On February 5, Simpson College decided it will not only maintain its School Shooting Club but will also hire “a full-time coach” for the club soon.
Simpson College is located in Indianola, Iowa.
The school’s decision comes in the wake of protestations by 1977 graduate Rebecca Bentzinger, whose online petition against adding a coach drew almost 200 signatures.
According to WHOtv, Bentzinger believes adding the coach is tantamount to “[sanctioning] a program that proposes to add shooting to the curriculum.” She wants the school to reverse its decision to hire a coach and also do away with the shooting program, period.
Campus Reform published an excerpt from the petition which says, “Following staff layoffs and recent shootings and deaths in educational settings, the decision for a Shooting Program seems out of touch for a school that seeks to foster a close relationship with its founding entity, the United Methodist Church.” The petition claims it is “disturbing that Simpson has accepted a $10,000 grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lobbying entity to support manufacturers of weapons and ammunition.”
The petition scrutinizes the NSSF for sponsoring activities which “include NRA appreciation events.”
Bentzinger’s petition went up on January 27 and day later a counter petition was launched in support of the shooting club and the hiring of a coach. The counter petition garnered more than 2,000 signatures by the time Bentzinger’s had gathered nearly 200.
School president Jay Simmons said the program will continue and a coach will be hired. He cited the fact that a similar shooting program “is available at 150 colleges and universities including Harvard, Yale, Middlebury and a half dozen other United Methodist-affiliated colleges.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.