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Appleseed Project gaining momentum training new generation of riflemen

February 12, 6:57 AMCleveland Gun Rights ExaminerDaniel White
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The Appleseed Project is garnering more and more interest and growing rapidly.

For those not familiar with it, Appleseed is a grassroots movement to bringing back the fading art of the rifleman, which they define as "a marksman capable of hitting a man-sized target from 500 yards away" with nothing but a rack grade rifle and sling. Appleseed is a 501(c)3, non-profit, all-volunteer effort that is tasked with Returning America to a Nation of Riflemen.

Appleseed takes students of all ages and their top-notch instructors work to make them "accurate enough to score 'expert' on the Army Qualification Course.

Appleseed seems to offer something for everyone. Firearms expert and professional trainer Massad Ayoob recently attended one of their events and reported the following in his blog,

“We’re proud that even experienced rifle shooters always seem to learn something here,” said Florida State Appleseed Coordinator Eric McCabe at the event in Hernando last weekend. He then asked, “Who learned something here in the past two days?”

Everyone’s hand shot skyward. Including mine.

Appleseed events combine instruction with optional competition to bring out the best in their students, and the combination of fun and learning has caused their popularity to explode.

"Our goal nationally is to double every year and so far we've been doing that," said Mike Kinsey, a Coordinator with Ohioans For Concealed Carry and Ohio's State Coordinator for The Appleseed Project. Mike is also an Appleseed instructor.

"In Ohio, in 2009, we had 17 events in 5 locations. Our goal for 2010 is to hold 40 events. Even though it's very early in the year, I already have 8 locations (4 new ones) and 29 events scheduled. About a year ago, people had to travel many hours to get to an event. Not any longer. We won't consider ourselves 'successful' until we get a monthly Appleseed shoot in every county of every state."

Mike believes it is important to look to the past and regain the skills that have been lost.

"As a nation, we no longer remember the importance of civilian marksmanship. We forget it is an American necessity. Our forefathers continually practiced with friends and family until capable of hitting a small water bucket at 250 paces. With a flintlock. With antique sights. More importantly, they passed those skills on to their children.

"Many think this country has been on the wrong path for a long time. Only by again 'winning the hearts and minds of the American people' can we get back on track. Appleseed believes our country needs citizens that respect American Traditions like civilian marksmanship and know exactly how and why this country was founded when average people grabbed their musket and defended their homes and their liberties from the mighty British empire."

As many of you know, Japan's Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said during Word War II that "you cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." It was our Second Amendment that kept us armed and the fear of American marksmanship that staved off attack. Marksmanship that needs to return to deter not just invasion, but terrorism as well.

 In order to bring even more attention to the Project, Appleseed is holding over 200 simultaneous events on April 17-18, four of them in Ohio. At these family-friendly events, women, children under 21, and active duty military personnel are invited to attend for free. The Ohio events that weekend will be held in New Philadelphia, Miamisburg, Athens, and Vienna. Regular fees for the events are $45 for one day or $70 to attend both. Quite the bargain.

Our nation was built by riflemen. Attending one of these events not only give you the skills to defend yourself and others but also help all Americans to get in touch with their forefathers. The Appleseed Project shows no signs of slowing, and I plan to attend one of their events soon. I hope you will too.

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