The Game Is Changing

The game is changing

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is beginning to acknowledge “Gun Culture 2.0”. ‘Bout time.

“The question was a simple one “are shooters coming into today’s shooting sports different from past groups?”

After several conversations, it seems the image of today’s modern shooter bears about as much resemblance to yesterday’s shooter as the modern sporting rifle resembles bolt and lever action rifles. They fire bullets, but in different ways – and driven by different goals. 

Today’s new shooters are products of an entirely different baseline of experiences.

They have seen gang violence and terrorist acts.

Soldiers and “first responders” of today are revered, not reviled. Consequently, today’s shooters are more interested in personal defense than hunting, and favor the kind of weaponry they see used by soldiers and law enforcement.

Those preferences make them excellent candidates for competition shooting, especially practical shooting. After all, they see firearms as being necessary for the ultimate practical purpose- personal defense.

And the younger shooters of today area a product of the video game. 

To today’s generation, war isn’t something that happes “over there”: For the past ten years we’ve had to live with the reality that war can be (and has been) waged on our shores. As a result, guns (especially pistols, full auto weapons and Evil Black Rifles) aren’t scary tools of fascist military oppressor class, they’re what you use to frag your buddies in SOCOM IV, or they’re what your friend from high school used in the sandbox when he joined up after 9/11. 

Looks like the shooting sports industry is taking note. More power-ups to them.

Update: How to keep Gun Culture 1.0 around. As I’ve said before, going from Gun Culture 2.0 back to Gun Culture 1.0 can be a frustrating task. Glad to see the NSSF wants to keep both cultures alive.

Who Will Support Gun Culture 1.0?

Who will support Gun Culture 1.0?

Michael Bane (and others) use the phrase “Gun Culture 2.0” to describe the boom that’s going on in the shooting sports, and if you’re like me (and I know I am), that’s how you got into shooting.

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.

Hunting 2.0

Hunting 2.0

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that hunting license applications are up significantly from last year

The NSSF credits the free time available and need for outside food sources due to the worsening economy, but I’m wondering if the people who’ve been brought into the shooting sports via Gun Culture 2.0 aren’t looking to branch out and try new things. 

While extrapolating a national trend from one’s own experience is pretty poor analysis, I can’t help but wonder with shows like “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” on TLC, “The Wild Within” on the Travel Channel and “Survivorman” on Discovery, there’s now a new generation of exurbanites who have grown up in cities but are now looking to re-establish our roots to our inner hunter-gatherer. If this is the case, then this uptick in hunting licenses won’t end with a better economy; instead, we’re looking at a fundamental shift towards hunting becoming an accepted part of our society once again. 


The Gun To Have If You Can Only Have One

The gun to have if you can only have one

I’ll admit it, when I first started reading about Jeff Cooper and his ideas about self defense, I didn’t “get” the idea behind a scout rifle. It seemed to be quaint and antiquated in a world of AR’s and AK’s, and besides, semi-autos had more firepower and precision rifles were more accurate, so why get a rifle that was a compromise.

I get it now, though.

It’s not that a scout rifle is the optimal self-defense rifle or the last word in 800 yard tack drivers, rather, a scout rifle gives you 85% of both of those rifles in a package that’s small and light so that you’ll have it with you when you need it and is reliable enough to go *bang* when you need it as well.

Do I *need* a rifle like that? No.

Do I want one? Oh yeah.

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