- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 1, 2020

President Trump has offered an extensive tribute to Americans who favor target and competitive shooting — a sport which includes skeet, trap and clay targets, blackpowder shooting and even “cowboy action” fare.

August, in fact, marks National Shooting Sports Month, which Mr. Trump frames in historical terms.

“We commemorate our Constitutional right to bear arms by celebrating America’s cherished past time of recreational and competitive shooting sports. Our great nation has a rich history of fostering responsible gun ownership. In the early days of our republic, turkey shoots encouraged community engagement and brought families closer together,” Mr. Trump said in a proclamation issued Saturday.

“These local events developed into large regional and national events and competitions that drew thousands of spectators. By the late 19th century, sharpshooters such as Pawnee Bill and Annie Oakley established popular shows with Wild West and other themes, touring the country with acts featuring their talent with firearms,” the president said.

“These pioneering American folk heroes demonstrated the courage, skill, and persistence necessary to excel in shooting sports and that reflect our founding values. Today, we continue to promote interest in such social pastimes that celebrate our rich and unique history of shooting sports,” Mr. Trump continued, noting that he has publicly supported and protected the Second Amendment since his first day of office.

Some 52 million Americans now participate in shooting sports, according to the National Sports Shooting Foundation, an industry source.

“I ask those Americans who currently participate in shooting sports to share this cherished tradition with others. Together, we can proudly ensure that the next generation knows how to safely and responsibly enjoy their Second Amendment freedoms,” the president said.

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