Robert Steinhäuser-16 killed; Tim Kretschmer- 15 killed; Erik Harris- 13 killed; Dylan Klebold-13 killed; Bai Ningyand- 15 killed; Jeff Weise- 9 killed; Pekka Auvinen- 8 killed; Branamir Donchev- 6 killed; Sergei Lepnev- 6 killed; Andrew Golden, (age 11)- 5 killed; Mitch Johnson- 5 killed; Kipland Kinkel- 4 killed; Kim De Gelder- 4 killed; Eric Houston- 4 killed; Anthony Barbaro- 4 killed; Gabe Parker- 2 killed; Michael Slobodian- 2 killed; Charles Williams- 2 killed; Tyrone Mitchell 2 killed. The mother of Noah Posner insisted on an open casket for her 6 year old son. A handkerchief was placed where his lower jaw was once part of his face, leaving his upper lip, nose, eyes, still visible for the funeral.

  7. @ariel : …and your list has to do with the NRA how exactly?
    While very sad, more people die each day from accidents in the home than by the hand of someone irresponsible with a gun.
    All the more reason proper education of handling a firearm is essential for our youth.

  8. The report, published recently in Health Promotion Practice, reviewed 10 studies on the effectiveness of strategies for teaching gun safety to children ages 4 to 9. The researchers found such programs do not reduce the likelihood that children will handle guns when they are unsupervised, that boys are more likely than girls to ignore gun-safety rules and that few studies exist of gun-safety programs for children beyond the fourth grade.

  9. Children who participate in gun safety programs often ignore what they learned when encountering a real firearm, according to a Rutgers School of Nursing study. Included among the findings from previous studies is that 85 percent of gun-owning parents did not practice safe gun storage and 72 percent believed their young children could differentiate a toy gun from a real gun.
    Is your arsenal locked? 85% of you have un-secured weapons, which is a failure of the nonsensical rifle addiction, Oliver North, and your parents, their parents, ad nauseam.

  10. Firearm injuries are the third-leading cause of death for all children aged 1 to 17 and are responsible for thousands of children being treated for open wounds, fractures and brain and spinal injuries. In addition, children who witness firearm injury can experience psychological effects, such as fear, anxiety and elevated stress.

  11. Children are very curious — especially about things that they have been warned not to handle. The researchers concluded that safe gun storage is the best way to protect children and adolescents from gun injuries. Their advice: Lock the guns up and make sure children cannot get the key or learn the access code, or better yet HAVE A GUN FREE-HOME.

  12. Frying pans outnumber guns in my home 6-0, but they can’t have unless they pry them from my hot, tired hands.

  13. ariel, if you are going to respond, that is fine, but when and if you do , answer the question! Perhaps you need to read my comments again. Then just maybe you may see the light.

  14. A gun free home, or zone, is nothing but a target for a criminal. Criminals will always get guns, and by putting more restrictions on responsible gun owners you do nothing to make anyone safer. The States with higher gun ownership have less violent crime. Teaching children at home and at school will never give you a 100% fail-safe society. Nothing will. However I would much rather have knowledgeable people with guns, than just those who rail against them.
    Guns are here, and always will be here, unless your solution is to round them all up.
    …and history shows us what that is the beginning of.

  15. Some levity:
    Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Remington 30.06 right in the doorway. I left 6 cartridges beside it, then left it alone and went about my business.
    While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house.
    After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there, right where I had left it. It hadn’t moved itself outside. It certainly hadn’t killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had presented to do so.
    In fact, it hadn’t even loaded itself. Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the Media about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people.
    Either the media is wrong or I’m in possession of the laziest gun in the world.
    The United States is 3rd in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out just 4 cities: Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC and New Orleans, the United States is 4th from the bottom, in the entire world, for Murders.
    These 4 Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the U.S.
    ALL 4 of these cities are controlled by Democrats.
    It would be absurd to draw any conclusions from this data – right?
    Well, I’m off to check on my spoons. I hear they’re making people fat.

