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An Overabundance of Caution

Color me disappointed by Shooting USA‘s attitude on covering Joe’s Boomershoot event on their show.  Kevin and SayUncle are both disappointed too.  This is not the first time I’ve encountered trepidation at the idea of highlighting this sort of thing, but I think the attitude is remarkably shortsighted.  Here what Jim Scoutten, host and producer of Shooting USA had to say:

I’ve always thought there are some events that shouldn’t get National TV coverage. When we’d like the public to think of competitive shooting to be like other mainstream sports.

Actually, I think the fact that this is a little out of the mainstream is part of the appeal.  I think it was Blackfork I heard say once that “Watching other people shoot is like watching paint dry.”  I have to agree.  It’s not too exciting.  I’d much rather be on the line myself.  Even watching IPSC or IDPA matches isn’t nearly as much fun as participating.  The fact that guys like Scoutten and Michael Bane can make shows about guns and shooting that are interesting and entertaining is a testament to their skill as hosts and producers rather than to the exciting nature of the shooting sports to start with.

But Boomershoot is something that’s, shall we say, a lot more inherently interesting.  Humans have used fireworks for centuries as a form of entertainment.  As Joe Huffman says, we’re wired to find explosions and pyrotechnics interesting.  I think back to how I would have looked at Boomershoot before I got into shooting, and I’m fairly certain my reaction would be “Holy crap that looks like fun!”

And that’s really the reaction you want.  If you’re looking to present the shooting sports to the public, you want them to look interesting.  You want people watching to think “I’d like to try that.”  I’ve often wondered if the reason action shooting sports have taken off so quickly is because it just looks more inherently interesting to spectators, especially on TV.  I think rather than having an instinctive fear of an event like Boomershoot, which is a little unusual, Shooting USA should think more seriously about it’s potential entertainment value to audiences, and a way to get more people to think about getting up on the line themselves.  It may be outside the mainstream, but that’s not automatically a bad thing.

10 Responses to “An Overabundance of Caution”

  1. Ed says:

    Fine examples of our inherent attraction to things that go boom, and do so rapidly and often, can be seen in any “Mythbusters” episode where decidedly non-gun folks shoot a minigun or in Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” when he visits Uncle Ted and blasts away with full-auto goodness. People love shooting full-auto guns and seeing them shot, whether they care about guns or not.

  2. Dock says:

    I’m sure competing in competitive shooting such as IDPA or IPSC is really great fun.

    It is boring as hell to watch.

    Also, Jim’s talk of covering “accessible sports” is nice and all, but uh… flatly, I can’t afford to compete at any level of competitive shooting, in a sustained way. How much money does one sink into a “race gun” let alone the ammo for a cheaper production gun?

  3. Sebastian says:

    Until you’re at a level where it’s minutia separating you from top competitors, there’s no reason at all to invest in a lot of expensive equipment. Shoot with what you have, and invest the money in ammunition instead.

    Some of the best shooters I know are cost conscious about the equipment they compete with, and could out shoot me even if you gave me the best pistol money could buy, and gave them something cheap off the shelf.

    Equipment isn’t what makes you competitive, it’s knowing how to shoot that makes you competitive. If you’re already a good shooter, you can be better with better equipment, but no amount of money spent on equipment will make up for a lack of fundamentals. If the fundamentals are there, you’ll be able to outshoot most people with lower quality gear regardless.

  4. BobG says:

    “When we’d like the public to think of competitive shooting to be like other mainstream sports.”

    In other words, “Don’t scare the white people!”

  5. Keep in mind that anything gun-related will be taken out of context in the worst possible way. I am rather glad that .50 BMG competitions aren’t televised–imagine the way that would be spun. “Guns that can hit targets 1 1/2 miles away!”

  6. “Watching other people shoot is like watching paint dry.” I have to agree. It’s not too exciting.

    I want the average American to be bored by gun competition –not scared.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I think I disagree with the fundamental premise that most people would be scared by something like Boomershoot. I’ve seen Joe get some pretty positive press coverage from the event.

    For sure, some would be scared, but I’m not sure how much you’ll reach people who are that frightened by the idea to begin with. Maybe this is one area I’m wrong about, and the number of people put off by the idea is larger than I think, but I think most people would get why it’s fun.

  8. DirtCrashr says:

    Don’t scare the latte sippers.
    If he covered the Shot-Show at all which I think he must have, then he scared a lot of latte-sippers who saw the huge numbers of people in attendance and all the guns as a threat to all that Liberals hold dear. But I’m pretty sure that they change the channel when guns come on – and going “around the dial” (to use an antediluvian expression) do not voluntarily choose to watch anything gun related.

  9. hillbilly says:

    Did Jim Scouten and the rest NOT SEE the episode of “Wreckreaction Nation” wherein explosive target shooting at two different locations was featured?

    Folks were shown mixing their own tannerite, even.

    Give me a freakin’ break.

  10. Dock says:

    “Until you’re at a level where it’s minutia separating you from top competitors, there’s no reason at all to invest in a lot of expensive equipment. Shoot with what you have, and invest the money in ammunition instead.”

    Invest… what money? That’s the problem.

    “If you’re already a good shooter, you can be better with better equipment, but no amount of money spent on equipment will make up for a lack of fundamentals. If the fundamentals are there, you’ll be able to outshoot most people with lower quality gear regardless.”

    I agree, I’ve seen it in other competitions I’ve been involved with over the years. Totally true, not in dispute.

    But to get the fundamentals down, you need… money to buy a good deal of ammo, and time to shoot a lot.

    Maybe I’m poorer than the average Joe, I dunno. Or maybe I’m just a tightwad. :) But I watch the Shooting USA coverage and think “sweet jesus, those guys are good… wow, I wonder how much ammo they go through” and then my wallet starts a high-pitched keening noise and I promptly stop thinking about it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. LibertyNews.org - Liberty and Freedom for All » Scoutten says no Boomershoot Coverage on Shooting USA - [...] Snowflakes in Hell also have something to say about [...]
  2. Allow me to disagree « Gun Nuts Media - [...] ShootingUSA wouldn’t cover Joe Huffman’s Boomershoot event.  Uncle, Kevin Baker, and Sebastian (as well as others) are of the…
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