Downing: Biden, targeting rifle and archery clubs for youth, is really targeting America



The Biden Administration is, if nothing else, busy getting up in our business. While interfering in the 2024 presidential election in court, pressuring Facebook to ban conservatives, and forcing schools to adopt radical gender ideology, President Joe Biden is now bullying youth rifle and archery programs.

Last week, it was revealed that the Department of Education is blocking funding for school districts that offer training in archery, hunting, or precision shooting sports, contradicting America’s deep-rooted values of independence, self-reliance, and federalism.

The Biden anti-hunting agenda has the goal of transforming the country’s heartland into the hellscapes of the big cities, where gender dysphoria is encouraged and where firearms are kept out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, so that lawbreakers can rule the streets.

Rifle and archery training activities are proven programs that build self-confidence, skill, poise, and a sense of teamwork among young people. These clubs are particularly popular in rural and small-town America – places where a country singer like Jason Aldean is revered for boldly reminding the ruling class that small towns across the country have their own ways.

Youth who participate in shooting sports are able to use the activities to win highly competitive ROTC and other college scholarships. Some of these young people go on to regional, national, and Olympic teams.

As Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn. says, “It’s hard enough to get kids outside these days without the Biden administration discouraging it. You don’t learn to respect nature by staying inside and playing video games, but this is what the Biden administration would rather kids do instead of allowing students to learn these time-tested and cherished skills.”

Yet for political purposes, the Department of Education interprets the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” to shut down school activities that are favored by conservatives.

Why target rifle and archery teams? They are “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,” prohibited by the act that was passed last year. 

“There is no question that different states and regions have different cultures and values. It’s part of the beauty of our country. Tennessee and Alaska clearly value shooting sports, that might not be the case elsewhere,” Rep. Green says. “But that’s why our Founders set up a federal system of government. The Biden administration has no place telling local schools which elective classes or programs they can or cannot have. I know many of the students in my state would be devastated to lose these educational opportunities. It’s them I am fighting for.”

Meanwhile, millions of students across the nation are impacted by the Biden decision to strip funding from these programs, which comes at the same time America sees young people living sedentary lives and joining the national epidemic of obesity.

Fully 17% of our young people considered obese and Pentagon study published in 2022 shows that 77% of young Americans cannot qualify for military service without a waiver because they are obese, are using drugs, or they have mental or physical health conditions. 

Alaska will have to rely on Rep. Green from Tennessee to fight for local control, because our own member of Congress, Rep. Mary Peltola, won’t  stand up to President Biden and, in fact, has fully endorsed him in his bid for reelection.

Rep. Green filed the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act during the August recess to address this federal overreach. It amends the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act to specify that “training students in archery, hunting, or other shooting sports” is, indeed, eligible for school funding.

Green, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, will have to wait to have his legislation heard, as members are in their districts for the entire month. Even then, if the bill passes the House, the Senate is in the hands of Sen. Chuck Schumer and his anti-Second Amendment Democrats who may bury the bill in committee.

Then there’s Joe Biden, who apparently believes only the government should be armed and that the public is better off if young people play Fortnite for hours on end.

Thus, it’s not likely that the Department of Education will reverse course before the school bell rings this fall. There’s just not enough pressure from Congress.

Federal taxpayer funding will continue to be made available by the CDC for schools to start LGBTQ clubs this fall, but schools offering rifle and archery clubs will have to throw some bake sales to keep their programs alive.

Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.



  1. What a slap in the face to Native Americans, who use archery clubs to help teach the youngsters part of their culture. And I guess everyone can learn gun safety on their video games. Nice.

  2. Said clubs develop something within those youth that participate which the left is terrified of.

    Self-reliance, the ability to concentrate, and critical thinking skills.

    No wonder the left wants to defund said clubs.

  3. Thumbnail Guesstimate:

    Far less than 1% of ASD students participate in riflery or archery. This is akin to removing the rowing program at ASD. No one would notice because no one participates. Shooting skills are learned in the woods w/ your Pop, not in a classroom where a safetycrat will require a million dollar air purifier to remove lead particulate such that three kids can shoot a .22 instead of learning a skill that a future employer might pay for.

    • Haha, no – fake news.

      Riflery is a Region IV varsity after school sport – has been for decades. It tends to be far more popular in schools with higher % of White kids – with South Anchorage schools and Chugiak tending to dominate. They compete in the fall. Three position air rifle. Bartlett’s range is in the old bomb shelter under the gym. There was also an elective-PE class option where they taught firearm safety.

      Once upon a time they also did .22 – like you said, the environmental regulators shut it down over potential for airborne lead. What happy coincidence for the leftists! It didn’t end the air-rifle competitions because they shifted to pewter. So now Bidencrats have to be more overt to end shooting sports in middle class schools.

  4. “Yet for political purposes, the Department of Education interprets the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” to shut down school activities that are favored by conservatives.”

    My family was made safer by my riflery class, as were my neighbors when they were being beaten and robbed and we intervened.

    While I was in JROTC, we spent some time at the range at Bartlett; the teacher (Mr. Gardner!) saw me shoot and kept a space for me to be in riflery the following trimester. Never could out-shoot J. O’Neill, though! He was top-notch. 😉

    • Well if it’s about safety then ban sports and any gathering of kids that could result in someone getting hurt.

  5. Everyone needs to write to Peltola to remind her of pledging to advocate for Alaskans. This action by the Dept of Education is just a stepping stone to dismantling the 2nd Amendment. I just sent my email to her. She needs to be reminded by LOTS of constituents her promise to look out for all Alaskans; politics needs to be put aside.

  6. Just say we don’t want your federal money and accept the austerity that would come with that. The price we pay when we take this federal money is becoming too high.

    Not only that but the Federal Government is out of control with deficit spending. We think using Federal money relieves the local taxpayer of the need to spend taxes. That it’s a gift from the sky. But it is just coming out of another public pot of money paid by public debt obligations. In other words future taxes.

    Yes it would set us back but at least we’d know we’re free.

  7. In the interest of detent, I would like to invite Mr. Biden to do some duck hunting, along with our good friend Dick Cheney. I’ll let them go first.

  8. Archery and rifle clubs are fine, but I’m glad that the federal government will no longer pay for them.

  9. The department of “education” needs to be scrapped.

    Jimmy Carter is the political gift that won’t stop giving.

  10. Suzanne, Lisa Murkowski has her fingerprints all over this because she joined Democrats last year to pass a “moderate” gun control bill last year called the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), forcing the prohibition of all ESEA funds effective June 25, 2022. In other words, the Department of Education is simply administering this law as written by Congress.

    While the Biden administration is responsible for enacting this policy, Alaskans an Alaska’s students can thank Lisa Murkowski for joining Democrats to pass this legislation.

  11. First thing I learned as a 9 year old is that there is no such thing as a unloaded gun, however, seems these days, there’s a bullet hole in just about everything. Different age different kids brought up by irresponsible parants.

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