Gun Shop Sponsorship Denied

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Gabe Wren, owner of the Northside Gun Shop in Columbia, Tennessee wanted to sponsor his kids’ Little League baseball team but was turned away because of his business’s logo which displays a stylized image of the sort of thing Mr. Wren’s shop sells.

http://www.range365.com/gun-shops-little-league-sponsorship-denied

It’s too bad there isn’t a formal sport based on the skillful use of the things Northside Gun Shop sells. If only there was, Gabe Wren could have his shop sponsor that sport instead and his kids could participate there. Might be better for business to sponsor a sport that uses what your business sells as well. If only…

Earl Nightingale and Robert A. Heinlein on Promoting Shooting Programs

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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.

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Organized Shooting in the United States

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Competitive shooting events should be more popular in the US, but they are not. As a percentage of the vast number of gun owners and NRA members here in the States, organized shooting has little support. Here are the numbers.

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Anti-Gun Media Example

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Example of anti-gun bias in the mainstream media as published on Bloomberg.com

U.S. High Schools Embrace Shooting as Hot New Sport
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-09/making-guns-cool-high-schools-embrace-shooting-as-hot-new-sport

Trap shooting is the fastest-growing sport in Minnesota high schools

Competitive musketry dates to 16th century England and has been an Olympic sport since 1896. Today trap, a cousin of skeet and sporting clays, is as popular with Minnesota’s urban boys and girls as it is with their counterparts in rural areas, where hunting’s in the DNA. “It’s just cool, because I get to use a gun,” said Stephanie Petsilis, 17, who shoots for Wayzata High School outside Minneapolis with a $1,430 Browning BT-99 Micro.

No Backlash
To wary educators, Sable stressed his motto — “Safety, fun and marksmanship, in that order” — and strict rules: no firearms allowed on campus. Team members must have state-issued safety certificates, which in Minnesota can be earned at age 11. The league record is clean, with no reported injuries.

A nonprofit supported by fees, donations and sponsorships, the league marketed itself aggressively and developed proprietary score-tracking software. The sport took off.

Pro Gun People Can’t Count

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http://www.recoilweb.com/its-time-the-nra-stopped-acting-its-age-125586.html

It’s Time The NRA Stopped Acting Its Age

While this was a great interview on RecoilWeb‘s site, they made a misstatement.

While there are 76 board members, it’s safe to say the majority are older, well-established white guys. This explains why the NRA pumps the membership’s dollars into traditional, one-handed, timed-fire pistol matches while it’s slower to adopt more modern competition formats, such as three-gun and other practical shooting disciplines.

No, it does not explain this. In fact, it reveals the Recoil Staff is as ignorant of these events as the NRA board members.

There still are more classified NRA Pistol (bullseye) competitors than USPSA members. The National Matches at Camp Perry continues to draw more participants than national events for practical and 3 Gun competition. “More modern competition formats” are great events with highly-skilled competitors and worthy of attention and support, but conventional bullseye-type competition still has more total participants.

Regardless, it’s more important to support whatever events can get people to actually show up. No single event type will attract everyone, so find and support those events that do appeal to people.

The real reason the NRA board is “slower to adopt” is because the NRA board as a whole is ignorant or disinterested in such events. Yes, there are board members with solid competitive shooting experience and impressive marksmanship credentials, but they are the minority. Promoting organized marksmanship events is simply not a priority or interest for the NRA board and the NRA as a whole.

>> Adam Kraut: I think the biggest threat will be the complacency amongst gun owners.

Excellent observation. Shooting is outpaced by golfing because golf club owners are much more active:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/golfing-and-shooting-demographics/

Complacency and inactivity is much worse than any other threat. Just look at the numbers:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/facebook-is-not-anti-gun/

A Page From History: The First Televised Rifle Match

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Here’s a good bit of history. The following article was published at a time when about a third of the NRA membership held a formal NRA Classification. This is about 2% today.

NRA members receive a Classification (Marksman or higher) by merely participating in an NRA Approved or Registered tournament, or a Sanctioned league, regardless of score. This means 98% of the current membership has never bothered to show up to such events.

The ideas presented in this article will work today but only if people bother to attend and pay a little attention. Improving this among NRA members would be a tremendous help.

More stats and facts on this:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/high-school-shooting-range-1950s-and-today/

The First Televised Rifle Match
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/12/1/a-page-from-history-the-first-televised-rifle-match/

From the April 1955 issue of American Rifleman, an article by Don Mohr on the first televised rifle match.

Television program ideas often develop from unusual occurrences. What we believe to be the first televised rifle match had just such a beginning.

The final construction phase of Allentown, Pennsylvania’s first television station, WFMZ-TV, was underway and any spare moments that were available from my Film and Arts Director position at the studio were spent in improving my shooting form. This was accomplished with a target range I had constructed in my home. The range involves firing from my editing room, through my dark room, and into a bullet trap located in my den. This area isolated from the rest of my home and with doors locked is perfectly safe; however, the initial reaction of visitors is one of disbelief.

Such was the case when one of our Directors, Don Tuckwood, paid a call. Upon questioning my wife as to who could possibly be hunting so close to a residence, and being informed it was merely her husband firing through the dark room, he was about to leave as quickly as he had arrived. It wasn’t long, however, before he became a regular visitor and participant in a number of impromptu matches.

Televise shooting?

One day the question arose, why not place this very thing before the camera? Why not indeed? You can imagine some of the problems involved: the safety factor, the range size, the safe coverage of target, and above all, the audience reaction.

