Earl Nightingale once said that whenever you have no idea how to achieve your goal, a foolproof technique is to look at how the overwhelming majority attempts to tackle the problem and do the exact opposite.
Robert A. Heinlein summed it up well: “Does history record any case in which the majority was right?”
That sums up how the Firearm User Network came into being.
Most shooting organizations and trainers focus on their Operations, the details of their events or class. While Operations are important, success also requires Administration and Marketing/Promotion and we equally emphasize these aspects as well.
In overly focusing on Operations (and ignoring the other two) we get silly arguments such as if IDPA is better than USPSA or why taking a shooting class is or isn’t better than attending a match. These are silly arguments because most gun owners are NOT participating in any of the above!
An estimated 80 million US citizens possess a firearm. Nearly half of them own handguns. Every year, 12 million people buy hunting licenses. The biggest shooting sports top out at 50,000 participants. The biggest shooting schools see, at most, just over 10,000 students and many are previous students taking new courses. Most gun owners and hunters are largely in name only and aren’t participating in anything worth recording.
Most shooting organizations focus on promoting annual national-level event or other one-off happening. FUN focuses on relentlessly promoting every local event, no matter how small, to any local media that seems interested, no matter how small. Rather than swinging for a home run at the World Series once a year (and probably striking out) we would rather get singles every week at games all over the country. Casual gun owners are not going to pick themselves off their couch to travel thousands of miles to attend a big national event and spend thousands of dollars to get there and attend. They might, however, be willing to check out a regularly-hosted event in their neighborhood they keep seeing in the local paper or favorite community events blog, especially if the mentioned participants are people they know or have heard of.
Yes, this is not how the overwhelming majority attempts to tackle the gun owner participation problem. That’s why we’re doing the opposite.