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

The Importance of Culture and Community in Training

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from Brent Carter, a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Starting Strength Coach

I have come to realize the importance of community and a strength culture in my work space. Sure, it’s cool to be the lone wolf… But it is far more rewarding to cultivate a culture among your colleagues and friends.

The FOCUS strength culture really began several years ago as I was studying to pass my Starting Strength Coach certification. I volunteered my Friday afternoons to train students at our career school for personal trainers (Focus Personal Training Institute) in the methods and model of Starting Strength. We called this our “Barbell Club,” an “extracurricular program” that was actually more self-serving than anything else. (I needed to practice to pass the practical component for the Starting Strength exam.) What came out of this was something I never could have predicted.

Students started lifting with one another outside of Barbell Club as well. Other FOCUS trainers joined in. And as students graduated and became alumni, they still came back to lift! As the club grew, I was no longer the strongest person there. This in particular, I think, was the key for my continued progress. It is easy to rest on your laurels if you are the strongest person around, but this is a surefire recipe for stagnation.

As I continued to surround myself with strong people and other Starting Strength coaches, my “heavy” loads became the norm and even paltry at times. This changed my perspective for what ‘strong’ really is, and this keeps my sights set on that next PR.

They say success breeds success; I would like to add that strength breeds strength. If you want to get stronger, find yourself a community of strength and integrate yourself into it. And if there isn’t one in your immediate surroundings, be a trail blazer and create one yourself! At the very least, you will have some strong people to help you move that couch to your new place when the time comes.

The Stigmatized Olympians

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USA Shooting, which used to be run by the NRA, remains shrouded in controversy—despite winning numerous gold medals at the Games

Following December’s deadly shooting rampage in nearby San Bernardino, the media sought out comment from Rhode, who expressed sorrow for the victims and support for gun rights. Why should that crime have placed her in the spotlight? she asks: “You don’t hear them asking Nascar drivers to comment on crimes involving cars.”

– Three-time gold medalist Kim Rhode

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-stigmatized-olympians-1460673461

Notes from John Tate

You may find this article interesting. I do; but also tragic as symbolic of national flawed thinking. But as you read it, I offer this thought, the product of some 70 years of observation: attitudes shift. Sometimes with the speed of the wind; sometimes with the speed of glaciers; but always shifting. When I came back from WestPac in 1969, the public hated us; we were all baby killers. Today, a half century later, the public loves us. We are the same, only the public has changed.

On a different note, I want to thank you, Keith Sanderson, and the USAR shooting program for the training aids you publish.

When I began shooting competitively, I was really bad; I could barely make NRA expert. But that was no fault of the Marine and Army shooters, any and all of whom would give me tips to remedy this or that aspect of my failings. Then and now I worship(ed) those men and women & John, you among them! Several characteristics stood/stand out:

Confident gentility. All were/are so poised, so polite. The activity was shooting; but the carriage was one of “I’m cool. I know it; that’s what matters. I don’t need to strut.” (I also find this to be a trait in most of the Marines I worked with.)

Magnanimous patriotism. All were always ready to help us rookies. (Compared to you guys, I still consider myself a rookie.) I always figured one reason, an accurate reason, was that you folks were so far ahead of the rest of us, there was no threat in helping us. It has only come with time that I realize, while that is likely true, the more important reasons are two: (1) you never learn like you do when you teach, so there was/is a self-serving aspect; (2) there was/is a military mindset of TEAM. Not just service personnel, but all shooters are part of a band of brothers (and sisters) who are preserving and advancing an activity that is central to the nation’s survival.

Great info. Thanks!

Not surprisingly, we’re in agreement. I’d add that, sometimes, our fellow gun owners are also opposed and/or ignorant of our great shooting events and competitors. One need look no further than the “competition causes bad habits” and the general lack of awareness of gun owners.

Promotion is a hard, long row to hoe for every activity and organization.

Shooting Sports Spectators

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So… When did this come to an end? It ended when American gun owners in general, and NRA members in particular, stopped caring about such things.

“A match in Glendale Park, N.Y., in the 1880’s attracted more than 600 shooters and 30,000 spectators in one day alone. An 1898 shooting festival at that same location offered $25,000 in cash prizes.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/olympics/longterm/shooting/shthist.htm

Adjusting for inflation, those cash prizes would be over $600,000 today.

Something to consider when a gun owner that has never attended a formal shooting event or competition whines about the “anti-gun media.”

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