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Hunters vs. Shooters

I posted this rant on a DRTV thread on "Hunters vs. Shooters," and upon reflection thought it needed to be a blog post as well:

You guys know this is a subject that has been on my front burner for years, right?

I stopped hunting a long time ago, largely because I have the attention span of an 8 year-old...made me a good IPSC shooter and a miserable person in a tree stand. Hunting and shooting are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. My gripe was that hunting was the giganto senior partner, to the virtual exclusion of the shooting sports side of the coin.

Several things have happened to change that perception:

• Eventually, people in the industry started listening to me and other voices, like Paul Erhardt, Jim Shepherd, Tom Taylor at S&W, Steve Sanetti and Ken Jorgensen at Ruger, Paul Januzzo (formerly) at Glock, etc. When I keynoted the last huge hunting enclave several years ago — the guy who was there to tell people what they didn't want to hear — my comments were met with stony silence. I said the truth — deal with us, work with us, because we're half the market and we pay 75% of the excise taxes that state fish and game run on...I said taxation without representation is STILL tyranny...one of the reps from a huge hunting accessories company pigeonholed me after the talk..."Good work, jerk," he said, although he used a stronger word than "jerk." "You're single-handedly going to tear this industry to pieces."

However, at the upcoming NSSF Shooting Sports Summit in a couple of weeks, the list of speakers has totally changed...me, Erhardt, Shepherd, Sanetti (now head of NSSF), etc.

Even more importantly, for the first time we have a definitive study that totally backs up everything we've been saying...the (as yet unreleased) omnibus NSSF study on hunting and shooting trends in the United States. It's scary negative, but here's the key stat...of the overall market:
• 43% define themselves as primarily hunting
• 43% define themselves as primarily shooters
• 14% do both
EQUAL MARKETS, as we've been saying for the better part of a decade!

• The Zumbo Effect...no other single event had the profound effect on the industry as the slagging of Jim Zumbo. Jim made his ill-thought-out remarks on a Friday afternoon; by Sunday evening the entire firearms industry understood who was now driving the machine. I've told Jim to his face that I was sorry for the role I had to play, but that it had to be done! We could not continue, much less go into another election cycle, with everyone, including Congress, acting like "hunting" and "shooting" were synonymous, so all anybody needed to do to suck up to us was conserve some wetlands and talk about ducks!

• The ascendency of the AR-15 platform as the most popular rifle on earth...when I first started talking about the size and depth of the black rifle market 3 or 4 years ago, I was flatly told by "industry experts" that I was crazy. This numbers are now accepted as the baseline (and 2008 sales, driven by Obama, are at levels that are already breath-taking even to me). OUTDOOR LIFE magazine considers my 6-page article on ARs in the field a year or so ago to be one of the most important articles they've ever published, and it laid to rest the naysayers.

• The rise of industry "heroes," like the inestimable Ronnie Barrett, who showed everyone what "standing up" looked like, and people like the aforementioned Sanetti, Taylor, Jorgensen, Bob Morrison at Taurus, former NSSF head Doug Painter and NSSF legal expert Larry Keene, former NRA Prez Sandy Froman and new Prez John Siglar and many others, who understood and understand that the world is changing and were willing to put the gun culture first.

I've said this before, we go into the most important elections of our lives more united than we've ever been before. We on the shooting side need to reach out to the hunting side...there is still some awkwardness, but nothing we can't overcome.

Make no mistake about it...the gun culture is going to war. The Democrats have given in to their basest instincts and given us a candidate who, all hyperbole aside, will if he gets the power take our guns — all our guns! — and gut the Second Amendment, a man who holds what we believe in to the core of our beings in utter contempt.

I watched Bob Barr on Glenn Beck last night. Bob is a man I've met, a man I hugely respect, a warrior, a man who has a spot-on analysis of America at this juncture...and a man I will not vote for this November! If te Dems had run one of their "political whore" candidates, maybe even the lovely and talented Hillary Clinton, I might have opted to vote Libertarian, where my heart is, rather than for a man I particularly dislike who champions a morally and ethically bankrupt political party of weasels and morons.

But that's not what the Dems have done...they've played the scary card.

And as is typical, we as a voting block are invisible. Ever wonder why the MSM never seems to mention guns as a major battleground? Because they totally understand, as do the Dems, that the more invisible we are, the easier we are to step on after the election. Is there anybody here who doesn't believe that an Obama as President with a huge majority Democratic House and Senate won't do exactly what he says he will do and ram through a new — and permanent — AWB? Ammo controls like microstamping? "Smart gun" initiatives and restrictions on "unsafe" guns? Closing public lands to shooting? Lots and lots of "reasonable" gun laws...

Okay, rant mode off...remember, my job is to be strident, because so many in our culture aren't.
 

