The National Rifle Association has given millions of dollars to schools across the United States since 2010 in what some critics are calling an effort to recruit new, young members to the organization.
In total, schools across the country have received $7.3 million in grants designed to bolster shooting sports and other pro-gun programs, CBS News reports. That figure is just a smaller portion of more than $61 million given by the NRA Foundation to local groups (including schools and other organizations) throughout the nation.
Some schools have decided to take a stand against those grants, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which fell victim to a school shooting in February that resulted in 17 deaths and dozens more injured. Denver Public Schools also announced this week it would no longer continue receiving grants from the NRA.
However, hundreds of districts across the country will likely still accept grants from the gun lobbyist organization, funding shooting programs that are mainly directed at young people.
In all, NRA grants helped 773 school programs, nearly half of which are Junior ROTC programs, similar to the program that Nikolas Cruz, the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was a part of.
It is unconscionable that states across our nation allow the NRA to permeate our children’s schools, especially in light of school shootings that remain a problem for students across the country. Under the guise of “shooting sports,” the NRA is promoting a culture of guns being acceptable in our schools, a notion that most Americans are adamantly against.
Schools across the country should follow the lead that some retailers have taken in recent days — pushing against a relaxed culture of rules regarding access to guns. These programs perpetuate the idea that guns are an acceptable fixture of school hallways, a notion that we should not accept as legitimate.