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Hillsdale is a remarkable college in Michigan that was established in 1844. More of its students went to join up for the Civil War than any other western school. And it is known for offering a Classical education and teaching the Constitution. It also takes no money from the Federal government. And is highly celebrated for its requirements and high standards.
But much less well-known are their shooting range, shooting workshops for adults and students and now, programs for high school students. How did they pull this off in the state of Michigan?
It began when Reading High School approached Hillsdale College and requested that the college offer a safety and marksmanship training course to its high school students. Hillsdale thought it was a fine idea and was interested; the parents at the school worked through the district superintendent and eventually the program was approved, including a segment on the Constitution. The first year Hillsdale signed up four high schools; this past year they signed up 11 high schools and enrolled 159 high school students. They explained that they were focused primarily on gun safety and then marksmanship, with a component on the Constitution (and of course the Second Amendment).
This year Hillsdale College and USA Shooting National Team formed a partnership that will designate the College’s John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Education Center’s world-class facilities as a Certified Eastern Regional Training and Competition Center for the USA Shooting National Team and sanctioned shooting sports development programs.
How has the high school shooting program expanded? Word-of-mouth. The parents hear about a program that’s provided to another school and approach their own school board. Although some boards have turned them down, many more have agreed with the benefits of the program and have set up partnerships with Hillsdale.
The national growth of the USA League program that Hillsdale is offering is heartening and impressive:
The organization’s priorities are safety, fun, and marksmanship – in that order. Each student is required to pass a comprehensive firearm safety education course prior to participation.
The League is the safest sport in high school, with not one reported injury since the inception of the League in 2001. To participate in the League, each team must have the approval of their school’s administration. The League is the only 100% school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America.
Nationwide, more than 32,000 students representing over 1,000 school-approved teams participated in the League during the 2018-19 school year.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
So, while the gun-control advocates cry out about the dangers of guns, some parents in Michigan are making sure their children are taught gun basics. Hillsdale is staying out of the political fray by not actively promoting their courses. But they are not afraid to support the Second Amendment and advocate for gun safety and marksmanship.
Kudos to Hillsdale College!
[Hillsdale students are shown in the video, but you can see the facility and the school’s approach to training.]Published in