  16. A commenter here just gave me orders. Must be a military-type gundamentalist. Cars and knives are instruments for convenience of daily living. Remington is filing for bankruptcy and Dick’s is destroying their AR-15’s. You Rock, Emma! And you, too, David! Ollie North to the rescue. Maybe he can gets some weapons back from the Iran/Contra debacle now that he’s the leader of the Nonsensical Rifle Addiction (nra).

  17. re: ariel…Children who participate in Driver’s ED often ignor what they have learned when encountering other vehicals on the road too. Should they discontinue that program as well? Also, should the parents put a padlock on the refridgerator door to keep them away from the 12 pack inside before letting them take the car? Are you going to deny that young drivers and alcohol are a bigger threat to public safety than guns?

  18. Cars and knives are conveniences for daily living. Guns are conveniences for daily murders. Along with the SafeAct, any legislation that lessens the culture of guns, helps set this murderous society back on track. 40,000 dead every year, and thousands more injured, psychologically traumatized. I have yet to hear any gundamentalist specify any part of the SafeAct that they have a problem dealing with. It is now an AUTOMATIC A-1 felony for killing a First Responder, thanks to the SafeAct. The same with bringing guns onto school grounds: A-1 felony.
    The rate of hunters to the total population is HALF of what it was in 1967. 1.4 million licenses were sold then and now, but the population has doubled since then. Venison costs at least $100 per pound. Imported wild Alaskan halibut is $22/lb and Wagyu beef can be purchased for under $40/lb. and you don’t have to die falling out of a tree stand to get it!

  19. re: ariel….Cars and knives are “conveniences” for daily living? So isn’t a fork and a spoon, but they could still be used as a weapon if a gun wasn’t available. Watch some old prison movies from the 1950’s if you don’t think so. It isn’t safe anywhere,… even in the prison yard shooting hoops on the court where the only people who have guns are the watchtower guards.

  20. re: ariel…”Along with the Safe Act, “any legislation” that lessens the culture of guns, helps set this murderous society back on track” -ariel.

    Just wondering if you think that statement should apply to the First Amendment as well as the Second? After all, aren’t the liberal’s in Hollywood mainly responsible for the promotion and creation of such gun violence? Hummm…let’s see now.. .how about movies such as “Goodfella’s”, “The Godfather”, and hundreds of others? Come on now, “don’t give me the babe in the woods routine”….you know it’s true!
    So, you think that’s funny? What, do I look like a clown or something?
    Ahhhh! I almost had you there! Now go get ‘yer shinebox!

  21. “The suspect used a shotgun and .38-revolver obtained from his father, who owned them legally, Abbott said. IT WAS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE FATHER KNEW HIS SON HAD TAKEN THEM.”
    “Honest, Ossifer, they were right there by the front door the last time I looked.”
    Only 15% are safely secured, meaning yours have an 85% likeliness of NOT being safely secured.

  22. “Texas has some of the most permissive gun laws in the U.S. and just hosted the NRA’s annual conference earlier this month.”
    But no guns were allowed inside, at the nonsensical rifle addiction (nra) love-in.

  23. Tuesday: “A 59-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly fired over a dozen rounds from an AK-47 at neighbors after complaining about noise their children were making, reports Tomes faces two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon, four counts of reckless endangering and two counts of attempted murder.

    Two 20-year-old men were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Lincoln County Circuit Court. One victim was shot in the shoulder and the other was shot in each leg and a foot.”
    “Dang spoons, again.”

  24. re: ariel….So what’s your point? You probably wouldn’t be allowed to bring a drumset to a Rolling Stones concert or a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame annual induction ceremony either. And if you did, they would probably lock YOU up if you started playing!

  25. Ammunition manufacturers now offer a range of alternative hunting shot containing iron, copper, zinc, tungsten, or bismuth as primary declared component. A team of researchers at the TU Munich led by Prof. Dr. Axel Goettlein and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Geist, however, has come to the conclusion that a number of the alternatives are even more toxic to water organisms than conventional lead shot.

  26. 5/18/2018: “One person was killed and another wounded in a shooting Friday night between people leaving a high school graduation ceremony in Georgia.

    A Clayton County Police statement said “one person is now confirmed deceased” after the shooting.”
    Not the type of graduation they had back in then1950’s. They fought with spoons back then.
    Schools and shooting don’t mix. Don’t encourage it. It’s nonsensical, but not to the nonsensically rifle addicted (nra).

