Community Takes Stand, Shuts Up School Board That Rejected $5k NRA Grant


The mainstream media and politicians have gone out of their way to paint the National Rifle Association as a villain — but the left’s politically-motivated actions aren’t doing much to stop crime. Instead, they’re hurting students.

Stroudsburg High School in Pennsylvania offers several extracurricular sports, including a school rifle team. Contrary to how liberals would like firearms portrayed, there isn’t anything particularly “evil” or dangerous about this activity.

Students compete with small caliber bolt-action rifles and learn focus, patience and attention to detail. Those are valuable skills in sports and in life — which is probably why shooting sports have been part of the Olympics since 1896.

Here’s the problem: The Stroudsburg rifle team was in dire need of upgrades. Their rifles and other equipment dated back to the 1970s, according to The Morning Call newspaper.

The NRA stepped up to provide a nearly $5,000 grant to the team… but incredibly, the school board voted to refuse the grant money. Apparently politics was more important than providing modern equipment for student sports.

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“The Stroudsburg board voted 6-2 to not accept the NRA grant. Directors said they supported the rifle team but did not think it was appropriate to take money from the NRA,” reported The Morning Call.

One board member called the rifle team grant “dirty money.”

“The NRA is a group that has transformed from a bunch of people who liked hunting in the ’50s to something that, quite frankly, is a hateful, divisive group that seeks nothing but to push guns on people,” declared Alex Reincke, the director of the school board.

Apparently “push guns on people” means “provide equipment for a school rifle team and teach safe gun handling.” And nothing refutes the “divisive” NRA quite like smearing millions of pro-gun Americans as “hateful!”

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Another board member took things even further, and doubled down on the hysterical rhetoric. “It’s not just dirty money, it’s blood money,” Director Tameko Patterson announced.

Did the NRA have anything to do with the tragedy in Florida? No. Are students who learn safe gun handling and participate in a sporting rifle team under proper instruction more or less likely to become criminals? You can answer that one yourself.

It apparently didn’t occur to the anti-gun school board members that it was heroic JROTC students who helped save lives in Parkland — yes, students from the same leadership program that the NRA helps fund across the country.

“Seven school districts in the eight counties in and around the Lehigh Valley received donations totaling $62,897 since 2011,” stated The Morning Call newspaper. “Most of the grants were to shooting teams and Junior ROTC programs.” Maybe America could use more of those students, not less.

After the school refused to accept money that would benefit its own students, the community stepped up… and sent a clear message to those who had smeared the National Rifle Association.

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Two fundraising efforts raised not just the amount offered by the NRA, but at least doubled it. The school rifle team will get its much-needed equipment after all.

“A GoFundMe campaign by state Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, brought in $8,700 by midafternoon Wednesday,” reported the local newspaper. Yes, we have to give credit where it’s due: A Democrat state representative was part of the solution, although her effort may have been more about circumventing the NRA than supporting firearms education.

“A separate effort by some local business leaders raised $6,750,” The Morning Call continued. “Each fundraiser surpassed the amount of the NRA grant, which was $4,730 and offered to the team for the first time this year.”

Before the media could spin the community-funded donations as some sort of anti-NRA gesture, the business owners behind a large portion of the funds made it extremely clear that they actually were National Rifle Association members, and were disappointed that the school had played politics with the original grant.

“It is important to note, they are all members of the NRA and strongly disagree with the school board’s decision and further attempt to politicize guns in this country, on the backs of our kids,” stated Brian Winot, the president of a local contracting firm that raised funds from other area businesses.

“Guns and hunting are part of the very fabric of the Pocono community,” he continued.

These are the NRA members that the left and the media is constantly trying to portray as unhinged and violent: Citizens who own businesses and are involved in the community, trying to make sure that students learn leadership and maturity in today’s world.

“Besides schools, other recipients (of NRA grants) include 4-H groups, which have received $12.2 million since 2010; Boy Scout troops and councils, which received $4 million; and private gun clubs,” reported The Morning Call. “Overall, about half the grants go to programs directed at youths.”

Responsible gun owners and community members supporting respected youth organizations like 4-H, JROTC, and the Boy Scouts… that’s who the left wants to demonize as responsible for the sad actions of criminals.

Luckily, the false narrative isn’t sticking, and heartland Americans aren’t falling for the hysteria.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.