Free Gun

Remember when I said “Free Guns” were one of the things I wanted to do at my new job? 

I wasn’t kidding. 

We’re giving away a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380.

Yep, free. Now, you don’t HAVE to link back to the contest or join our email list in order to win, but I’d appreciate you doing that because a) it would make me look good to my boss, and b) that means I can do more of this kind of stuff in the future. 

Good luck! 

Farewell, Goodbye and Amen.

goodbye

This is my last post on Misfires And Light Strikes. 

No, really. 

Unlike the other Arizona gunblogger named Kevin, I’m not quitting gunblogging. Rather, I’m going to be working full-time in the firearms industry, and sonuvagun if my new employers want me to write for them, not myself. 

It’s almost as if they’re paying me to write for them. Oh wait, they are! 

Buy firearms onlineEffective two weeks from yesterday, I will be in charge of the website for Osage County Guns. Design, marketing, social, blogging, you name it, I’ll be doing it. If you’re on Gunbroker, you already know Osage County Guns: They’re one of the top five sellers on that site, and now they want to move out into online firearms sales. They run a tight ship and I’m very honoured to have this chance to work with them. 

It also means that over the course of the next month, I’ll need to move myself and my family out to (wait for it) Osage County, Missouri, so as a result there’ll be no blogging for the next two weeks as we go crazy and/or move. 

So that’s it. After almost four years, three SHOT shows, two co-bloggers and an Instalanche later, I’ve joined the ranks of the professional firearm industry and will do more that talk about the business of guns, I’ll be in the business of guns itself. 

Thank you, each and every one of you who took the time to read $#!% I post here. There are so many people I’d like to thank, but to name just a few…

Jon, for being the force that drove the original ExurbanLeague blog into the stratosphere, Steve for being the technical wiz that made it all happen, Jaci and Robert for being great cobloggers and shootin’ buddies, Allen for his industry savvy, Michael for putting my ugly mug on TV, Ron for moral support, Jay for inspiration, Larry for all the cool stuff, Anthony for putting up with my $#!%, Paul for letting me play with the big boys, Jon and Chris for 1st class training, Alf for being the perfect training partner, Danno and Bridget and Thomas and all the other cool Arizona bloggers for being so cool, Unc for the links, Bitter and Sebastian for the knowledge drops, Tam for the smart and the snark, Robb for inspiring me not to wear pants, Breda for just being herself, all of you readers for stopping by, and most of all, my wife, for her endless love and endless patience. 

And so, so many more.

Please stop by the Osage County Guns blog from time to time and see what I’m up to over there, and don’t be TOO surprised if when/if we begin doing things to help out gunblogging community. (Hint: FREE GUNS). 

And please keep doing what you’re already doing. Write. Vote. Take people to the range. If we start to believe that the war for freedom is over, it will be. 

See you at the range! 

P.S. I need someone to pick up the Dead Goblin Count after I picked up from Jay.
He started it, got hired in the industry, I picked it up from him, got hired in the industry. Now I’m not say that if you take it over, you’ll get a job in the gun biz, but the odds are in your favour… :D 

If you want to pick it up, email me at kevin at exurbanleague.com and I’ll see that the word gets out. 

Nick Leghorn Doesn’t Read This Blog

Nick LeghornFor the record, I like Nick. He’s a nice guy and unlike the other alleged people writing for TTAG, he’s a heck of a shooter and knows what he’s talking about when it comes to guns. I take his opinions on guns seriously because of his experience. 

But. 

An expertise in guns does not translate into a bully pulpit to attack other gun writers by name.

At this point, he’s pretty much burned his bridges with the rest of outdoor industry media outside of TTAG.

If only he had read this post from last week, he might have avoided himself a world of trouble.

…there’s probably somebody in this world who has the power to hire you for your dream job, open some door for you, make some extraordinary opportunity happen. Let’s call that person your “empowering person.”

You don’t know who this empowering person knows. You probably don’t know who all of their friends are, who all of their relatives are, who their spouse’s friends are. If one of those people knew you, liked you, and thought well of you, you would be much closer to getting that empowering person to help you achieve your dream. This is even better than references; these are endorsements.

As the Second-Greatest Philosopher of the 20th Century once said, “Always be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.”

Some lessons are easier to learn than others.

The Eight Wonders Of The Modern Gun World

An offhand comment I made awhile back got me thinking: What are the Eight Wonders of the Modern Gun World? What eight guns created since then end of WWII have features that are so outstanding they rise above all others? In no particular order:

  • The reliability of Glocks
  • The action on a Pre 1964 Model 70
  • The adaptabilty of an AR-15
  • The trigger on a good 1911*
  • The popularity of the Ruger 10/22
  • The ergonomics of the CZ75
  • The accuracy of the S&W Model 41
  • The flexibility of the Thompson Contender

* Yes, I know the 1911 pre-dates World War II, this was more about how the custom 1911 has zoomed in popularity since WWII. 

Ok, what should get taken off? What should be added?

The World Shooting Championship! (or at least our version of it)

Muhammed AliI used to be a big, big fan of boxing. However, I was not a big fan of Mike Tyson, to be honest, but I respected his talent, and I also respected the fact that when he fought, he fought for ALL the titles. 

Then Riddick Bowe walked away from the WBC title and we’ve got the current hodge-podge of belts and titles and champions, and I don’t have the time or energy to keep track of who’s the champion of what. 

Which brings me to the shooting sports. The World Action Pistol Championship wrapped up last weekend, with Doug Koenig and Jessie Duff winning the Men’s and Women’s overall championships. 

