Stories

Guns still have value for these American teens

Competitors at a gun range
Competitors line up their shot at an air rifle event. Photo: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

"Their classmates took to the streets to protest gun violence ... But at high school and college gun ranges around the country, [other] teens ... gather to practice shooting and talk about the positive influence firearms have had on their lives," AP's Lisa Marie Pane writes from Dahlonega, Ga.

Why it matters: "There are an estimated 5,000 teams at high schools and universities around the country, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. ... [T]heir popularity hasn’t waned despite criticism after it emerged that the [Parkland] gunman ... had been a member of the JROTC rifle team."

  • "The clubs use a variety of firearms — from air rifles that shoot pellets to 9 mm pistols that fire bullets."
  • "[M]embers invest hundreds of dollars in specialized stiff uniforms and shoes that provide stability and support for spending hours standing, kneeling or lying prone to fire at targets down range."
  • "Some have hopes of representing the U.S. in the Olympics. Some simply love the camaraderie and mental focus."