Both Sides Of The Story

Both sides of the story

Unlike a lot of gunnies, I can completely empathize with the goals and ideals behind the Brady campaign, and Sebastian deserves to be praised for opening up a dialog with them. We’re not all gun-crazy loonies, and they’re not all gun-grabbing socialists.

I don’t agree with the Brady campaign, but I can see how their point of view evolved. 

Just like the Brady campaign, I don’t like violent criminals, and I don’t like guns being used as a means to commit suicide (remind me to tell you all of the encounter with a failed suicide victim I had as a young lad in high school). 

But. 

I don’t blame backyard pools for accidental drownings and I don’t blame baseball bats for muggings. I don’t blame the printing press for the existence of Mein Kampf and I don’t blame Thomas Edison for Uwe Boll’s awful, awful films

Ok, I may waver a bit on that last one. 

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Counter Strike Force

Counter Strike Force

Not you're father's FBILook, I understand the need to make your vocational school more attractive to the younger generation. I also understand that making your offer more appealing and more exciting than it may be.

But maybe putting up a video game character in place of anything even approaching reality might be taking it a bit too far. And yes, that is a real ad.

Technically, there have been Italian supercars in police service, but no, you aren’t going to drive one.

I’m surprised they didn’t have Studly McFbidude over there pose with an H+K MP7 with a red dot sight and a Glock practical tacticles in .357 Sig.

Iron Shot

Iron Shot

It’s a highly-rated, exciting TV show where acknowledged experts compete in a head-to-head challenge on a playing field that changes with each new competition, but in the end, only one can be the victor. 

Top Shot?

Nope, Iron Chef

The producers on Top Shot (and other shooting shows) could learn a lot from Iron Chef’s success, but number one on the list is how to use expert commentary to make an otherwise obscure procedure approachable to the average viewer. 

For example, even though I’m the cook for my family (and not a bad one at that), I’ll never cook like an contestant on Iron Chef, but I still learn things from watching the show like how to quickly prepare a whole fish or how to improve my knife skills. 

This hasn’t happened with Top Shot (yet). Yes, it’s brought in viewers (quite a lot, in fact), but those viewers haven’t been able to appreciate just how spectacular JJ was on the dueling tree in the last episode of Season One or how hard it is to make a 300 yard shot under time pressure.

Colby hasn’t done this, and more to the point, he can’t do it, he just doesn’t know what technique and skills are involved (Memo to Pilgrim TV: Bring back Iain and have him do it).

Ideally, the resident expert on Top Shot would be like the colour analyst in a sports broadcast: Someone who expands the knowledge of the viewers and makes them want to get more into the game. 

Final Thoughts On Top Shot

Final thoughts on Top Shot

Spoiler-free. 

If Sig Sauer, Glock, S+W, et al aren’t burning up the phone lines to get their products on this show, they’re morons. Over two million people watch this show each week, I’d be willing to bet that doesn’t amount to an entire season’s audience for any other shooting show on TV.

Did anyone besides me notice that aside from a Gander Mountain spot or two, there was a complete lack of shooting-related ads? Whether or not that’s because of History Channel’s rates or the fact that nobody know what the ratings would be before it aired, I don’t know. And Gander Mountain’s spots were wasted on me out here in Arizona: I don’t think there’s a store of theirs within a thousand miles of me.

No more TZ-99/SVT-40/whatintheheckisTHATgundoingontheshow: Stick with what people actually own, please. (And shoot CZ’s all the time instead of Berettas and TZ-99’s. But that’s just me.  )

They really need to split up the teams better at the start. Blue team dominated the competitions because top-to-bottom they had more shooters who had shot under the pressure of competition.

Caleb’s already got a deal due, in part, to his being on the show, and if I were Iain, Chris, JJ, Pete or Kelly, I’d look to capitalize on my fifteen minutes as much as I could with endorsements, personal appearances and speaking out in favour of worthwhile causes.

