Saturday, July 31, 2010

Appleseed Responds to the New York Times

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article with pictures and a video on the Appleseed Project. As others have commented, for the Times it was remarkably balanced. In other words, they didn't condemn gun owners as bloodthirsty savages. They did, however, try to associate the Appleseed Project with the Tea Party movement, militias, and anti-government sorts.

The Appleseed Project has responded with a detailed rebuttal to the Times story. It is worth reading the whole thing.

To summarize their rebuttal, they make five major points.

First, Appleseed is not "militia". They note Appleseed only offers instruction in rifle marksmanship and in the history of the American Revolution. They do not stress nor teach military or small unit tactics.

Second, Appleseed is not just "white".
Appleseed is filled with students and instructors of all races, creeds, genders, and identities. We make no distinction for color, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs or any other discriminatory category. Our program is comprised at all levels of all Americans, and we explicitly urge all Americans to come. We have no patience for those who would take this great nation and divide it up by race, or who would single out someone else for ridicule or derision.
Third, Appleseed is not anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement.
Appleseed has zero tolerance for anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement attitudes, comments or advocates. To the contrary, we offer free spots on our shooting lines for active duty military personnel and have been called onto military bases to teach troops deploying for overseas duty in combat theaters.
Fourth, Appleseed is not "right wing". They note they have no interest in partisan politics and have attracted students from across the political spectrum.

Finally, Appleseed doesn't have some "secret plan."
We wish we had a Secret Plan to get more people involved but we don't. There is no inner group, no special level, no wizard behind the curtain. There is only this: Our ancestors were left with two paths: submission or bloodshed. They chose the latter so that we could be left with a third path: citizenship and civic participation. To take this third path we must get off the couch, turn off the TV, and get involved in our communities. Those who would blather about a "choice" between submission and bloodshed in modern American do not understand what American was meant to be, or is.

Civic participation is not our secret plan. It is our openly stated mission.
I wish them luck in getting their rebuttal published in the New York Times. After all, it is the Times who decides what is the news fit to print - not the rest of us.

For a better review of the Appleseed Project, I suggest reading Massad Ayoob's review of it in Backwoods Home magazine. Mas not only participated but was awarded his Rifleman Patch.

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