The problem with using the anti-smoking model against gun owners is that the societal benefits of smoking are pretty much zero, but the societal benefits of legal gun ownership are pretty easy to find.
Whenever a honest citizen defends their life with a firearm, there’s a benefit to society. Whenever an armed policeman shows up and saves the lives of high school students, it’s a benefit to society. Whenever an NRA instructor with an AR-15 stops someone from shooting up a church, it’s a benefit to society. When a hunter harvests game and helps out with balancing the environment, it’s a benefit to society.
“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.”
Baby boomers make up our nation’s largest cohort of hunters, and they’ve already begun to age out of the sport. Within 15 years, most will stop buying licenses entirely. And when they do, our ranks could plunge by 30 percent—along with critical funding for wildlife management, advocacy for hunting, and a tradition that’s probably pretty important to you. In other words, the clock is ticking. And unless we act now, we might not recover from the fallout.
Fortunately, the outdoor industry is starting to catch on.
“Hipsters want to hunt. But they don’t want to hunt the way a rural farm boy from Illinois wants to hunt,” Dunfee says. “They don’t want to dress the same way, they don’t like focusing on antlers, they don’t like taking pictures of their animals. But they want local, sustainable, ecologically conscious meat. And within our efforts, there are few places to realize those values.”
Speaking as an aging punk rocker (I was into shunning the mainstream before shunning the mainstream was cool) who’s going on his first hunt in just over a month, more of this, please. Much, much more. Localvore foodies are one of our passive allies, and we’ll need them (and people like them) if we’re going to survive and thrive as a hunting culture and a gun culture.
There’s a lot of talk right now about the “weapons of war” on our streets. Those two rifles in the featured image for this article? Those are the only two “weapons of war” that I own. They’re both M1903 Springfields that were originally owned by my father-in-law, so if someone tells you that civilians owning “weapons of war” is a new idea, laugh in their face, and laugh long and loudly.
As always, some of articles in these links were written by me, some weren’t.
We are getting our @$$es handed to us in this culture war. This needs to change, and quickly.
I just found out that Shooting Illustrated, where a lot of my articles are published, as hit one half million print readers.
That’s dead tree subscribers, and in today’s world, INCREASING your dead tree readership is quite the accomplishment.
Congrats to Ed and Jay and especially me on this accomplishment.
We need allies. So who should we reach out to? Everybody. Reach out to anyone even remotely related to guns and personal freedom. Vapers and Harley owners. Martial arts studios. Civic groups. Localvores who dig the idea of harvesting free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat.
Which is best? All of the above, and more. We need to press the home attack on our rights on all fronts, and then, when we find a tactic that works, we beat it like a rented mule.
This is basic von Clauswitz: You attack the entire front, and when you find a weakness, you turn it into the schwerpunkt and make the entire battle about that one spot. What tactic is going to win the war on guns? We don’t don’t know yet. What’s guaranteed NOT to win, though, is not fighting at all.
“Madam, we’ve already established who you are. Now we’re just haggling over price.” – Anon
Let’s start with the obvious: We make compromises in how we chose to defend ourselves. A “no compromise” approach to personal defense would have us carrying around an M4gery, wearing a plate carrier and looking like this guy.
So we compromise. We don’t wear body armor and chest rigs. We carry Glock 19s and M&P Compacts in concealed holsters rather than open-carrying AR-15’s. We don’t carry an IFAK, we carry a tourniquet and some Quikclot. We do this sort of thing because we know that, over the long haul, it’s better for us to make these compromises and fit in with the rest of society than it is for us to walk around with a rifle at low ready, acting like a freak.
As a result, when talk about carrying a .380 auto pistol in our pocket versus carrying a compact 9mm on our waist, we are talking about degrees of compromise. The compromise happened when we decided to carry a pistol, not a rifle: Anything else is just moving the needle in one direction or another.
This is why I don’t feel particularly out-gunned when I carry my LCP2, and I don’t feel unprepared when I carry around my ready-to-go improvised trauma kit rather than a flat-packed SOF-T Wide tourniquet. I’ve trained with the LCP2, I know its limitations and I know I can have it with me (and more…) pretty much anywhere it’s legal to carry a gun.
