More on Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0 in Clubs, who started the whole thread with his post here, has some more good points on the whole subject Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0 in clubs:

The solution would be simple: vote the board out and remake the club in the image that you desire.

However, in practice, the issue is that the GC1.0 can make the environment so undesirable for members of GC2.0 that they simply decline to participate. If ranges weren’t so monopolized, it’d be easy for members of GC2.0 to start their own.

That’s one of the problems with the aging of clubs. If those clubs close, or go belly up, they won’t ever be replaced. We can’t easily make more shooting clubs, especially in urban and suburban areas. My own club was founded in 1958, at a time when this guy was busy fueling the post-war construction boom, and transforming Bucks County from a more rural county with a lot of open space into this. Our club moved in the 80s, due to encroachment by development, and was relocated at the cost of the developer. It is highly doubtful that today, someone could find land to create a new club at a price anyone could reasonably afford.

Because of this, I think it’s important for clubs to change hands from one generation to another, so that they don’t die with their members. That is actually not that remarkably hard to execute a complete takeover of a club if you look at elections results. The reason it doesn’t happen is largely the following factors:

  • Most members don’t vote in club elections. This seems especially true of younger shooters who would be most likely to be brought up in GC 2.0.
  • Very few younger people have the time to serve as officers, or if they do have time, lack the willingness. A desire for change won’t do any good if you’re not able or willing to step up to do the work of running a club, most of which is mundane and unglamorous, and has little to do with a club’s cultural direction.
  • Younger GC 2.0 people are less likely to join clubs to begin with, or try out GC 1.0 shooting sports, which means many clubs have no pool of shooters who would even be interested in something different.
  • Many GC 1.0 are too old to do GC 2.0 run-and-gun tactical stuff and be competitive. IPSC and IDPA are more athletic sports than bullseye shooting, trap, or silhouette. Even if they don’t harbor any misconceptions or prejudices against practical/action shooting, they might not feel great about those kinds of competitions competing match and range times at their club, and may resist those kinds of matches.

So if you have a local club, my advice is to join. If you want to run a more practical-style match, take your match idea before the Board. Be prepared to make concessions to deal with their concerns. Once you have a match, you’ll start building a constituency. Once you have a constituency, you’ll get people engaged with the club, and from those people, you can draw candidates for the club’s Board.

My club has 1100 members. Even at that size, 50 people showing up on club election night could elect an entire slate of new candidates if it was committed. Most clubs are smaller than mine, and the only practical match I know of around here was drawing 60 or so people even in the dead of winter with snow covering the ground. Change is difficult, but it is not impossible. If you want to change a local club, it can be done, but you need a plan, and you have to be prepared to make concessions. Maybe shoot from ready instead of holster, or limit the run-and-gun action in your early stages. This might mean your matches won’t be sanctioned for a while, but as long as people are still having a good time, and you’re drawing people in, that’s all that matters. If they are dedicated to more of what you’re offering, you’ll start flipping club leadership quickly, and once you start doing that, you’ll find yourself needing to make fewer concessions.


8 Responses to “More on Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0 in Clubs”

  1. thefirstndsecond says:

    It is what you make of it. If you want to do it you’ll find the time. The 80/20 rule applies. In any org you have old and new school.

  2. Diomed says:

    Easier said than done. The club I mostly participate in has two classes of members, those who can vote and those who can’t. The number who can vote is capped at 125 (overall membership is over 1300). The only way to become a voting member is to either wait for an existing one to die, or for one of them to forget to pay their dues. Guess what? Most of the voting members are either old or they’re shotgunners, or both, and only about half of the voters actually show up for the annual election anyway. So, as a practical matter, Gun Culture 1.0 owns the club and will until enough of them die or go so senile they forget to keep their membership up. It’s a constant struggle to keep them from shutting down, well, everything that’s fun.

    Also, the redesign sucks. As in, it has lots of bugs that make it a pain to read and crashes browsers. No offense.

    • Sebastian says:

      Let me know which browsers it’s crashing in. The HTML should be pretty standardized.

    • Sebastian says:

      Also, any bugs you encounter.

      • Diomed says:

        Well, the old version had a tendency to crash Firefox so I got in the habit of viewing it with IE. Since the redesign it had just been giving a page error but yesterday it started spawning new windows like crazy until I got it shut down in Task Manager.

        It seems to be stable in Chrome, which I hate, but use anyway.

  3. karrde says:

    Now you’ve reminded me.

    There is a County Sportsman’s Club in my area. I haven’t checked them out yet.

  4. Les says:

    Interesting thoughts again (BTW, I like the new design!).

    Thinking more about this, it is kind of like the Republicans contrasted with the Tea Party.

    I think it is important to recognize that we’re essentially all on the same side – I actually like trap, but DO get a lot of funny looks when I show up with a riot gun, fresh from a 3-gun match.

    To each their own and variety is the spice of life, eh?

    That is part of the initial reason for the start of WIILSHOOT: All these groups were disconnected and there was almost no crossover from die-hard IDPA guys to USPSA, vice versa. It is nice to have one place, under one roof where most folks, like minded, can actually see that they’re not alone…

  5. Eric says:

    As a shooter, I just want an environment that if fun and safe to shoot in. Like many things in life, club board factions like to in-fight and that spills over outside of the booard rmeetings. More than a few times at my club, I’ve overheard comments about “those guys over there”. Since I participate in almost all the sports/ranges offered by my club except air and archery, I am involved with all sides and it is real depressing that all this energy is wasted rather than making the club the best it can be. It prevents me from wanting to be more active in the club as I get all the politics I can stomach at work.

    Remember what we’re all here for guys!!