Jul 16, 2008

Increasing Gunmanship

Increasing Gunmanship

One evening I was relaxing and watching a popular drama about a contemporary but fictional United States President and his staff. In the episode I saw one of the issues of concern were the number of poor people residing inside the USA.

One of the many appointed, self-important, can’t-get-a-real-job “leaders” burdening the tax payer that infests Washington DC in this fictionalized account wanted to change the bean-counter-invented formula that generates the numbers that these faceless bureaucrats use to measure the financial health of people whom they have never met.

The “new and improved” formula created eight million more people below the poverty level. With an upcoming election the staff was concerned about potential image problems caused by suddenly having several million more poor people. The staff realized that the new formula might be more accurate, but pushed to use the old formula until after the election to prevent the current administration from appearing to be losing the “war on poverty.”

The president’s PR man argued that the best move was to push to put the new formula in place, publicly praise themselves for being innovators, and smear their opposition for missing all these poor folks.

It was little more than an abstract number shuffle used to bolster one side’s image and reducing the other side. Nothing was discussed about how to actually improve the situation, but what to do with the numbers.

The abilities, methods and character of gun owners is what Olympic rifle coach extraordinaire Bill Pullum calls “gunmanship.” Obviously, we should work to raise the levels of gunmanship amongst average gun owners and hunters because there is real need for improvement and plenty of room for positive growth. But we need to have a definable way to measure this or we're lost in an abstract number shuffle.

Promoting organized shooting events is the best way to accomplish this. Organized means competition, classes or any shooting activity with more thought than random plinking. Promoting means getting the word out. Neighbors within twenty miles of the range should know that events are happening, even if they aren't shooters.

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