Is that gear a compromise? Yes.
Is it ineffective? No, and that’s all that matters.
I was chatting back and forth via email with Michael Bane this week about the shellacking we’ve taken in pop culture as of late, and he pointed out that both sides are using tried and true social manipulation strategies: They’re using the anti-smoking model to “brainwash” people into believing that guns are bad and evil, and we’re using a gay rights model to expand what is considered “normal” in polite society.
Back when I was a photog, I worked with an art director named Jim who was a former NYC firefighter. He was unpretentious, laid back and easy to work with. He liked golf, had a great creative eye, was into indie music, and we got along famously.
And then we threw a Christmas party at the studio, and Jim brought his boyfriend.
Jim did more to change my mind about homosexuality’s place in our society than 10,000 people in ass-less chaps marching through the Castro District shouting “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, AND WE’RE NOT GOING AWAY!!!” ever could. It wasn’t a freak show of loud and proud activists that changed my mind: My mind was changed by someone who looked like me and acted like me and was like me in every way, except with who he chose to snuggle up with at night.
What will change America’s attitude on guns: Open carry marches and rants about “Freedom’s clenched fist,” or taking your friends, family and co-workers out to a shooting range?
Some people are activists to make themselves feel good. Some do it to change the world.
Take someone shooting. The world you change may be your own.
I’m still trying to sort out all that happened… did I *really* get four hours of DA/SA instruction from Ernest Langdon? Did I *really* get the skinny on tactical trauma care from Lone Star Medics? Did I *actually* get to listen to Karl Rehn hold forth on the history of handgun training? Did Lee Weems lay out some drills on staying sharp and reacting to threats while we’re less-than-attentitive? Did I, in fact, get to meet a bunch of cool people from all over the country and train with them and break bread with them?
I must have, because that’s what these pictures say I did.
A few thoughts…
Ernie Langdon‘s Double Action course was *amazing*. Not only did he correct some basic flaws in my grip and stance, he taught me more about how to pull the trigger correctly since I took a class with Rob Leatham.
One of the nice things about Chuck‘s class was that he had us shoot the
Georgia Backup Weapons Atlanta PD Secondary Weapons Qualifier, giving me yet another chance to establish my credibility in the courtroom. The stuff he taught adapted the techniques that we know work with a bigger gun and plopped them down onto the pocket rockets, with great success. Really want to take more pocket-gun classes now.
Karl Rehn spoke for two hours on how handgun training has evolved in the past 100 years, and it was interesting to see how much influence Jelly Bryce had on things (and probably not for the better). In Jelly’s defense, the sights on the guns of the 20’s and 30’s were at best marginal (and at worst, non-existent) so yeah, point shooting did make some sense.
Caleb Causey‘s medical class was a hoot. He can make the gruesome topic of dealing with blowed-up people and loose body parts a lot of fun, and it made us really WANT to listen to what he had to say.
I shot a 199 out of a possible 200 on the course of fire for the shooting match, and right now, I will take that walking away. Gabe White won the match, and Chris from Lucky Gunner has some slo-mo video of the winning relay that is just INCREDIBLE to watch. Gabe’s draw and presentation were absolutely flawless, and I hope Chris publishes it someplace where it can be linked to because it shows an absolutely textbook draw from AIWB. Update: Chris’s video is here. Skip to 1:10 if you want to see how to draw from AIWB.
TacCon left me with a LOT to work on, especially grip and trigger techniques from Ernie’s class, and based on what I learned in Caleb’s class. I’m also going thru and updating my trauma kits and replacing the SWAT-T tourniquets that are in there now with SOFT-T tourniquets.
All in all, it was the most intensive training experience I’ve had in my life, and yes, I want to go back.
I’m still recovering from the double whammy of TacCon and a 1:30am arrival time. I’ll have my after-action report on TacCon tomorrow.
The Otherization of Gun Owners. We need to fight this by showing that gun ownership is NORMAL inside the U.S. More of this sort of stuff, NRA. This is what works.