Our large 60×60-foot studio makes a 45-foot range the most practical, and a lockout system plus close supervision by a number of range officers eliminates the possibility of any tiny holes appearing in equipment. Experimenting with my spotting scope and the TV camera, I found I could place the Bausch & Lomb 20-power spotting scope in front of the TV camera, and from a safe distance pick up the entire target, enabling the viewing audience at home to watch all five shooters place their shots, which is quite interesting to watch—even to a non-shooter.

The Remington flyspeck targets are used with 50 bulls, five-in-a-row, and ten rows. This allows our scope shooters to try their luck on two rows with a total of ten shots.

With the blessings of our Manager, Raymond Kohn, five .22 cal. rifles blaze away on Wednesday nights during our “Seven to Nine Show”. This program is planned around 120 minutes of local live entertainment and information. Most anything is presented, from arts to sports to industries to—yes, rifle matches.

Cover other activities with guns
To add interest to this quarter-hour of shooting for those of the audience who may have no desire to watch holes appear in paper (though we’ve discovered that many non-shooters are fascinated by the matches), interviews are conducted on some phase of shooting—cups and medals won by some of our shooters, law enforcement officers and firearms, gunsmiths, how to load ammunition, antique guns, etc.

The studio area is cleared 15 minutes prior to telecast so the shooters can zero in and, to keep the area safe, the match is presented at the very beginning of the show. Often the letters S-H-O-W of the Seven to Nine Show title are shot out by the five shooters as an opening feature.

The participants experience considerably more tension when firing over television as compared with the normal club match. They are well aware of the many eyes peering at every miss. Such stage fright, however, does not deter them from the usual heated discussion of ‘just on the line’ shots.

Scoring, by the way, provides a possible 200 with 20 X’s, and an X is any shot hitting the flyspeck but not touching the circle. A 10 is any shot hitting the flyspeck but touching the circle. Any shot missing the flyspeck is scored as a miss and down 10 points. This is a fast and easy method of scoring right before the camera which I do immediately following the shoot so as to present the winner for the night.

A tremendous amount of credit goes to the local gun clubs who aided me in laying the ground work for the first match. Nineteen men and one brave woman. Five shooters fired per week with each returning to shoot a second time. A local merchant donated a beautiful trophy to the high scorer and sterling silver tieclips for the three group runners-up.

Matches scheduled regularly now
This match proved so effective that we are not conducting a team match to last 10 weeks. At the close of 10 weeks, if enough interest in shooting has developed, we expect to begin a women’s match and a junior division match. The possibilities are endless. What started as another television experiment has blossomed into an interesting smallbore rifle contest, both for the participants and all viewers.

Television stations are always seeking new ideas for programs, particularly programs utilizing local talent and activities. If you approach the program director of your local TV station, perhaps arrangements can be made to program some of the activities of your local rifle and pistol club.


The author placed his Bausch & Lomb 20-power spotting scope in front of the TV camera to capture shots.

Facebook is not anti-gun

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Some guy who fondles an inflatable spheroid with his feet gets 23.2 times more love from Facebook than all the fans of the National Rifle Association combined.

Tom McHale had a great write up on Facebook’s policy to delete pages and posts about gun trades and sales from non-FFL holders. He also inculded a good break down of the demographics of shooting and pro-gun involvement compared to more mainstream interests, such as sport ball athletes and movie celebrities.

Facebook doesn’t care about you or your issues. Facebook cares about three things:

  1. How many people use Facebook.
  2. How many hours those people spend on Facebook.
  3. How many dollars marketers will pay Facebook for access to those people.

The same can be said for all media outlets. Replace the name of a broadcast or print media outlet or news program in place of “Facebook” and this is still true. It’s also true for pro-gun publications and websites, even though they are focused on a specific niche and demographic instead of the public at large. After Kim Rhode medalled in six Olympics in a row, some claimed her lack of media coverage was due to media bias. However, USA Today, the New York Times, CBS Sports, SB Nation, NBC, WGN, and the Chicago Tribune published articles about her. Other publications such as Time, Forbes, the Huffington Postand NPR published articles about Rhode’s accomplishments that highlighted her views on the Second Amendment.

This isn’t some nefarious anti-gun plot, it is simply catering to the majority. Gun owners are largely ignorant of organized shooting activity. Non-gun owners are even less aware and interested. This is the simple result of a market in action, not back-room politics trying to steal your guns. If the issue is controversial but of interest to a small minority, it’s probably easier to just avoid dealings and prevent alienating the majority, and especially alienating people and companies buying advertising/marketing trying to reach that general public.

Even among those gun owners that are active, activities such as golf eclipse them by a large margin. Again, the market speaks. If more people golf and are willing to pay for it, then more golf courses are built and more golf coverage is seen in the mainstream media because more people are voting with their dollars and feet. Gun owners are simply not as active, even when various reports claim that they are.

This is not an anti-gun plot. Garnering publicity and inspiring public interest is a tough row to hoe for every organization.

Common, accepted estimates place at least 80 million Americans as owning at least one firearm. I don’t know why there is such a vast lack of interest in organized shooting events among them but given that there is, shooting will never be a mainstream activity. It’s not politics. It’s not anti-gun policy. It’s the result of the market voting with their dollars and feet.

Read the full article here:
http://www.ammoland.com/the-prying-business-of-facebook-and-guns

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