Enjoying a day in the country, camaraderie, teaching one’s child how to shoot and skin an animal, and bringing home to the family fresh meat for dinner. That was part of my early childhood with my father and his friends. I used a bb gun.
Shoot forward (no pun intended) to today’s powerful firearms and the massive industry lobbying. Meet the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) based in Washington DC with regional offices and state legislative caucuses. A N. Y. Times editorial refers to it as “a powerful voice arguing that gun safety measures will somehow undermine hunting, fishing, target shooting and other activities … And when it comes to insider influence on Capitol Hill, it has the ear of members of the sportsmen’s caucus, which has often supported measures embraced by the firearms industry.”
Meet your Congressional Sportsmen’s NJ Caucus members: Rep. Rob Andrews, Rep. Leonard Lance, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Rep. Jon Runyan, and Rep. Chris Smith. And your NJ Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership: Sen. Donald Norcross, Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblyman John Burzichelli.
Financial sponsors of the foundation include firearms manufacturers such as Remington which advertises its AUTOLOADING MODEL 597™ and praises “the speed with which it zips out rounds, and Browning which promotes its AR5 which is “built to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing and softest shooting recoil-operated autoloader on the planet.” Other sponsors include the NRA and Koch Companies. (Yes. Those infamous brothers.)
While the foundation supports a broad range of worthwhile sportsmen activities, it also opposes a ban on the military-style rifles and high capacity magazines used in mass shootings. The Vice Chair of its Board is Mark DeYoung, President and CEO of ATK Armament Systems (formerly ATK Ammunition Systems.)
We are a long time and far away from my father’s life as a sportsman using a single action rifle for hunting and today’s fearsome firearms used to kill 20 or more people in a matter of seconds. It’s time for legislators to show moral courage and determination. It’s time for new rules.
Beyond the fold: information about the above congressmen’s positions.