Is Gunblogging dead?

Sebastian asks, in response to La Barba Extraña, if TTAG’s antics have killed gunblogging. 

Folks are unhappy “The Truth About Guns” Robert Farago was given an award by Second Amendment Foundation, and it’s prompting a discussion about whether gun blogging has jumped the shark. I was not pleased to see Robert Farago win an SAF award, only to turn around and mistreat Emily Miller by asking personal questions about her carry habits off the record and publishing it, nor headlining her bathroom habits, which I complained loudly about on Twitter, and which The Truth About Guns did not seem to appreciate.

My response? In a word, no. 

In more than one word, it’s changing. 

I’ve conversed with RF in the past via email about where he wants to take TTAG. He’s got some good ideas, and there are certain elements of TTAG that are far and above what other gunbloggers are doing.

But to quote Jules Winnfield, “Personality goes a long way.” 

When you compare the state of gunblogging versus the state of, say, gadget blogging, mommy blogging or car blogging, you’ll soon realize there is a big gaping hole when it comes to professionalism, aka presentation, content and consistency. As Sebastian points out, most gunbloggers are (for better or worse) amateurs: We do this for passion, not for money. That’s changing, what with The Firearms Blog and Lucky Gunner both bringing people on as full-time bloggers, and I think that paradigm will continue to grow as gun companies and the legacy firearms media realizes they can exploit the workers channel our energy towards their goals. 

Gunbloggers can provide content for almost free, content that drives traffic, builds brand awareness and increases sales. Sure, it’s not as easy as the old paradigm of putting a sexy shot of your company’s new MegaBlaster XL-2000 on the cover of Guns&Ammo&Rockets magazine and then sendng it out to supermarket shelves nationwide, but that’s the world we live it today: Ask a record company exec about how his business has changed since iTunes, or a newspaper publisher about his subscription rates in a web-centric world.

The deer now have guns. Adapt or die. 

Kilroy was here.

Blog content? Not here. 

Busy with clients and work work and stuff. 

Ummn, so how about those Four and Oh Cardinals? 

Lights. Camera. ACTION!

Congratulations to the team behind the Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire for making their Kickstarter goal

Assaulted – The Fight To Bear Arms

When the subject of California’s gun control laws are discussed, rarely are they associated with the civil rights movement and the quest for equal rights for all. This film will compare the historical aspects of gun control targeting the indigenous tribes of North America and emancipated slaves through the Jim Crow era to today’s laws that favor elitists and denies the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the most vulnerable in our society.

The film takes a critical look at the original intent of the current California guns laws in contrast with crime and murder statistics before and since their implementation; and compares these laws to those of the adjacent states. Story threads also look at the myriad of concealed carry permitting processes across the state to illustrate that not all residents are treated equal. 

I pitched a couple of bucks even though they’ve made their goal because I’m a firm believer in Pournelle’s Law of Costs and Schedules, and hey, they can always blow the extra cash on more ammo for the wrap party! 

Gun Culture 2.0, Internet Zero

I pretty much agree 100% with this post about Gun Culture 2.0 over at Human Events Online by Richard Johnson of the excellent BlueSheepDog blog (via Sebastian), including, sadly, this last paragraph. 

Others, however, have not made any moves to change with the times. I fear that some of those companies will not survive. I overheard two executives from a major firearms company discussing the internet culture in the airport after the SHOT Show this year. It was obvious they had no idea how to approach the new crop of gun owners so they were trying to convince themselves that they didn’t matter. I wonder if those two used to sell typewriters or pagers?

I’ve written at length on how gun companies just don’t “get” the internet, so it’s nice to see that thinking bubble up into the larger media, at last. 

The old model for gun culture tended to be: 

  1. Father teaches son(s) to hunt. Maybe the daughter, too, if she’s the tomboy type. 
  2. Sons grow up hunting. 
  3. Personal defense training for civilians was done by cops, if ever.
  4. Wash, rinse, repeat. 

The Gun Culture 1.0 broke down for a number of reasons, including the urbanization of the U.S. and single-parent families becoming the norm, and Gun Culture 2.0 reflects that fact, as well as the fact that in today’s media environment, the deer now have guns. Some companies get that, some don’t. The ones that do will own the future. 

Living with the Smith and Wesson Shield

A few updates on carrying the S+W Shield on a daily basis…

  1. It’s VERY easy to carry. I forget I’m wearing it most of the time.
  2. Because it’s so thin, my “carry pants” don’t fit well.
  3. The Crossbreed MiniTuck is fantastic. It’s comfortable, keeps the gun where it should be and allows for a good grip on the gun during the draw.

LC9 Magazine v. Shield Magazine

The biggest issue I’ve had so far is dealing with spare magazines. The Shield doesn’t use a single stack or a double stack magazine: It’s more a stack-and-a-half, which means that it’s too wide for 1911 magazine pouches but is too small for double stack magazine pouches.

Here it is compared to the single-stack Ruger LC9 magazine. See what I mean?

Because of this, choices for a weak side magazine carrier are limited at best. Would could go nylon, but I prefer Kydex, and things look pretty barren. Comp-Tac makes a bunch (I kinda like this one for everyday carry) and CrossBreed has some as well, but other that, it’s pretty slim pickings out there.

Other than that, I continue to fantastically impressed with this gun. I put another 50 rounds through last weekend, and punched a bunch of holes into a milk jug 30 feet at speed with no troubles at all. most important, for it’s size, the Shield is incredibly FUN to shoot, which is something I can’t say about any of the other smaller pistols I own. The Shield may take a bit more training and practice to master than a compact pistol like my CZ P07, but it’s far and away the easiest-shooting “mini” pistol I’ve ever owned, and a good choice for someone who’s looking to either upsize their pocket .380 or downsize their compact 9mm.

Gun Culture 1.5

In an attempt to get into hunting, I’ve been attending the meetings of the Arizona Predator Callers, and I’m enjoying it so far. They’re knowledgeable, friendly and most importantly, are willing to accept total noobs like myself into their ranks. They also realize there’s a benefit to be gained from reaching out to Gun Culture 2.0. 

One area of commonality is fighting the push by environmentalist to ban traditional ammo. The leadership of Arizona Predator Callers realizes a ban on lead bullets would suck, and they’re eager to engage with other shooters to help block any attempt to have junk science influence our ammo choices. A ban on lead ammo affects ALL shooters, not just hunters, and I support their efforts to throw this bad idea onto the junk heap of history, and you should, too.

There’s a lot of common ground between Gun Culture 1.0 (hunting) and Gun Culture 2.0 (concealed carry), and both sides will benefit if we work together to further our sports. It just needs to happen more often than it does now.