While you might think the first American gold medal of the Olympics would be a unifying moment for Americans, turns out, not so much.
While conservatives applauded it, many liberals were none too pleased that America’s first gold medal of the Rio Olympics came from a shooting event, when Ginny Thrasher, NCAA champion shooter for the West Virginia Mountaineers and a Virginia native, won gold in the 10-meter air rifle event Saturday morning.
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 6, 2016
American women know how to handle their weapons.Nice job, Ginny. First #Rio2016 GOLD for USA!
cc: @USAshooting https://t.co/atOdOGZXve
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) August 6, 2016
— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2016
First medal won of the Olympics for the USA is for shooting a rifle. We are such a stereotype.
— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) August 6, 2016
If you think Ginny Thrasher was impressive in 10m Shooting, wait til you see how the American team dominates in Mass Shooting. #Olympics
— Brian Ste. Marie (@briansantamaria) August 6, 2016
As IJR reported, the champion herself noted how our nation’s heated gun-control debate has put a strain on her sport: “Some of the controversial gun laws in America are just distracting from our sport, which is very different. I try to focus on the competition.”
Thrasher’s Olympic teammate Kim Rhode went much further, however, and unloaded on Democrat moves to further infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Rhode, a 5-time Olympic medal winner, is looking to become the first American in history to win a medal in 6 consecutive Olympic games.
And as a California native, Rhode had a few things to say about her home state’s gun control laws.
Amazing accomplishment but not one that we suspect the media wants to highlight as it doesn’t play well with their “guns are bad” narrative. In comments made to The Guardian, Mrs. Rhode talked about how she has to brush up on current gun laws before heading off to the Olympics as her press conferences are more about gun control and less about her accomplishments.
She expected her press conferences to be more about gun control than her performance and spends time studying proposed anti-gun laws before big shooting events.She added that the stigma that has been attached to shooting has affected her ability to get endorsements, saying that at least one large company refused to sponsor her.
Where most athletes simply answer softball questions from the media about their “keys to victory,” Mrs. Rhode has to answer questions about recent gun laws passed in California and their usefulness in combating terror attacks.
Kinda like how the media lobs softball questions to Democrats, while scrutinizing Republican candidates.
Turns out Mrs. Rhode is not shy about voicing her opinion and using the opportunity to bash recent gun laws passed by Governor Jerry Brown in California:
“I’m definitely becoming more vocal because I see the need,” said Rhode, a skeet shooter going for a medal in her sixth straight Olympics. “We just had six laws that were passed in California that will directly affect me. For example, one of them being an ammunition law. I shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo or when I bring ammo out for a competition or a match – those are very, very challenging for me.”“When you look at these events that have been occurring, they’ve been occurring in some of the strictest gun law countries in the world,” she said. “You have Paris, you have San Bernadino, which was actually in a gun-free zone, so, yeah, it’s actually something that you take into consideration.“Here’s a little bit of information for you. I actually learned to shoot on a semi-automatic it was a 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, and that’s what most people learn to shoot on,” she said. “It kicks less, it has less recoil.”
Well, we hope Mrs. Rhode can focus with the media backlash that she just welcomed upon herself. Something tells us that Rhode’s amazing accomplishment of winning a medal in 6 consecutive Olympic games isn’t the “narrative” that the media will go with in telling her story.
Rhode has the chance to earn a medal in her sixth Olympics this Friday, August 12th as she competes in the skeet event.
We’ll all be cheering her on, both for her outstanding talent in her chosen sport, but also for her courage in speaking out as a true American.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]