Let’s face it, the drama llama brings in viewers. The producers did it right: They started out with the personalities to give us the faces and heels, and then moved on to the shooting so we could root for our heroes and jeer our villians.

Shotguns! Shotguns were used in only one elimination round competition, far too infrequently for how popular they are. Maybe mix in some trap, skeet or clays in the next series.

The show needs a “resident expert”, someone to set up each shot and explain the possible strategies the competitors might use, something like role Dr. Hattori had on the original Iron Chef. For instance, casual viewers might not know why JJ used the sling on his rife last night, and they need to explain why he would want to use it, and how.

And one more thing to make the show more fun – Two words: Full auto.

Top Gear / Shot

Top Gear / Shot

I’m hooked on Top Shot on the History Channel. Yes, it’s home to the drama llama, and yes, it’s not exactly a hardcore shooting show. 

What it is, though, is popular. It averages almost 2 million viewers each week, a staggering amount for a firearms-related show. But it doesn’t actually show off the act of shooting or the firearms in common use today. 

But there is a show (a very, very popular show) that appeals to a niche market but has MASSIVE widespread audience as well and has spawned copies of itself in two different countries. It’s even one of the most conservative shows on television

I speak, of course, of Top Gear

Clarkson, May and Hamster

Have you ever seen an episode of “Motorweek” on PBS? Relax, most people haven’t either. But Top Gear is the #1 show in its time slot in the U.K. and for good reason. The structure of the show is pretty simple, and hasn’t changed much from 2002. What works is the host’s passion for cars and driving, their personalities, and their approach to what could be a very dry and boring subject.

Clarkson, May and HamsterTop Gear doesn’t try to be a TV show about cars that entertains, it’s an entertaining TV show about cars. The producers of firearms-related could learn some lessons from the producers of Top Gear on how to make their shows entertaining AND informative beyond the niche markets they already serve. 

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Finally!

Finally!

3 Gun Nation is coming to TV at last: The first show is this Monday at 7:30 (!) am. 

Oh well, that’s why they invented TiVo. 

Really looking forward to this show because if it’s done right, it could point the way to greater exposure of practical shooting on the bigger cable networks, and, dare I say it, (“Dare! Dare!”), ESPN or broadcast TV. 

(Yes, I’m the dorky-looking guy at 0:15, lower camera left with the grey hat. This is why I blog and not do a video journal…

Social Media FAIL

Social media FAIL

Not just social media, but a complete and total marketing fail. 

I’m watching “Don’t be a Victim”, a two-hour block of self-defense programming on SpikeTV, and it’s excellent. A half hour show on a bunch of average people taking a five day concealed carry / tactical class, a half-hour show on everyday items for self-defense, a two shows about survivors of violent attacks. It’s hosted by Rick Simon Gerald McRaney, and it’s got top-level sponsors like Ruger, Blackhawk! and Insight. 

And I’d be willing to bet you’ve never heard of it. 

That’s a pity. The shows are first-rate: “Conceal & Carry School” just convinced Mrs. ExKev to get her CCW and some defensive training, but if the marketing people at Orion Productions had taken just a few hours to send out some emails to gunbloggers and post on a few gun boards, it’d be much more popular and well-known. As it is, the shows are definitely worth your time, even though they’re on early Saturday morning. But that’s what DVR’s were invented for. 🙂 

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Treasure Seeker

Treasure seeker

A contest for 1000 rounds of that rarest of ammo, .380 ACP? Sign me up! 

Bloggers listen up! I am running an ammo giveaway contest for Lucky Gunner. In exchange for posting a link to Lucky Gunner (and to this contest) I will enter you in a draw to win 1000 rounds of .380 ACP (Military Ballistics Industries 95 gr FMJ ). 

If you don’t own a mousegun .380 ACP pistol, Lucky Gunner will provide a gift card for the equivalent amount of the ammo of your choice. 

Me? I gotta Kel-Tec P3AT that needs some practice ammo, and 1000 rounds will keep it humming for months, if not years.

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