The Stroudsburg Area School Board made a statement by denying a grant from the NRA late this March.
The grant would have been used to supply the Stroudsburg rifle team with new equipment, but due to the tumultuous times surrounding guns, they ultimately decided to not accept the NRA’s money.
Alex Reincke, an ESU student and also a member of the school board, was one of the members that rejected the grant.
“My decision point on that is I, politically speaking, am automatically against the NRA,” Reincke said. “I will consistently stand by this point. They have held up gun legislation in this country for a long time.”
Reincke mentioned that while a grant may seem like something minuscule, it is still unwise politically to accept the NRA’s money.
“This is how they pedal their influence, from politicians, who fund their campaigns, to school districts, which they’ve had a big funding campaign for to try to offer them grants, it’s part of a program to try to strengthen the NRA, to keep them strong,” Reincke said.
Even though Reincke denied this grant, he is still an advocate of the 2nd Amendment, which is evident by his views and upbringing.
He is enlisted by the Army Reserve, and also doesn’t think that getting rid of the AR-15 is a realistic choice. He does, however, think that mental health testing could be improved.
He believes that more mental health testing is a sentiment that is supported by both liberals and conservatives.
“I actually part ways with people a little bit,” Reincke said. “A lot of people actually want to ban the AR-15 and similar weapons. I actually don’t personally believe in that. What I do believe, however, is I think it should be very difficult and thorough to legally purchase one.”
He said that there are currently more guns than there are people in the United States, so to ban any kind of gun would be impractical, because of the chance that there would subsequently be a black market.
He thinks, however, that more background checks are negotiable with a bipartisan effort.
“When you start off with a negotiation, you always try to negotiate towards the middle,” Reincke said, “but you have a stated goal, and you have an internal one as well.”
Even though the school board denied the grant from the NRA, they still need to vote on whether to accept any incoming donations.
“I’m going to vote to accept them,” Reincke said. “Now, the difference is the NRA is a national organization and has stated political goals, and have things that they are holding up or trying to achieve in this country, and I’ve already spoken on my views of them.
“I’m not going to take their money. Even if they are members of the NRA, even if they are local businesses that support the NRA, come together and fund our rifle team, to me, you’re just funding the rifle team. It’s not dirty money,” Reincke said.
Reincke also said that accepting the donations and denying the grant is not hypocritical.
He said that during the meeting, the opinions of the crowd seemed pretty split. Half of the people were cheering for the decision, while it was to the other half’s dismay.
Reincke also said that he has received a lot of hate emails from people with opposing views. He said that some people told him that he shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the Army Reserve after his decision.
He was also called derogatory names that were related to his political views. Despite some of the negative reactions, Reincke is still sticking by his choice.
“I shot my first rifle at the age of five,” Reincke said. “My dad held it up for me, and with my weak little arms, tried to hit the beer can. I grew up in that environment.
“But there’s no need to just let them float about the country for anyone to buy. And that’s basically where, and the two sides are on a collision course. We’re just gonna have to see where it goes.”
Reincke said he’s willing to stand up for his choice, despite all the pressure that it has created on him.
“I’m willing to take the heat for that because I know it’s the right thing to do. I would make the same decision a thousand times.”
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