“I have always hated the basic undercurrent of magic which Jerry Seinfeld put best when he said: ‘All magic is “Here’s a quarter, now it’s gone. You’re a jerk. Now it’s back. You’re an idiot. Show’s over”.'”
– Penn Jillette
First off, (as it’s not every day a comment of yours gets mentioned on the Michael Bane podcast), let me make one thing perfectly clear (shakes jowls):
Shooting Gallery and Best Defense are two of the exceptions to what I am about to talk about! (I haven’t seen Rapid Fire because no cable, but if previous shows are any indication…).
*rant mode off*
Back before I had Outdoor Channel, the only gun show I could watch was a guns and gear show on what was then called the Versus Sports Channel. And it was horrid. It was half an hour of people talking about how their sponsors guns were great and neat and the coolest thing ever, intermixed with ads for their sponsors. It was really hard to tell, at times, when the show ended and the ad began.
When I started to get into coyote hunting, I watched a show ostensibly about predator calling, but was nothing more than “Hi, here we’re using the ‘Obsequious Rabbit’ setting on our WolfRam XP-4000 Caller to bring in a coyote. Wait for it… BAM, he’s dead. Aren’t I cool, and isn’t the WolfRam XP-4000 a cool piece of must-have gear for the serious predator hunter?”
Replace “coyote” with any other game animal and the WolfRam XP-4000 with any other piece of shooting/sports gear and you have the template for 90% of the content on both the Sportsman’s and Outdoor Channel. All I learned from those shows is that in order to shoot coyotes, I need to be the host and have the host’s gear.
But I’m not the host, and I don’t believe that gear makes the shot, but rather, the man makes the shot. The gear is helpful, but at the end of the day, it’s ME behind the trigger, and no amount of gadgetry is going to make up for a bad trigger squeeze (ask me how I know this…).
Some people in the hunting community get it: Two local organizations, Arizona Predator Callers and Xtreme Predator Callers emphasize teaching adults to learn how to hunt for themselves and not just take them out on a two-day hike where they get to kill something. Outside of the hunting realm, Babes With Bullets and Her Handgun make shooting fun for women, and Rob Leatham’s Intro To Steel and the Ruger Rimfire Challenge are excellent (and cheap) introductions into the world of practical shooting. But sadly, this is still the exception and not the rule.
Hopefully, that will change. Guns have become popular as of late because freedom has become popular, and firearms are the gateway drug to freedom.
Is the vast majority of firearms media educating its readership to make choices as free people?
I’ll let you decide that.
I miss having cable TV and the Outdoor Channel not because I miss watching “GUNSRCOOL MAGAZINE PRESENTS “CELEBRITY IBEX HUNTING” FEATURING WIZBANG RIFLES SPONSORED BY BLAST-O-MATIC AMMUNITION” but because I miss watching shooting shows that treated me as a living, thinking, breathing adult who happens to be into shooting. Hopefully, firearms media will catch on to the fact that we consumers have choices now, and if content we get in return for the $100+ a month we pay for cable or dish isn’t valuable to us, we’ll look elsewhere.
Michael gets it. Others don’t. In the meantime, we, the consumer, must wait.
And because Michael’s been on a punk rock kick as of late, here’s The Clash doing The Guns of Brixton. Miss you, Joe. Who’d have thought you’d go before Topper?