Updated: Dec 8, 2019
This will probably piss off some people, but so be it, I've done it before. But sometimes the truth stings, but still needs to be said.
We are LOSING the "culture war" over the 2A and "gun culture" in this Country and for the most part, we need to look to ourselves to blame, not just individuals, but the NRA and the Industry in general.
I was shooting "3 Gun" when I lived in Central Florida back in the early 2000's WAY before it ever became a "sport". It wasnt until I accidentally stumbled onto the "3 Gun Nation Championship" on NBC Sports ( of all places !) on a boring Sat afternoon in 2012 that I even became aware of its evolution to a legitimate sport, and a major network televised one at that !
And then Sandy Hook happened. And slowly but surely, all the networks and cable channels lost interest and or slowly cancelled or failed to renew their shows. Top Shot, American Guns, etc, as well as several long running series on the Sportsman and Outdoor Channels.
This all while there was an explosion of female gun owners, carry permit holders and competitive shooters, as well as a small but noticeable increase in YOUTH shooters coming into the fold and the various sports, breaking stereotypes, breaking records, speaking truth to power, and embracing the 2A fully and without shame or remorse.
In the late 80s, UFC was still considered "renegade" and actually BANNED in more than 20 States for its "brutality". Then Dana White and a group of investors came in, cleaned it up, standardized the rules and weight classes and it became a truly global sensation with a rabid fan base and who knows how many 100's of Millions if not billions of dollars in profit.
In the early 90s, people scoffed at the concept of the X Games, swearing that "no one wants to watch a bunch of punk kids on skate boards and bikes". And in less than a decade, it also became a global powerhouse and spawned stars like Tony Hawk, Shaun White and countless more.
Several years ago myself and a handful of others figured out a way that action packed matches like 3 Gun, USPSA and the like COULD BE both a legit spectator sport ( safely) AND televised. And if you've ever watched any high level matches, they are every bit as action packed and tension filled and have "nail biting" moments or "buzzer beater" shots as any of the four major "mainstream" sports.
I've personally WATCHED " The High School Bass Fishing Championship" "The Drone Racing League" and a "Tekken Video Game Championship" and seen advertised the "World Dart Championship", The "World Cornhole Championship" and the The "World Pickleball Championship"
DONT tell me there is no way to cultivate an audience for a major USPSA and or 3 Gun Series
Then you have someone like the CEO of Dicks Sporting Goods willing to LOSE 250 MILLION dollars in profit AND literally throw out 5 MILLION in product to make a social point. While the 2A community, INCLUDING the manufacturers, trade groups, activist groups etc REFUSE to work together and spend even a tenth of that on organizing and setting up agreements with ranges all over the Country to really try to push our sport out to the mainstream, it really should surprise no one that this is where we find ourselves.
There are WAY to many gigantic egos involved, clearly WAY more concerned about "getting their due" or being considered "Top Dog" that apparently are blind to the fact that ruling over a defunct wasteland no one cares about or pays attention to anymore is hardly a wise long term decision OR something to pursue.
If we as an entity dont pull our collective heads out of our asses and start working TOGETHER and making a MAJOR push to make "the gun culture" MUCH more "mainstream" there WONT BE a "gun culture" to defend in another 10 or 15 years.
Im NOT saying that 3 Gun or USPSA or other action shooting sports will ever be as big as the more mainstream sports are, but there is ALOT of room for growth AND normalizing it from where we are right now. Its just going to take some people with courage, vision and the willingness to set their egos aside for the benefit of the whole to pull it off. I HOPE and pray nightly those people step up to the plate, before its to late