Cheaper Than Dirt! has been a tremendous supporter of the shooting sports; obviously, I am grateful for that fact! A couple of people have asked me though why the shooting sports are so important that major companies should spend time and money supporting and promoting them. I used to think it was a complicated question, but I realized that in reality, the answer is quite simple.
Shooting sports, especially action shooting sports such as IDPA or USPSA, are sexy. They’re cool. In the industry, we agree that it is important to engage young shooters in our sport and passion to guarantee that we will still be able to do what we love in 50 years. However, kids these days are not as interested in hunting; they are not as interested in going to the range and standing in a static booth shooting one shot per second. I am the older part of a generation that has always had video games as part of our culture. Back when I was playing Wolfenstein 3D, games were not mainstream. They are now. “Gaming” is still a culture, but when the most recent Halo game made more money than Avatar, it is a sign that games themselves are part of the mainstream. Therefore, with that generation of kids that has grown up playing Halo and Modern Warfare, there is not quite the same appeal of that “stand in one place and shoot.” Enter the shooting sports. Go to YouTube and do a search for “USPSA Video” or “IDPA Video”; or just go to the Down Zero TV Channel. Regardless of whether or not you shoot the games yourself, USPSA is the closest that the Airsoft generation can actually come to living in their own first-person shooter game outside of joining the military and actually getting shot at. People running around like human NASCAR cars, but instead of a circular track we all have guns—that’s exciting; it is fun to watch, and hopefully, it is interesting to the younger generation.
I preach this all the time, but I do believe that engaging the video game generation, the Halo fans and the COD: Modern Warfare fans are the key to preserving our shooting culture. Moreover, what better way to do that than letting them be the hero of their own first-person shooter? Bring a new shooter to your next USPSA match, and you will be helping preserve our sport and shooting heritage for years to come.
I think a lot of people get so caught up in training and efficiency that they forget you can buy a gun just because it’s cool, and that this is a good thing for shooting sports, as it works as a good gateway drug.
Of course, if you then show up on forums claiming that your XYZ is better than anything because it’s in COD and *real* operators use it, you deserve to be flamed 😉
I think the real problem is a lot (not all) of the shooting shooting community has an elitist attitude towards guns.I’m 28,I’ve been a gun owner for 3 years now,I have always been interested in guns,but I’ll admit that playing COD was a big reason in me buying my first firearm.What I found at a lot of gun stores was a “oh,you don’t know anything” type of attitude.I’m sorry I don’t know what caliber bullet goes in every gun and I haven’t shot every gun on earth.I did my research,so I did no a little about what I wanted.I think a lot of younger would-be shooters are intimidated by the fact that the guy at the gun store is gonna make you feel stupid for being interested in a gun they played with in a game.I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a video on youtube where someone says something like “I like that gun on COD,I’d like to get one in real life” to get a response like,”shut up you stupid COD nerd,you don’t know anything about guns!”
That’s sad because I think it keeps a certain amount of people out of the sport.Obviously most people are not just gonna go pick up a .50 cal at there local shop,but that dosen’t meen you can’t have an AK-47 or AR-15.Weather the gun industry wants to admit or not,a big part of there sales comes from people who seen a gun on a game,movie or T.V. show.So instead of being so close minded about video game shooters,maybe offer a chance to shoot the real thing.I would much rather go out and shoot my AK then play video games any day.I think that if you can just get people out there on the range and give a little encouragement,they’d feel the same way!
I am 50 years old and I have noticed that the ability to shoot real guns with real bullets has been ignored by our younger generation.I have seen many a young man who talked big but couldn’t tell what is the caliber of the m16 or any other weapon but they can slay many a dragon on their playstations and think that makes them men and qualified to fire the real deals! Sorry about your luck boys but grow up and quit living in a fantasy world! You have been dumbed down to nonesense. My son in law said he didn’t like rifles but he got a pistol that looks like a old video game duck hunt gun.And guess what? I guess the ducks didn’t fly like he wanted haha but he learned the difference between reality and imagery. Now we shoot on a regular basis and heck he even got him a rifle if bullets were cheaper he would throw that durned playstation out the door!SO yall unplugem and showem whats real!
Yes to all the above. Punching holse in targets is NOT fully satisfying. One needs to learn how to roll a can down the street (so to speak). Hit a clay pigeon on the fly with a .22 LR. ( not recommended in the city anymore.LOL ) A plastic milk jug filled with water and food coloring is really neat. A tin can filled with jellitain material..just watching stuff getting blown apart. Some explosive stuff for his spped bullets..always a good eye catcher. Competition shooting with points for all targets ( keeping track of stuff ). I am busy as hell all summer giving shooting instructions to beginner shooters. NOT kids..I’m speaking of Dr’s Attys, nurses, Jr. Executives of all sorts.. I am lucky in that as a former fed I have contacts. I’ve a friend that farms ovder 3,500 acres. He pushed up a huge mound of dirt backed up agains 7 acres of trees. It’s totally private and I can see anyone comeing for over a mile ( safety factor ). I really and truly don’t know about other sources because of liability restrictions. People get all jumpy ovet that. It’s like I cannot charge for my services otherwise it become contracyual and obligates me to provide insurance. As “funzies” buddy shooting..all is okay. Give me a break..but that is the law! In New Mexico there is a huge range that permits just about eveything you can imagine. I am not saying another word about that as I swore not to…but these places are available to the everyday shooters.
As one of the video game generation, I wholeheartedly agree with this, but I want to add something more.
More and more people live in cities now than they have at any other time. It’s tough to get started hunting when you’ve never done it, your dad hasn’t done it, and you don’t really have a place to go do it. Same with plinking and other vaguely responsible “fun” way to target shoot – I don’t have anywhere where I can go shoot up milk jugs full or water or knock pop cans off a fence post. Going to a range and putting holes on paper is fun and challenging… but it lacks much of the excitement. The different action sports bring a lot of that excitement back.