The Role of Marksmanship in Preserving American Liberty

Monday, August 02, 2010

Owning a gun is a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment. But the Appleseed Project believes Americans should not just own guns, they need to be trained how to use them. To that end, the North Carolina-based non-profit organization trains Americans to accurately shoot a man-size target up to 500 yards away. According to its founder, Jack Dailey, it is a skill that is fundamental to protect the liberty of all Americans. The Appleseed Project has already trained 25,000 people and expects to have 7,000 more clients by year's end.

Freelance journalist Mattathias Schwartz profiled the Appleseed Project for The New York Times Magazine. We talk with Schwartz and Dailey about the organization and its philosophies.


Jack Dailey and Mattathias Schwartz

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [9]


Owning a rifle and knowing how to use it is no different than owning a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it.

If you have a fire extinguisher does that mean you secretly wish to have a fire in your kitchen?
Having that extinguisher does not relieve you of your duty to be proactive in preventing a fire.
When you have a fire is not the time to go buy an extinguisher.

Aug. 04 2010 07:49 PM
Another D.O.M. from Upstate NY

"I fear this group will be used as sharp shooters to kill people in government they do not agree with. Many people can be led to act by those who want to bring down this government."

It is my personal belief that anyone who wakes up each day convinced that someone wants to shoot them is leading a very sad life. If you keep carrying that paranoia, it'll eat you up inside...

Aug. 04 2010 03:04 PM
Gordon Wade from Bowling Green, Ohio

Allow me to place into context Jack Dailey's "odd side effect" quotation which you display above.

Just prior to your clipping, Mr Dailey says, "This is an important historical lesson: Back then, they only had two choices, when they had to deal with a tyrannical government. The two choices were to fight, or to submit. And one of the historical lessons that comes from the Revolutionary War is that what our forefathers did for us is give us a third option. We no longer have to fight or submit. We have representative government. And Appleseed as a program is trying to reach as many Americans as possible, to encourage them; to, as Matt says, to participate."

After the part you quote, Dailey goes on. "By hearing the story, and the historical lessons that come out of the Revolutionary War, they come to understand that there IS a third choice. That there IS hope, that we can --- if you don't like the way things are going in this country, that you can change them."

"And that's why the program is growing so fast. Because the more Americans we reach with that message, the better off we're all going to be as a country."

I appear by name in Matt's NYT article. Since that interview, I have indeed become an Instructor with the program, as the article hints at. I, and virtually all the instructors in the program, are deeply motivated by this "third way" message, and the notion that the more of our fellow Americans we can reach with this message of hope and responsibility, "the better off we're all going to be as a country".

This is what Project Appleseed is about. Come see for yourself! -G.W.

Aug. 04 2010 01:37 PM
Scout from America

"I fear this group will be used as sharp shooters to kill people in government they do not agree with. Many people can be led to act by those who want to bring down this government."

I have heard this type response before from folks who have no idea what The Appleseed Project does but they have a knee jerk impulse to believe all Americans with rifles are ready to create havoc.

It is very hard to explaiin the Project to folks who have not attended an event. I can tell you all day long about the taste of the first bite from a fresh hot loaf of bread, but unless you have experienced it, you will never understand, until you take that first bite yourself.

We have no ideology, no politics, and we do no training, ( training implies getting someone ready for some event in the future). What we do excel at is teaching the absolute best fundementals of rifle marksmanship classes in the United States today. At the same time we give attendees a rock solid appreciation for and a sound understanding of what it takes to make a rifle safe and handle that rifle in a safe manner.

We are about as far from being anti government as you can get, we are actually a pro government organization. Pro government as in "We The People..", and not "We The People revolt with pitchforks and rifles" but "We The People agree to participate in the most successful form of government on the planet which can only be kept that way by our continued involvment"... and that their job is to insure the government knows what the will of the people is.

I have been instructing for the program for many years in Texas and across the nation and to date I have never heard a single person talk about shooting another human being, let alone shooting someone from the government. Good grief, have some faith in your fellow man. The Americans I have dealt with have no desire whatsoever to hurt another American.

If you have some questions about who we are and what we do, attend an event. There is one near you every weekend of the year now in every state and at $70 for two days, it is the least expensive course in the U.S. for locations.

If you are a woman, child under 21, an Active Duty/Guard/Reserve member, a disabled/challenged shooter, the course is FREE.

Aug. 04 2010 01:20 PM

And to The Takeaway's guest-host:

It is not pronounced HUT-uh-ree.

The so-called "militia" group is pronounced hoo-TAR-ee. (Hutaree.)

And of the many (8? 9?) arrests, the majority of the individuals have actually been freed on bond by the U.S. Marshalls service. The "Hutaree" story, with which of course National Public Radio ran wild for several days (the Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys must have been worn out from all of their NPR appearances) has been a huge bust (pardon the pun) for anyone searching for signs of a really big, scary right-wing vigilante movement in America. The feds are finding out that they are having a helluva hard time prosecuting any of them.

Aug. 02 2010 03:19 PM

May I ask, of The Takeway's web-producers, how did they go about selecting the photo that is displayed on this website?

The apparently-undersized woman is holding a military M4A1 assault rifle. Moreover, the rifle is apparently equipped with an M203 grenade launcher. And, what looks to be some kind of barrel extension and/or a suppressor or silencer.

It appears to me that the photographer went to rather extreme lengths, to get the scariest-looking weapon weapon that anyone could hold in two hands.

I ask this because in the NYT Sunday magazine article, the actual Appleseed shooters that were photographed for the print story were shown shooting .22 cal. carbines, the same kind of rifle I first learned to shoot when I was at Boy Scout camp. (One shooter, whom I am guessing was not a novice shooter in the Times photo, had his own earplugs and was shooting a military-style semi-auto rifle. But he was just one of the eight people, all of them wearing safety ear muffs, pictured.)

Who says Public Radio has a left-wing slant? Nothin' like a picture, to be worth a thousand really, really scary words.

Aug. 02 2010 03:12 PM
Joel from Oklahoma

I think that it is important that anyone who owns a gun knows how to use it. I don't think that I'll live to see a dictatorship or genocide occur in this country, or anything that would warrant rising against the government. I think that a war coming to our shores might be more of a possibility. I also think that having to protect your family is the biggest reason to know how to use a gun. I hope to never use a gun on a human being, but I do realize that one day it may be a reality, and I should be prepared in case that happens.

Aug. 02 2010 11:54 AM
joan shapiro from westchester

The last comment is very scary. I fear this group will be used as sharp shooters to kill people in government they do not agree with. Many people can be led to act by those who want to bring down this government.

Aug. 02 2010 10:33 AM
Maurice from Rehoboth, ma

I feel that one day we will be defending our towns and cities from those who would want to do this country harm. I is a basic skill all citizens should have. I am not talking rebelion, it is our survival as a nation
that will be at risk one day.
Love your show

Aug. 02 2010 09:54 AM

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