There is way too much noise concerning tactical vs. practical competition shooting. Fact is, for a very large number of people, some form of organized practical competition is the only chance they’ll ever get to NOT be on a square range.

Ranges hosting organized practical competition are the most friendly to the idea of practicing whatever tactical stuff a person cares to work on. Where will Timmy go to train what he learned in ninja school to win a Dynamic Critical Incident (the douchebag way of saying “fight”) when all those stupid gamers get themselves killed on the street (even though this has never actually happened) and stop hosting events?

The NRA has less than 100,000 classified shooters (just under 2% of their total membership.) Name alphabet soup organizations like USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) and IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) top out at around 20,000 members each. ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) is the oldest and biggest discipline-specific organization at around 55,000. SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) has about the same number of members but many of them don’t participate as competitive shooters. If we’re generous, we might estimate perhaps 250,000 competitive shooters in the United States in all disciplines.

Less than this attend tactical training or shooting schools of any kind. Gunsite/American Pistol Institute boasts 75,000 total students and they’re the original and oldest, starting back in 1975. For all the noise, most schools are smaller. Many trainers don’t have their own facilities and are actually a small group (or individual) instructors with a website and an Internet following and hosting classes for a handful of people at a time at other ranges.

Let’s grossly over estimate and assume this works out to about one million semi-active shooter-competitor-trainees/trainers-whatever; people that seek out and attend at least a couple organized shooting events or classes each year. There are 80 million gun owners and 40 million handgun owners in the U.S.

Competition vs. tactical vs. hunting vs. anything isn’t the problem. Getting tens of millions of gun owners involved in something – anything – is.