Among the anti-gun narratives pushed by liberals in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was this doozy from the New York Daily News:
The Florida shooting suspect was on an NRA-funded school rifle team https://t.co/6pZqrtZMRD
An early look at Saturday’s front… pic.twitter.com/kqi7fd6G9J
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 17, 2018
If you were confused about “NRA-funded school rifle teams,” you weren’t alone:
WTF !!! A SCHOOL RIFLE TEAM … ????
— H@r@ld (@haraldbluetooth) February 18, 2018
Now, given the Daily New’s blaring headline, you would assume that the program in question was some sort of insidious paramilitary/anarchist student club operating secretly on the school campus, unbeknownst to the law-abiding teachers and students, in which its members covertly trained for future careers as ISIS terrorists or, say, school shooters.
It turns out that the New York Daily News was referring to the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which, according to The Associated Press, received $10,827 in non-cash assistance from the NRA’s fundraising and charitable arm in 2016.
Contrary to the deliberately false Daily News headline, there is no indication in the AP article that was the basis for its the report that the NRA had anything to do with instruction or training at school’s JROTC program. In other words, he was not “trained by the NRA,” by any stretch of the imagination outside of liberal fever swamps.
The JROTC progam has been in existence since 1916, according to its website, and has almost 2,000 programs active worldwide: “The U.S. Army’s JROTC program currently operates in more than 1,700 public and private high schools, military institutions, and correctional centers throughout the United States and overseas.”
Famous alumni of the JROTC program include Apollo program astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and head coach of Duke University Basketball Mike Kryzewski.
The Daily News, which derisively referred to the JROTC as nothing more than a “gun club” throughout its piece, failed to mention that the program is so much more than a group for shooting enthusiasts, or that it has sources of funding other than the NRA. For example, one such source is the United States military.
As the AP wrote, “The more than 1,700 high school JROTC programs nationally also receive financial support from the U.S. military and are typically supervised by retired officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The military collaborates with school systems on the training curriculum, which includes marching drills, athletic competitions and shooting teams.”
Nor did the Daily News bother to mention the bravery of Company commander Capt. Zackary Walls, 17, and Capt. Colton Haab, 17, both of whom are also in the JROTC program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and who led students to safety and shielded them with bulletproof materials that had been obtained with that same NRA funding, as reported by TheBlaze.
As observed by other Twitter users, the Daily News narrative suggests that these two brave students are not heroes, but are also school shooters in the making:
Weird how none of the other team members shot up the school.
I mean, weren’t they similarly funded?
— Tweets from Fido (@TextingFido) February 17, 2018
The Daily News — and other media outlets that picked up the NRA angle — should be ashamed of itself for peddling such a disgraceful smear against the brave young men and women who participate in JROTC programs, not to mention the active military officers and veterans who offer their time and talent in training up the next generation of our nation’s finest.
The newspaper should be ashamed for trying to smear the National Rifle Association like that, too. But from a liberal organization like the Daily News, that would be asking for way too much honesty.
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