Six-time Olympian Kim Rhode might be the most accurate skeet shooter in America, but it’s her stance against gun control that has Second Amendment advocates cheering harder than ever for her.
While she uses her guns for sport, Rhode is more than aware of the significance behind the Second Amendment, and one’s right to bear arms in the event of government tyranny.
When asked about the topic of gun control back in 2012 during the London games, Rhode wasn’t prepared to defend her position. This year, she’s more than ready to take on the tough questions.
“We should have the right to keep and bear arms, to protect ourselves and our family. The Second Amendment was put in there not just so we can go shoot skeet or go shoot trap. It was put in so we could defend our First Amendment, the freedom of speech, and also to defend ourselves against our own government.”
-Kim Rhode to Time
Rhode has spent the majority of her life handling guns, winning her first competition at 13 in women’s double trap shooting. In 1996, at the age of 18, Kim became the youngest Olympic gold medalist in the sport of shooting. She would go on to participate in the next five Olympics, becoming the first American to earn a medal on five different continents.
In order to be a successful shooter, Kim has to “shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day,” but getting the tools she needs to practice are becoming more and more of a hassle. Kim says what were once simple tasks, such as buying shells, now involve “having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo… every time I want to bring ammo in or out of a competition or a match.”
The only woman to have medaled in six separate Olympics, Rhode is worried that she might not be able to pass down her pass-time to her kids. “I started when I was like 7 or 8-years-old,” she says. “It was something that was a big deal in my family, to gain that right of passage.”
Rhode noted that several family guns that have been passed down have had to be registered as “assault weapons” over the years. If lawmakers were to put further restrictions on guns, she might not be able to pass these heirlooms down onto her own son. That reason alone, Rhode states, “Definitely does affect me and give(s) me a reason to speak out more.”
Rhode also says that gun laws are doing more harm than good, and points to the December San Bernardino attack as an example of a tragedy that “makes me want to carry even more.”
Among her fellow athletes at the Olympics, Rhode knows that her view on firearms are much different than the rest of those competing, but she hasn’t let that change her opinion at all. In fact, over the years she has become increasingly outspoken in her advocacy for guns. Maybe that’s why she isn’t getting the media attention she deserves. After all, she’s the only athlete to receive medals on five different continents, but most people haven’t even heard of her! My guess is, her pro-gun stance doesn’t go in-step with the media’s anti-Second Amendment rhetoric.
Kim Rhode is arguably the greatest shooter in American history, but it’s her pro-Second Amendment position that has people cheering. You have to love it when athletes are able to stand up for what’s right!
Kim Rhode is one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history, and her defense of the Second Amendment is what makes her a true patriot. SHARE her story, and remember to cheer on Team USA!