By Nico Machlitt Staff Writer
While students on campus aim for good grades, outside of the classroom some have other targets.
The Hofstra University Shooting Club (HUSC) is a new club this semester founded by Nick Mattera. The club meets every Saturday alternating between club meetings and trips to the shooting range. They go skeet shooting at South Haven County Park and rent guns at the range.
“I decided to start the club because I wanted to join a club that would be both meaningful to me and fun at the same time” said Mattera “I didn't see that in any of the clubs we already had on campus. So instead of settling for a club that would only satisfy part of me, I started my own.”
Matter has grown up around guns and wanted to bring that hobby to school, “I grew up around shooting sports and guns, my dad is on the Los Angeles Fire Department, so we would go out to the Mojave Desert in Southern California with the LAPD and LAFD and shoot fairly frequently.”
Other students are also very familiar with guns like freshman, Kris Jenkins, Biology major and Secretary of HUSC. “I grew up around guns my whole life, I grew up shooing them and hunting with my family in Texas.” Said Jenkins. “Guns are a lot of fun and they are really good to teach responsibility. I wanted to help expand everyone’s knowledge who has never touched a gun.”
Club members range in expert skill level like Mattera and Jenkins, to people who have never shot a gun before like Jackie Sun. Sun is a freshman, majoring in international business, “I love law enforcement especially the guns they use, unfortunately in my home of Taiwan we can’t shoot guns.” Sun decided to join the club because he wanted to shoot a gun and learn more about gun safety.
“I took that love of the sport with me through Eagle Scout in the BSA as well, earning both the Rifle and Shotgun Shooting Merit Badges, and eventually teaching the classes at summer camp.”said Mattera.
The HUSC is not just about the fun of going out shooting but also about using guns as a teaching tool. During their practices you learn how to hold a gun, how to shoot, what bullets to use, you also learn about gun responsibility. Guns are often affiliated with violence but going skeet shooting with HUSC changes that, as a group they have a lot of fun and enjoy the sport but they also teach each other valuable lessons.