Last Monday was the first meeting of the newly formed TAMUK Sharpshooters Organization. The organization was started by Communications Department Professor Dr. Carl Saltarelli just this semester. So far, the Sharpshooters are only taking in faculty and staff as members; so far they have a dozen or so members. “Our goal is to get organized and then open up a student organization with the same name,” Dr. Saltarelli said.
According to Saltarelli, in the distant past there have been shooting clubs on campus, mainly headquartered in ROTC. “Last year Dr. Mauro Castro and some students attempted to start a shooting club but that ran out of steam,” he said, “I had the idea of starting this organization during the summer.” The idea for the club came to him because people need a safe place to shoot. “I have a friend that lives in the country and was shot by a stray shot. It’s a good example of how people just shoot randomly.” Saltarelli said. He hopes that he is the organization will be able to teach people what is safe and what isn’t safe about carrying a gun.
“Several members of Tamuk faculty were interested; they range mostly from departments like biology, geoscience, education, and education. The members consist of active hunters and fisherman but also some that are only interested in shooting only paper targets. “Some shoot for dinner, others shot for sport,” Saltarelli said. All members do own guns from shotguns to handguns and long guns and a couple are licensed to carry a gun. One member is certified to teach as a firearm instructor but Saltarelli is optimistic about the amount of certified members the organization will have due to the large amount of interest. Certified members will be needed in order teach members the laws and the safe operations of gun use.
First order of business for the organization is to write a constitution. A mission statement proposed by Dr. Warren Miller has already been approved and established. They have also decided on a foundation for the organization. “We will have four pillars that support our organization. They are safety, marksmanship, education, and conservation,” Saltarelli said. Future goals for the organization are to form a skeet range or to arrange a way to meet in the nearest skeet range in Celanese where the members could go shoot for fun. As for the student division of the organization, Saltarelli says that they will most likely open it up next spring semester.
Meetings for the Sharpshooter Organization are held Monday afternoon at 5 in Manning Hall.
By: Liza Rodriguez