  27. Since 2000, there have been more than 188 shootings at schools and universities, my colleague Philip Bump estimates. (It’s hard to cite a definitive number, because the federal government does not study gun violence in the United States. The Nonsensical Rifle Addiction has opposed any measure to fund research or accounting of America’s gun epidemic.) Go figure…….

  28. re ariel: Since 2000 there have been several more thousand deaths by car crashes, and home accidents than gun shootings.

    I once again wonder why you continue bringing up the NRA, and disparaging them, as they have done nothing to hurt anyone, and had nothing to do with any of these shootings.

    So dear government, please ban everything, and ban us from leaving our homes.
    Each day, please come in, and feed us, and clean up after us, because the actual world is too dangerous to venture out into

  29. You’re right ariel, schools and shootings don’t mix. Since today’s generation is so “addicted” to their own personal gadgets and like to be on the internet most of the time, perhaps we should consider closing the schools altogether and just let them stay home an get “an online education” instead.

    Just think of the cost saving benefits alone of building new schools, upkeep & maintenece, utility bills, school bus purchases, fuel and maintenence costs for transportation, and the constant plea for new school tax levies would be astronomical in terms of tax savings for local communities. (We’ll only recommend this solution for the High Schools). They can just stay at home in their “safe spaces”. Homework assignments wouldn’t be much different than paying a bill online. And if they cheat to graduate, they would probably be fired from their first job within a month anyhow, so it’s their choice. And, we could bring back the “Truant Ossifer’s” if they were outside durring school hours, except for a two hour lunch break at 11:00am-1:00pm.

    The abandoned High Schools would then become new office space for city administrative personell, a DMV, Code Enforcement, and various other city positions (including a public library), all centrally located for public access, and not be part of a school system budget. The gymnasium would function as a local YMCA teen center in every community, and the auditorium for local music concerts and Tom & Jerry cartoons on the weekends. We’ll keep the spoons in the cafeteria locked away in the student lockers, just to be on the safe side.

  30. That’s right ariel, …back in the 50’s they used to drive cars at each other playing a game of “Chicken” to settel their disputes, (like in a James Dean movie). Sometimes, they resorted to using switchblade knives in school (like in the movie “Blackboard Jungle”).

    The point being, that “dangerous, reckless behavior” has been around for quite some time. The difference is, (that back then) they had actual “Reform Schools” to straighten you out until you were 21 instead of Juvenile Detention Centers, and psyco therapy treatments for the insane at State run Asylems. Dangerous people wern’t being let back out into society with a slap on the wrist from a liberal court judge, and you may have been smacked with a paddle by your father if you started showing signs of disorderly behavior growing up. Violence was far less portrayed on television and in movie theatres, and Little Richard wasn’t singing rap music. Kids played with cap guns and squirt guns and nobody was blaming that on the NRA. Toy guns and toy rifles were popular birthday and Christmas gifts, typically endorsed by such role models as Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans.

    Back then, guns in television shows were (more often than not) being used by “the good guys” to take care of “the bad guys”. But somewhere in the 1980’s that image seemed to slowly reverse itself, largely due to “action films” with increasing violence and use of weaponry by the bad guys killing the good guys. The glorification of violence to make bad guys appear to be worse than another bad guy before them for movie ratings and box office revenues. If you wish to continue simply blaming the NRA without looking at the bigger picture (on the drive-in screen), you are being shortsighted at best.

  31. So far in 2018, more children have been killed in school shootings than soldiers have been killed in our military because guns belong in the military and not in the hands of people who bring them to schools.

  32. re: Well ariel, if you’re only talking about this year alone, I haven’t checked the stats. Obviously, that wouldn’t apply to any “total casualties” as the result of major war we have ever been involved in, but it may be true for the 5 month period this year alone. My response would be that because the military is ARMED (and trained) and not in a “soft target” area that that would be the reason why. At any rate, the comparison has no real bearing whatsoever on the issue other than to make it sound even worse than it is, and to be used as a liberal talking point out of context.

Comments are closed.