I popped down to Louland Gun Range over the weekend to check out the Everglades Glock event put on by, well, Glock and Step By Step Gun Training.
It’s a low-stress, lightweight version of a Glock Shooting Sports Event, but with stages that vary from year to year and some stage movement as well. There were four stages, along with a demo stage where people could pay five bucks to try out the Glock of their choice and a exhibitors area with vendors and a food truck.
This. This is how you do an “Intro To Competition Shooting” event, and you do it right. What made it work?
- Glock was the title sponsor, but their footprint on the event was smaller than at a GSSF event. I’m not a Glock owner, but I could be, and Glock did a good job of balancing their presence there with the need to bring in more shooters.
- Fun stages that were more than paper targets or plate racks. Shooting steel is fun. Shooting on the move is fun. Shooting steel while moving? Lots of fun. Look, you can go to an indoor range and stand there in one place and then blast away at a target all you want, but just about the only time you can move and shoot is in a pistol bay. Why, then, does Scholastic Steel Challenge and other “Introductory” sports set up static stages? When you played “Cowboys and Indians* ” as a kid, did you stand in one place and shoot your fingers at each other, or did you run all over the neighborhood like a roadrunner on meth?
I thought so.
So why, then do The Powers That Be think that standing in one place is a fun thing to do for people who’ve never shot a match before?
- Prizes. Even if it’s only one or two guns, it’s enough. I’ve seen people go NUTS for bar stools with Browning’s label on them, imagine what they’ll do for a free Glock 19.
- Relaxed atmosphere. No one was screaming “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!”. No Threepers. None of the usual gun show nut jobs, although one guy had on thigh holster, because Mall Ninja, that’s why. The vast majority of people there were normal-looking and normal-acting. There is a time and a place to get riled up for what you believe in, but that time and place is not when you’re trying to bring new people into the cause.
Kudos to Louland, Everglades Ammo, Step By Step Gun Training and Glock for putting on such a fun event, and I hope others will learn from it and help spread the good word of safe and FUN practical shooting.
* That’s “Nomadic Livestock Management Engineers” and “Oppressed Native Americans” to you more post-modern types.