A movement involving guns is sweeping across the country and it’s not an effort to silence the weapons. Iowa’s 4-H system plans to train instructors to be able to offer kids lessons in shooting sports. Judy Levings from the Iowa State University’s 4-H Youth Development office explains what the program is about. She says it teaches how to use firearms and archery equipment in a safe and ethical manner.She says this is not the first time sports shooting classes have been tried. She says they tried to start up a sports shooting program back in the 1980s, but it never caught on. She says there’s been more requests recently in Iowa to get the program going. Levings says that mirrors a national trend.She says nationwide there were one-hundred thousand kids involved in 4-H shooting sports and by 2003, that had grown to three-hundred thousand nationally. School shootings in recent years spurred an effort to keep kids away from guns, and Levings says she understands those who might have a concern about the program. But she says she’s seen the results.She says she can’t explain the “wonderfully good things” that happened between the parents and child. She says there’s a lot of good youth development. She says there are parents who’re going to be hunters and sportsman, and she asks why those parents wouldn’t want the children how to use and respect the firearms that’re already around them. Levings says 10 staffmembers went to a national training class recently, and they’ll begin teaching instructors on a county-wide basis in September.She says people in the county cannot just offer the program, the leaders have to be trained and go through the child protection policy so they have safety first in mind, and youth first in mind. Levings says if you’re interested in the 4-H Shooting Sports program, you should contact you local county office of ISU Extension.
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