NSSF Cheers 2018 Scholarship Winners

The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has chosen the winners of its 2018 Voting Member Scholarship contest. The annual contest is open to voting company members, their employees and family members, with a total of $60,000 in college costs awards divided among 25 winners. This year’s contest drew entries from more than 75 rising and current college and university students.

Students had a choice of three trending topics on which to provide an essay:

  • Should social media platforms censor content concerning the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition products?
  • Should the age to purchase a rifle or shotgun be raised to 21? If so, does the same apply for voting rights and driver’s licenses?
  • What are the challenges facing youth today to becoming involved in hunting?

This year’s Grand Prize winner and recipient of $8,000 is Alison Basore, whose father, Richard, works for Hodgdon Powder Company based in Shawnee, Kansas. Ms. Basore chose the topic regarding social media platforms, writing, in part:

“… [W]hen social media platforms censor content, they fail to recognize the content’s validity in the marketplace. This has a raw negative influence … . It is almost as if social media platforms consider the commerce of firearms and ammunition unlawful, and this propagates the wrong idea in the public’s mind. For example, by Facebook refusing to display firearm advertisements, the population gets a biased sampling against the marketplace. For young people today, the idea of gun ownership will be falsely presented as unlawful.

[W]hen social media platforms censor content they open a gateway for future infringements on rights. When companies like Instagram, Facebook, or even Google begin to not show gun advertisements or user posts that picture firearms, there is very little stopping them from expanding this policy to not show any firearms or ammunition. In fact, some social media platforms restrict having firearms in profile pictures and from user posts. When it comes to progressive movements, such as this one, history has shown us that abuse of power is not only possible but expected.”

Ms. Basore’s entire essay may be read here. Second place and $5,000 were awarded to Matthew Russel, whose father, Clay, is employed by Olin Corporation. Third place and $3,000 were awarded Dana Anthony, whose father, Richard, also works for Olin. Twenty-five other writers received the remaining prize money, each receiving $2,000 for their excellent submissions.

“Our congratulations are extended to all those who took part in this year’s scholarship contest,” said Samantha Hughes, NSSF Manager, Member Services. “It’s a pleasure to see these students so invested in the issues affecting our industry and the shooting sports. We wish them much success in their college careers and hope to see many join our industry upon graduation.”


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