I carry a defensive sidearm.
I train regularly.
I compete in practical shooting.
What I don’t do a lot of (yet) is hunt, aka Gun Culture 1.0.
I went out after quail last year and I enjoyed myself immensely. It was the first time I shot at a living critter since I was 12 and was gopher-hunting, and I’d forgotten how much fun hunting was and is. Just getting outside and walking around the woods was great fun and combine that with the stalk and the need to be on-target FAST and you’ve got an enjoyable sport that can be (and is) very addicting.
Try and get into hunting in your middle years.
I dare you.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has excellent programs for kids and women, but what they don’t have is something for people like me, people who got into shooting without getting into hunting. When I got my CCW permit, the NRA was right there with training options to help me and others like me get more confident and more adept at the defensive use of a gun. For hunting? Well, there’s the hunter education course, and then there’s, ah, well, see, um, errr.
You get the point. Unless you know somebody who’s a hunter or are willing to shell out big bucks for a guided hunt, you’re on your own. This is NOT the way to grow a sport.
If Gun Culture 1.0 is to survive, it needs fresh blood, and that means bringing in urban professionals like myself and the thousands of other people who look at firearms as a defensive tool first and a sporting tool second. Shows like The Wild Within and Friends of the NRA are laying the groundwork and making hunting a normal activity for city-dwellers, now it’s time for the NSSF and others to help make that process easier.