World Action Pistol Championship is is NOT the World Shoot, which is NOT the IPDA Worlds, which is NOT the World Shooting Championship, and none of this has anything to do with the ISSF

Got that? Me neither. 

The One Piece Of Gunblogging Advice I’m Ever Going To Give

Bookmark this post, because they’re won’t be another one on this topic on this blog ever again. 

And to make matters worse, it’s not even my advice, it’s the advice of Jim Geraghty of National Review, from his “Morning Jolt” email newsletter. Oh wait, I shouldn’t have told you that so you would think *I* was brilliant and not him. Man, I will *never* get the hang of this egotistical jerk thing, so I better give it up now.

Anyways, the advice: 

Advice If You’re Writing Something Longer Than a Shopping List

- Try to accomplish something every time you sit down to write. If you write for a living, every day you have a blank sheet of paper in front of you. Whether you had a good day yesterday or a bad one, whether you’re in a good mood or a bad one, you have to have something down on that sheet of paper at the end of the day. You have probably heard the expression, “you can’t afford the luxury of a negative thought.” Well, if you write for a living or want to write for a living, you don’t have the luxury of writer’s block.

Your daily effort doesn’t have to result in a finished product. Maybe it’s just a list of ideas or some people to contact or quotes you’ve gathered. But you have to make progress towards completing something every day (or every weekday).

This means figuring out what kind of environment helps you be productive. You may feed off the energy, busy atmosphere, and noise of your local Starbucks or you may need a quiet room at home. (When I’m in some big event’s “press room,” I have to resist the temptation to yell at everyone around me, “SHUT UP, I’M TRYING TO WRITE!”) You may need to close Tweetdeck, shut down Facebook, turn off the TV or radio, put your phone on vibrate, and put aside anything that otherwise eats up the time you set aside to write.

- Read voraciously and relentlessly. About once a week I go to the Barnes and Noble magazine rack, pick up six or seven magazines and flip through them, usually taking home one or two. It’s a time commitment, but A) you want to keep up with what’s being done in your field and B) it will get the gears turning.

- Maybe memorable journalism doesn’t need a news hook after all. Geogg Dyer’s “Life on an Aircraft Carrier” in the New Yorker earlier this year is one of the best pieces of magazine journalism I’ve read in a long time, and it has no particular news hook. He had the chance to embed with the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, and it was just absolutely fascinating, detailed, painting-a-picture-with-words magazine-feature writing. They’re not in combat at that time, the most dramatic thing that happens is a man overboard, but it just gives you a great sense of what it’s like to be there. I think a good approach is to approach an event, person, or place and try to describe it all as if you’re writing a letter to a friend and trying to get them to feel like they’re experiencing what’s right there in front of you. Use all five senses — what you hear, what you smell, how you feel (temperature, etc.).

This is obviously a more difficult form of journalism, but this, too, is the kind that turns heads.

- Be nice to each other. Jazz Shaw of Hot Air noted that the blogospheric world has become particularly riven with factions, rivalries, fierce denunciations, calls for purges, rapidly-drawn-and-redrawn battle lines, and an increasingly high probability that if you stick your head up and speak your mind, you’ll be greeted with blistering return fire from the Right, the Left, the crazies, the perpetually aggrieved and offended, and anyone else who can manage to hit “send” on the e-mail screen.

Will Swaim noted, “The dog barks, but the caravan moves on” (Holy cow, I have a new favorite quote about critics – K) — meaning that ultimately, most of the criticism is short-lived and inconsequential.

I humbly noted that none of my critics are important enough for me to respond to, in particular the ones who call me arrogant.

A bit more seriously, I did urge everyone to at least try to treat everyone else in this profession with a bit of respect and kindness. That doesn’t mean we don’t air disagreements or argue passionately. But if I had to give one piece of advice to the young whippersnappers entering the journalism, blogging, or political world, it would be to treat everyone as if you’re going to need a favor from them someday. Because you probably will.

(This is advice I probably should have heard, and needed to follow, earlier and more consistently in life.)

Put another way, there’s probably somebody in this world who has the power to hire you for your dream job, open some door for you, make some extraordinary opportunity happen. Let’s call that person your “empowering person.”

Hopefully, you’re attempting to network in order to meet that empowering person. Maybe you know precisely who that person is — Roger Ailes! Richard Branson! Elon Musk! Marissa Mayer! Dean Kamen*! Jim DeMint! The Director of the Center for Disease Control! — or maybe you’re still looking for that corporate headhunter, Hollywood producer, book publisher, law firm senior partner, or venture capitalist who believes in your product, or whatever role fits. You don’t know how many of degrees of separation stand between you and Kevin Bacon the person who can help make your dreams come true. This person may be a friend of your friend, or more likely, some more convoluted connection: This empowering person is the boss of a friend of your coworker’s former colleague.

You don’t know who this empowering person knows. You probably don’t know who all of their friends are, who all of their relatives are, who their spouse’s friends are. If one of those people knew you, liked you, and thought well of you, you would be much closer to getting that empowering person to help you achieve your dream. This is even better than references; these are endorsements.

Hopefully, someday you’ll finally get a chance to make your pitch to this person: ”Hire me.” “Buy and produce my screenplay.” “Invest in my company.”

When you meet that person, you may come to them as a stranger. Or they may know you by reputation, either professional or personal or both. Before you walk in the door, they may have heard quite a bit about you. And you want that person to have heard as many good things about you as possible, right?

I must confess, I don’t always follow that second tip as much as I’d like, to my determint and shame.