GOAL BLASTS UMASS FOR REFUSING STATE 4-H GUN SAFETY PROGRAM FOR KIDS
Full-Funded Program Ok’d by State Agency, Nixed by UMASS
February 13, 2017
BOSTON – The Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts today blasted UMASS officials for stopping the launch of a statewide 4-H program for kids throughout the Commonwealth that would teach gun safety and promote youth shooting sports. Massachusetts is one of only two states that do not run a 4-H Youth Shooting Sports program.
“This move by UMASS makes absolutely no sense,” said Jim Wallace, Executive Director of GOAL. “The only reason to avoid implementing this program is because UMASS has a social bias against gun owning families and their children. Is that a justifiable reason to deprive kids of a great program – GOAL doesn’t think so! We have a fully funded program for youth ready to go. It will teach them responsibility, a very popular outdoor recreational sport, a competitive sport for which they can earn a college scholarship, and be able to socialize and meet youth from around the Commonwealth.”
Startup funding of $60,000 for the program was promised by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) for three consecutive years to support a 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator position and training at UMASS. The program is also backed by the UMASS 4-H Foundation that supports the fundraising and development efforts for the statewide program. In total the program would have supported over 1,000 youth at more than 50 outdoor locations across the state.
“It’s disturbing to think that our Massachusetts state college system would not support a highly successful program run by 48 other state colleges across our nation,” said Mandy Deveno, a Massachusetts 4H volunteer and a proponent of the Youth Shooting Sports Program. “It’s clear that UMass doesn’t want to be associated with the positive use of firearms.”
4-H is a 100-year old youth development program run by the UMASS Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. It is part of a nationwide program connected to each state’s land-grant institution of higher education.
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If you feel so inclined to write to the ones in charge of rejecting this program here is their contact info:
Dean of The College of Natural Sciences UMass Amherst
Director, Center of Agriculture, Food and the Environment;
Director, Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Stations;
Director, UMass Extension; Assistant Vice Chancellor