Shotgun team promotes safety
The USC Aiken Shotgun Team has been around since February 16, 2016. Founder Alex Richardson has worked diligently to grow the organization. The USCA Shotgun Team and partner organizations take pride in promoting firearm safety.
In the wake of current events, it is important to discuss gun safety and the NRA. The Shotgun Team is able to shed some light on these topics. Now, if you have not heard about the shotgun club, that is okay.
The shotgun club’s mission statement declares that it is “designed to bring together students with similar interests in the clay target sports. The Team’s goal is to provide an opportunity for these students to improve their shotgun and clay target skills and to create a campus interest in competitive shooting sports.”
The shotgun sport consists of three games: skeet, trap and sporting clays. Skeet dates back to the early 1900s as a way to simulate the crisscrossing hunting action of flying upland birds, such as dove. Trap dates back to the late 1700s and was designed to simulate the flight path of flushing game birds such as grouse, pheasant and quail to hone a hunter’s skills. Sporting clays date back to the early 1900s and is often described as golf with a shotgun. Unlike the confined field of trap and skeet, clays are set on a walking course in a natural environment.
The handling of firearms safely is a huge concern in our community. It is also the club’s foremost priority. Alex Richardson said, “The Youth and Collegiate clay target programs educate people on the safe handling of firearms. “
It is important that we make clear that the Shotgun club utilizes firearms as a tool in a competitive sport. According to Alex, “The word firearms, not weapons, should be used because shotguns are no more than any other piece of equipment for a sport, no different than bats are to baseball or clubs are to golf.” So, any misunderstanding as a resistance to guns often stems from a lack of knowledge.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Responsible gun handling and use is directly proportional to a person’s knowledge of guns and correct behavior with them and around them. It is the belief that firearm education reduces gun accidents.
Universities like Clemson, Jacksonville and Liberty have shooting sports courses as a part of their elective credit curriculum, open to all students, not just their competitive shooting teams. End of course surveys show that over fifty percent of students taking these courses say that it was their first experience handling a firearm and that they now feel comfortable and knowledgeable on the safe interaction with one. Alex Richardson would like to advocate for similar courses to be offered at USCA. The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms use carries over into many other aspects of life.