No matter where you live, the joy of the shooting sports should be accessible
Fairfax, Virginia - This month's issue of NRA InSights shows you how sharing your love for the shooting sports can be the biggest gift of all. Read on to learn about one generous firearms enthusiast who brought the shooting sports to the inner-city schools of Memphis, Tennessee and is helping shape a whole new generation of trap and skeet shooters.
Passing the Blessings on
By Wendy LaFever
This time of year, many of us turn our thoughts to the blessings we've received. How, we wonder, can we pass those blessings on to others? For Memphis, Tenn.'s Jim Crews, that question was resolved one afternoon about a year and a half ago, while relaxing at the Memphis Sport Shooting Association (MSSA). "MSSA allows the local Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) teams to practice there, charging only for the targets they use," he relates, "and it's fun to see those young folks and how they come along." All of a sudden, an idea popped into his mind. "I don't know if the good Lord put it there," he chuckles, "but I think so." You see, clay target shooting is the fastest-growing high-school sport in Tennessee, with about 300 participating students in the Memphis area alone. At the time, however, all of the teams were from suburban and provate schools. "I got to thinking, what if we could take that sport to an inner-city school?" says Crews.
Crews already knew the positive impact that safe, responsible shooting sports participation can have on a young person, because it's the story of his life. His father had taken him for his first duck hunt when he was eight years old. He's always been dedicated to introducing kids to the shooting sports, they may not do it on their own, and we'll lose participation." That, he emphasizes, "would be a tragedy." With the realization that an entire segment of Tennessee youth was missing out, he resolved to act. "I passed the idea around to two or three people and they said 'That's going to be a tough thing to get done,' but nobody could give me an answer why we couldn't do it."
Read about the rest of Jim's journey to bring shotgun sports to Memphis, Tennessee's inner-city schools here in the December issue of NRA InSights.