Flathead Beacon: Letter to the editor: Protecting Montana’s Heritage

by Rachel Schmidt

If you grew up in Montana, like I did, chances are you were lucky enough to grow up hunting. Most Montanans can tell you a story about the first time they went out hunting game birds or the first deer they brought home. It’s a tradition that will always be a big part of Montana’s heritage and way of life – and that’s why it’s so important that we teach our kids how to do it safely.

As a hunter safety instructor, I take pride in teaching the next generation of Montanans the importance of responsible gun handling and ownership. But recently the Biden Administration decided to scrap funding for schools that support and host our longstanding hunter safety and national archery programs. Politicians get it wrong all the time, but this decision was a doozy.

Thankfully, our own Montana Senator Jon Tester took action and told the President that his Administration had it wrong. Tester led Congress and introduced bipartisan legislation to protect our school’s participation with hunter and archery education classes and he quickly gathered support to get his bill to the President’s desk.

A gun is a tool, and it’s up to all of us to teach our kids how to use them safely and properly. I am grateful that Senator Tester took quick action to protect Montanan sportsmen ensuring our children and grandchildren can continue to learn how to hunt and shoot in a safe and smart way. This is how Montanans take care of Montanans.

Rachel Schmidt