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I'm keeping my powder dry. I feel bad if he gets into office.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I still have not made up my mind, honestly. I have never in my voting lifetime been so pissed off about the candidates. McCain is a wild card. You never know how he is gonna vote, despite what he says. Bob Barr is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but has a snowballs chance in Hades of getting elected. Puts us between a rock and a hard place. Either vote for the best man (Barr) and Osama gets elected, or vote for the slightly lesser of two evils (McCain) and hope for the best.
 

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I hear you and understand your words, man. We are at a time whne things may go to complete shit real soon. :|
 

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We're in for one hell of a 4-year fight no matter who...but I think we'll have a better chance of winning with McCain...the Republicans will be trying to regain strength and favor...the Democrats will laugh in our faces...at least we'll have some leverage with a "Republican" president......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have thought about it, and I have thought about it. I can't vote for McCain. I must admit that RPs post kind of put me over the edge on this issue. I was leaning toward voting for him, just to keep Obama out, but I honestly don't think he would be any better in the long run than Obama. He will rubber stamp anything the libs send him. He has bent over backwards too many times to get along with the liberals. I don't think if elected President he would change. Bob Barr is a staunch supporter of our rights, and he deserves our support.
 

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I hope he appreciates the 8325 votes of confidence he gets...I also hope Obummer doesn't win by 8325..sorry, guys, I gotta say not till after the election can I go here...it's like shootin' off your last clip into the air to make a statement and watchin' a guy with a BAR and one with an M16 headed your way...your "statement" ain't gonna do you that much good...nor your successors...much better to take out the guy with the BAR and hope like hell the M16'll jam......
 

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its never been about huntin' as the politicans like to claim and the news like to present.
Way more folks spend more dollars at the range on ammo than hunters ever will in the fields.

unfortunately, there still are some "hunters" that still rally around zumbo's orginal comments and feel that "evil black rifles" have no place in the fields. Along with this mentality is the restrictions in some States that out-right ban hunting with semi-auto rifles (pennsylvania?) and still more restrictions in other areas that ban center-fire rifle huntin all together.

we should prey upon other gun owners, be they fans of autos, rifles, saturday nite specials, flint locks or what-ever.
 

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The NRA should spend more of our money educating members and sports enthusiasts about all forms of gunning...they'd be stronger for it...and we need to see them strong after this election...mercy, do we ever!!!
 

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Whenever a politican talks about preserving our hunting rights that tells me they are looking to ban semi auto's, handguns and anything that doesn't fit their narrow mold. Another buzz phrase is "sensible regulation" and for a meaning refer above. I'm a hunter and I don't own a black rifle or an assault weapon but I have no problem if you wish to own one for hunting, pleasure shooting and competition, self defense or just to own one. I don't feel threatened if someone buys a firearm I do feel threatened when someone tells me I can't.

Hopefully SCOTUS will set the anti-gunners on their butts for awhile as I'm not comfortable that we won't have President Osama with a majority in both houses.
 

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maybe thes companies will also take notice that huntin' is a shrinkin' activity.
And the avg age of the hunters is increasin' year after year as fewer young people get involved.

Wake-up call!!!! ---quit introducin' wiz-bang magnums in heavy rifles an start bringin' out some sensible rounds that are easy on the shoulder and a pleasure to carry.

They might be a bit suprised to see more 250 savage chambered rifles out-sell the 375 ruger or the 338 what-ever.............
 

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"Sensible regulation " would be: If you screw up and shoot someone or something who/that doesn't need shooting, YOU will pay a terrible price. If you handle whatever you choose to own and feed responsibly, enjoy it.
(I tried to make a bold period--but it din't work....)
Tried to cut-n-paste...STILL din't work......
 

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No it's safe. I checked it for fleas and ticks before I posted it. :)
 

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sheepdog said:
"Sensible regulation " would be: If you screw up and shoot someone or something who/that doesn't need shooting, YOU will pay a terrible price. If you handle whatever you choose to own and feed responsibly, enjoy it.
(I tried to make a bold period--but it din't work....)
Tried to cut-n-paste...STILL din't work......
+1 Sheepdog. And I agree about the vote. I like Rep. Barr, but I am going to plug my nose and vote for McCain. Hopefully next time we will have better choices.
 

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Voting for him is exactly WHY we won't have better choices next time. A vote for Barr may be a vote for Obama, but a vote for Crash is a vote for a permanent change in the attitude and direction of the Republican party.
 

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I disagree. A vote for him does not send a message to the Republicans. In fact if by some miracle he wins, I think the guy could have a serious challenge in the primaries in four years. Remember what happened to Bush in 1992? Primaries are the time to send a message to the republican party.
 

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rp, I don't think that would be a bad thing...to have a permanent change in the attitude and direction of the Rep. party...actually, in BOTH parties...I don't think either party has remotely, let alone faithfully, enacted the wishes of the voting public...we need to turn the whole system inside out...and that will take some time...the parties today don't look anything like the same parties in the 50s...greed and power hunger have eaten them up.....we need a do-over...bigtime.....
 
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