Winning

What’s remarkable about this rather innocuos pro-gun story about women getting into the shooting sports is that it’s in that bastion of Northeast center-left literary thought, The Atlantic.

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, female participation in target shooting grew by 46.5 percent between 2001 and 2010, to 4.89 million shooters. The National Rifle Association reports an increase in female participants in classes and events by as much as 20 percent, and the appeal appears to be recreational as well as for self-defense purposes.
As a large new segment of the population becomes armed, there’s all the more reason for increased awareness about not only who is purchasing and carrying firearms, but why those people are carrying them to begin with.
For women, that reason is often self-defense. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, a woman is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every two minutes. This adds up to 207, 754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year. Many self-defense experts believe in arming women in the event of an attack. One of the best known, Paxton Quigley, says she became an advocate after the rape of a close friend. “I asked my friend, ‘If you’d had a gun, do you think you could have stopped the attacker?'” Quigley recalled in an interview with The Daily Beast. “She said yes.”

You go, girls.

TV is dead. Long live TV.

Robb points out the chilling news for the cable / satellite TV industry: Their current business model is *dying*: The days  of charging customers a flat fee for dozens of channels they don’t want for the two or three that they do is ending, and ending soon.

So what does that mean for Outdoor Channel/Sportsman’s Channel/Pursuit TV/etc. ?

Well, the same, only different.

Shooting shows have what every marketing person craves: A committed audience niche. The people who watch shooting shows are interested in the shooting sports, and we’ll watch good content on any platform, not just TV. Hickok45 has 221,143 subscribers and nutnfancy has 203,875, and then there’s the walking cluster of suck and fail that is FPSRussia, whose unsafe antics have over two million subscribers.

To put that in perspective, if he were a cable TV show, he’d be in the Top 10 for any given weekday.

So the viewership is out there, it’s the platform that’s changing. Whether or not the same formula of “Find a sponsor, send the host far off to shoot something whilst talking about the sponsor’s stuff” will work in online environment remains to be seen. Me? I’d be glad to pay $1.99 each for episodes of Shooting Gallery or Best Defense. Heck, I’d pop of the entire run of ALL of Shooting Gallery, all seasons. And then there’s the quality shows out there on channels I’ve never had, like Personal Defense TV or Student of the Gun. I’d love to give those shows a try, but I’m not willing to pay $100+ a month in order to do so. Give the shows I want, in a format that I can watch when I want to.

We arm ourselves because we believe in personal empowerment, and we flock to the Internet because we can decide what news is important to us and not have a TV news anchor tell us what we need to know.

Sometime soon, we’ll also have shooting shows that accept that fact that we, the consumer, want their content, but without paying for cable or satellite to get what we want.

Book Review: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

Pocket Prepper GuideMy recent bout of funemployment got me a-thinkin’ about my family’s long-term sustainability. If my wife or myself are out of work for an extended period, what will become of our family? And on a related note, what can we do right now, for not much money, that’ll ensure our prosperity if there’s a disaster scenario someday. 

Enter The Prepper’s Pocket Guide.

At under $15, it’s priced right for almost everyone and it’s an excellent overview of what it takes to be disaster-resistant. It’s not for everyone: If you spend your days surfing the ‘net looking for the ulitmate ant-zombie Picatinny-compatible accessories for your AR, you’ll be disappointed in this book. Likewise, if you’ve gone beyond 72 hour kits and are now looking to build a 72 month kit, this isn’t for you.

But if you’ve realized that you are your own first responder, then this is the book for you. It doesn’t go into detail about the best anti-looter shotguns, but it does say that security is a concern in a disaster scenario. It doesn’t go into detail about how to feed a family on MRE’s, but it does have a nifty little $5 a week disaster survival plan that anyone can use. And unlike most other survival books I’ve read, it takes the procurment and cleaning of water VERY seriously (something that’s of prime importance out here in the Desert Southwest).

The bottom line is, this a great book to start with if you’re looking to improving your family’s ability to survive tough times. It may not be for everyone, but for people who’ve recently become aware of just how fragile our modern world is, The Prepper’s Pocket Guide is a great place to begin the journey towards self-preparedness.