Is There Anything Wrong With “Sportsmen?”

I think some people take exception to being lumped in under the “Sportsmen” moniker.  I don’t really think there’s anything sinister at work here, so much as it’s a reasonable moniker under which to put the coalition of hunters and shooters.  You’re not going to have “Shooters for Blandidate,” because, quite honestly, there are a lot of people out there that have no idea what a shooter is, and some people who think it’s a guy on a street corner fighting over drug turf.  You could try “Sport Shooters for Blandidate,” and leave out hunters, or you could do “Hunters for Blandidate,” and leave out shooters.

So what’s your blandidate for office to do?  I mean, you could get really ridiculous with coalitions, and do “Concealed Carry Permit Holders for Blandidate,” which could work, if people knew what that was, and there were actually votes there.  Or even more niche with “AR-15 Enthusiasts for Blandidate,” which is an even smaller subset.

So we’re stuck with the “Sportsmen” moniker.  You might not like it, but that’s your coalition.  If you want a different one, you’ll have to get a lot of people to vote under it, and work hard for it.  If you want to try that path… may you have better luck than me.  As it is, it’s difficult ot even get people motivated under the Sportsmen moniker.  Further subdivision just dilutes our political power.  And I say this as someone who’s never hunted, and has to listen to more than a few hunting stories as a “Sportsmen for McCain” volunteer.

10 thoughts on “Is There Anything Wrong With “Sportsmen?””

  1. I started teaching hunter education even though I wasn’t at that time a hunter. I did so because it was one of the best ways, locally, to encourage young shooters.

  2. So then we leave out archers and anglers? Yes, they are sizable groups, and they look for the same kinds of legislation that we do, especially when it comes to land use/conservation issues, not to mention that most own guns, but don’t identify first as gun owners. Shooters may not think they care about conservation issues, but if they ever shoot outdoors, they should.

    Let’s be completely honest. Anyone who says they are refusing to assist a candidate because they don’t like the name of a coalition is looking for excuses to avoid getting up off their ass and helping out. Even if there was a coalition named specifically for their pet issue, then they wouldn’t like that they couldn’t get gear made with that coalition name because there wasn’t enough money to make collateral for all these micro-coalitions. They would say the chairs at the offices weren’t comfortable enough or the call-from-home technology wasn’t coded exactly how they would have coded it.

    If coalition names are really what keep you from getting out and stopping the most anti-gun presidential candidate in history from taking office, then it shows that you’re willing to sell our rights out for very little. If it makes you “feel good” to have your own coalition name, then make something for yourself on Zazzle. I personally wanted sportsmen’s gear that had Palin’s name on it. So I made it myself. Guess what? There was no market for Sportschick gear, but there was a market for Sportsmen for Palin or McCain/Palin gear. I sold 42 bumper stickers and 4 shirts.

  3. I knew there had to be some reason the obvious wasn’t considered.

    But it seems to me that gun owners are more frequently targeted for extinction than are hunters and fisherman. But I understand the point of making the coalition as large as practical.


  4. When you consider how expensive it is to make collateral (signs, hats, shirts, bumper stickers, lapel stickers, and other take home/advertising goodies) for your coalitions, it’s important to make them big so you can get bulk discounts. By making them big, you also know that in all likelihood, you’ll come across someone who will want it, as opposed to hoping you come across a specific kind of target shooter.

    Campaigns aren’t dumb, either. They know that these are coalitions. They know that one guy with the sportsmen sign may be an angler, but the guy with the hat is a hunter, and the guy who shows up to phone bank tonight and says he heard about it at the gun club is a shooter. The campaigns know what these diverse coalitions mean. However, if shooters are sitting out of the game, then it means we’re no longer counted in these coalitions. Every staffer and volunteer organizer who thinks of me with the sportsmen’s coalition knows that I’m in it as a general gun owner and carry advocate. Just because I put on a Sportsmen’s sticker doesn’t mean that they don’t know what I represent. I tell them what I represent, and they acknowledge it. It makes it into their reports.

  5. Even though I rarely hunt, I still buy a license every year. I self-identify as a shooter, but I want to support ALL aspects of our firearm community. I have no problem with sportsmen for blandidate.

    But if I were to split hairs, I dislike the term because the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting, and because I don’t feel a lot of reciprocity in support from the hunting community. Here in AZ, there is very little crossover between hunters and CCW permit holders, for example.

  6. I agree with Bitter. I’ve heard some gun owners complain about the “Sportsmen” label and say “they (the candidate) must buy in to the guns for hunting school of thought” but in the end, they are just looking for an excuse.

  7. Rambo was a pussy.
    There’s nothing wrong with sportsmen (except in the minds of liberals)
    B/ Rifle 2008.
    Thank you.

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