Seniors Dane G. Russ and Kyle Gunnerson are working to instill this new organization on campus. Russ says he got the idea after the launch of the National Rifle Association chapter on campus.
“Guns are important to carry around,” Russ said, “but they can’t rival an actual cannon. We need to practice safely shooting off this weapon.” Gunnerson agrees.
“We are starting this club because everyone has a right to carry a cannon,” Gunnerson said. “People have been really up in arms about the NRA club. What they don’t realize is that the only way to truly appreciate artillery is by personally firing large balls out of a tube.”
The organization is still pending approval, but both students feel optimistic about its future on campus. Campus safety procedures do not explicitly ban cannons on the premises, Russ points out, so Concordia should eagerly accept their proposition for this new club.
Russ says the organization will be accommodating to those who were unable to bring their own cannons from home.
“We hope students can rent out a cannon if they don’t have one already,” Russ said. “It would be like the COBBike program, where people can just check one out from the library for a few hours at no charge to them.”
Anyone can join the Concordia Cannon Club, regardless of previous experience, says tentative club advisor Artie Larry.
“It’s important to expose newbies as well as skilled shooters to the wonderful world of cannon firing,” Larry said. “There are a bunch of nifty things people can do once they’re exposed to the world of cannons.”
The club will be loosely modeled off of the National Cannon Association of Great Britain, which offers membership perks such as regularly scheduled tournaments to determine the best shooter.
Gunnerson says hosting recurring events such as friendly competitions will be a great way to get students fired up about cannons.
“We know that there are already a number of students who practice shooting their cannons in the park on the weekends,” Gunnerson said. “Sometimes they have to go as far as Gooseberry Park to fire off these weapons. We want to make sure they have easier access to proper firing ranges. We are hoping to receive approval for the Jake Christianson Stadium, and maybe also for shooting on Olin Hill.”
Other membership perks will include a free cannon keychain, reimbursement for safety training and bragging rights. Larry believes having this club will expose students to the broader world they live in, and will help them become more responsibly engaged in the world.
“We hope this club will open their eyes to how important it is to spend weekends firing weapons bigger than themselves,” Larry said. “We encourage everyone to join the Cannon Club. An organization like this would allow students to feel like they really know what they’re doing in the face of danger.”
Gunnerson and Russ are also considering a spin-off club, which features shooting human bodies out of cannons instead of giant metal balls. Russ says this sport, like regular cannon firing, is a fun way to appreciate the history of warfare and violence without most people actively partaking in it.
“Human cannonballing is just like gymnastics,” Russ said. “It’s a safe activity that everyone just needs to practice at before they can become really good at it.”
Gunnerson believes there has never been a better time for cannons.
“You never know what kinds of dangers lurk around the corner of our schools,” Gunnerson said. “It’s always important to be prepared for the worst. At the same time, we recognize the importance of just having fun and learning to appreciate the beautiful, beautiful weapons.”
The Concordia Cannon Club is still in its infantry stages of planning, but Russ and Gunnerson believe their idea has a shot at becoming a real organization.