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.