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Sharpen your skills at The Gunsite Academy

Editor's Note: Longtime "Becker County Sportsman" columnist Bernie Revering passed away suddenly Tuesday, July 6, after submitting this article for this week's Becker County Record. Bernie was a staunch gun advocate and loved the outdoors, whether he was hunting, fishing or just walking his favorite dog. He was always happy to spin stories of past hunting and fishing trips or help out with a gun question or problem.

The Gunsite Academy was founded in 1976 by Jeff Cooper, a retired marine who is a National Rifle Association board member and the author of a number of books. It is a shooting school. It involves theory and the act of shooting at a stationary target and at a moving one, such as a fleeing head of game, an antelope, for instance.

Headquarters is a ranch near Phoenix with acres of space, mostly desert. The rifle, handgun and shotgun techniques are involved. Cost is $1,275 a week -- lodging and meals extra.

Many shooters are competent in the handling of a shotgun when it is used at a legal target. He or she is aware of where the bird will appear and he makes the necessary adjustments as to stance and gun hold. When a good gun fit has been achieved beforehand a dead bird is usually the result. And yet, there are fewer 100 straights on the scoreboard.

Repeated handling of the shotgun builds confidence. The fleeing rooster pheasant is often the target.

Some shooters take instruction from known experts. These lessons are for eight hours, usually, and cost about $500 a day. I did this four years ago from a shotgun expert. There were classes at a gun club and shooting on their trap and skeet fields. I learned a few things and I could say that I corrected some mistakes.

Rifle and handgun instruction is different. How one holds the gun is important and this point is emphasized. Is formal instruction necessary or important? Yes it is if you want to be effective in the field at a top level. If it isn't, then learning by doing is where we are most of the time.

Marlin Firearms

There is further consolidating on the sporting arms network. Remington acquired Marlin in an out right sale. Something that is unusual because of the huge amount of capital involved.

The 140-year-old factory in North Haven, Conn., is shuttered. Marlin will make its famous Model 336 lever action carbine at a new Mayfield, Ky., plant and at the Ilion New York works of Remington.

The new conglomerate formed by the Remington realignment is named the Freedom Group. Marlin designed arms will be sold with the Marlin trademark.

Chicago and the Second Amendment Ruling

Two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Constitution's Second Amendment. This stated that an American citizen, legal in all other ways, could buy, acquire, own and use a handgun. The matter clarified a situation in which a citizen of the District of Columbia could keep a handgun in his home for personal protection. No city law could be passed that would deny this.

The court's ruling is being challenged again. This time it is a case to be heard by the World Court at the Hague in the Netherlands. Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago seeks to go beyond our borders and seek a ruling that would restrict handguns in cities world wide including Chicago.

What legal authority would the World Court possibly have on the laws in an American city?

Despite the 2nd Amendment ruling, Chicago gun owners do get handguns although every effort to buy one runs up against a stonewall.

Twelve mayors of International Cities are with Chicago's Daley, and want a ruling from the World Court. When reporters from newspapers and news stations asked Daley what legal authority there is to sue the U.S. Gun Industry in World Court, his reported response was, "Well we've got 12 million lawyers. You never know until you try."