Kim Rhode doesn’t know why she is asked about her position on increased gun regulation as an Olympic athlete, but she’s still willing to talk about it.
The 37-year-old skeet shooter is set to break a record for being the first woman to win six medals in six straight Olympics if she wins her event on Friday. But her questions from the press are not limited to that feat — because of her sport, she’s asked to weigh in on politics too.
“We have that stigma attached to our sport,” Rhode told Time in an interview Wednesday. “When you are talking to a NASCAR driver, they’re not asked to comment on an incident that occurred with a vehicle.”
Rhode is against increased gun regulation. Though she says she understands the push for more controls, she doesn’t agree with them.
“We should have the right to keep and bear arms, to protect ourselves and our family,” Rhode said. “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.”
Rhode, who is a resident of Los Angeles, said increased gun regulation in California following the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015 has negatively impacted her every day life. Though she said her “heart breaks for those people,” she said the mass shootings make her want to carry even more.
“I shoot 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, so having to do a background check every time I purchase ammo, or every time I want to bring ammo in or out of a competition or a match, those are very challenging for me,” Rhode told Time. “Also, I’ve had guns in my family for generations that have been passed down, and now I’m going to register them as assault weapons. And they will not be passed on to my son, or to me from my father.
“It definitely does affect me and give me a reason to speak out more.”