Gun enthusiasts at Washburn form new club to celebrate right to bear arms

ReAnne Utemark

While gun control might be a partisan issue in Congress, on Washburn’s campus a new student organization is forming to break through party lines and celebrate the Second Amendment.

Caleb Reid, acting president of the yet-to-be-named organization, said the group is still in the process of forming. Those already interested have sent out invitations and created a Facebook group for other students who might be interested. The group, which will either be called the Washburn Shooting Club or the Washburn Gun Club, has yet to elect officers and find a faculty sponsor.

Reid explained that a representative from the Leadership Institute, based in Arlington, Va., visited the students. According to the Institute’s Web site, it has hosted seminars and workshops for more than 60,000 students. Myles Cliff, the field representative for Kansas, is aiding in forming the gun club on Washburn’s campus.

Though the Leadership Institute’s Web site says the mission of the Institute “is to identify, recruit, train, and place conservatives in politics, government, and the media,” Reid said the group is for people of all political leanings. Reid also said many of the members are from College Republicans, but that students outside of CR and who are not Republican are welcome.

“The only stipulation is you support the second amendment,” said Reid. “The group is for people who share a passion for firearms and enjoy getting together and doing some target practice.”

Bradley Newson, the acting vice president, said the group is not political and that the general attitude seems to be just a bunch of people interested in a shooting or gun club. Newson also said that people have shown positive interest in the club.

“I don’t think anyone will have a problem,” said Newson. “We aren’t starting a militia and it isn’t a political group.”

Some of the members have shown interest in shooting competitions and working with area gun clubs, like Capital City Gun Club and Kaw Valley Gun Club. While no partnerships or competitions have been worked out, the details will continue to form as the group meets. The Facebook group has more information on upcoming meetings.