Imagine opening your local paper or tuning into the local radio station and regularly receiving positive coverage of shooting activities.
Folks living and working within a 10-mile radius of your sportsman's club, including people you've never met, recognize your name and react encouragingly. The activities held at your range are as well known as the most popular high school and other local sporting endeavors.
Imagine this turn around happening not just within your lifetime, but within the next half dozen years or so. Imagine it happening at clubs all over the United States, and for less cost than affiliating with any other national-level shooting or hunting organization. And imagine that the only work you have to contribute is to simply attend about a dozen events a year, and have a good time doing it.
When I offer this notion to hunters and gun owners I sometimes run into resistance. "Don't you believe this is a good service idea at a reasonable price?" I'll ask.
"Yes, but you can't do that. It can't be done."
Nay Sayers uttered this same "encouragement" to John Garand, because a semi-automatic rifle with full power ammo "can't be done." Few believed the Wright brothers would achieve powered flight and latter questioned the notion of passenger flights. Computer experts once believed there was a world market for, perhaps, five computers. Individuals would never need nor want to own one.
Part of the problem is the conditioning we gun owners and hunters have received. We're told that positive media coverage for hunter-shooters isn't possible.
Locally, numerous shooting event organizers have proven that this is not merely possible but likely IF, and only if, clubs know how to generate such publicity and are able to continue putting on quality, newsworthy events.
Where most organizations fail is providing the infrastructure to make this happen. Hunter-shooters join to shoot, and end up having administrative and marketing tasks dumped in their laps. Too often they aren't willing to accept this lousy no-pay secretary and publicist job, and the organization refuses to provide any real help beyond encouraging them to work harder.
NASCAR administrates and promotes races. Racecar drivers race. The drivers don't have to waste their time organizing press conferences or scoring events.
And it works! Oh, by the way, the first builders of paved stock car tracks were told, "you can't do that," because "everybody" knows that stock car racing, a sport born among moonshiners, will never become truly popular.
Maybe you think this can't be done. History remembers those who took a risk and succeeded, and has forgotten the Nay Sayers. It costs less than 10 minutes a month to read how we just might be able to help improve shooting and hunting, for you, your range or sportsman's club, and your local community.