A Non-Gun Owner Reviews Top Shot

This piece in Slate from a non-gun owner who claims he doesn’t know many gun owners is an extremely positive review of Top Shot. He highlights what’s great about the show, mainly that they focus on true competition judged solely by documented performance rather than some arbitrary opinion or rating from a so-called expert.

But, he really emphasizes the importance of shows like this post-Newtown.

For people like me, who neither own a gun nor know very many people who do, the show helps counteract some of the most extreme, uninformed stereotypes that many liberals and urbanites have about “gun guys.” The show clearly demonstrates something that often gets lost in the heat of the gun control debate: that gun owners aren’t all crazy survivalists or slavering right-wing fanatics. A lot of them are just reasonable, responsible sportsmen who enjoy shooting guns because shooting guns can be a lot of fun.

You really should go read the whole article, even if you’re not that into the show. It’s a very eye-opening piece on many levels of the gun debate.

It almost makes me regret not having cable since it means we can’t easily tune in.

13 thoughts on “A Non-Gun Owner Reviews Top Shot”

  1. “The show clearly demonstrates something that often gets lost in the heat of the gun control debate: that gun owners aren’t all crazy survivalists or slavering right-wing fanatics.”

    If the author would write a qualifier for “all,” though, what would it be? “Though most are?” “Though some are?” “Though a lot of them are?” Our next question might then be, where does that “crazy survivalists or slavering right-wing fanatics” notion originate and is there anything we can do to change it?

    I observe that “right-wing fanaticism” does not inherently have anything to do with firearms, so it is a worthwhile question where the quick mental associations with it come from.

    Seen the latest Police Chief Mark Kessler video yet? Or the new slide-show of him and his posse?

    1. Especially since the elites of both parties are hostile to gun rights. Then again NRO is doing reports on Crimson Trace’s 3Gun Night shoot…

      My thinking is the “slavering right-wing fanatics” label is a convenient signaling device. As a way for those who are against gun rights to box in those who are for them and to shy off people who don’t want that label.

      It’s why a lot of antis will still bring out the “If you like guns then you must hate gay people, rhetoric.”

      1. And of course “hating gay people” is defined as being opposed to gay marriage in their eyes, which has nothing to do with hatred of a person. As mentioned above, it’s a code word.

      2. “If you like guns then you must hate gay people, rhetoric.”

        The trouble is, when they say that they can often as not go to a video of an outspoken gun rights advocate, being equally outspoken in condemnation of gays — often in the same interview.

  2. No.

    They still stick to that stupid “sportsmen” meme.

    They still turn a blind eye to the fact that a lot of gun owners carry guns for personal protection.

    1. I don’t think it’s a matter of turning a blind eye to it, it’s just that the show highlights the fun. Even people who carry still often find target shooting to be fun. It is okay to remember that fact from time-to-time.

  3. Ooh look! Yet another Blue State Coastal Urbanite delves into amateur anthropology, and actually watches a TV show about Red State Bitter Clingers and their strange gun things. What odd customs those backwoods yokels in “Fly-Over Country” enjoy!

    I, for one, have grown tired of being the subject of such amateur anthropologists, and no longer roll over onto my back and wet myself with joy when they “discover” us.

    1. In this comment, you come off as the kind of person who would take a compliment like, “Hey, that’s an awesome shirt you’re wearing!” and respond with, “F*ck you!” Not everything is hostile, and not every little thing in this issue has to piss you off. In fact, I would argue that if someone giving a compliment to something about this issue gets you this pissy, then maybe it’s time to put a little focus back on what you enjoy about it.

      As I mentioned above, even people who are in this issue for self-defense and recognize the value of an armed citizenry often find pleasure on the shooting range. Most of us largely got into this issue at the level we are involved because it was fun. Focusing on that fun element or getting complimented because someone else discovers the joy in that fun side isn’t a bad thing.

      1. I thought the hostile comments from anti-gunners was telling about just what kind of audience Slate.com typically serves. Still. It can’t hurt when a little bit of truth and light gets sprinkled into the murk of a left-wing cesspool.

        Clearly the social power of TV programs like Top Shot can only help us and our cause.

      2. Since you brought up the analogy of “Hey, nice shirt” I’ll go with that.

        Let’s say instead of Top Shot, he watched a TV show about Native American Pow-Wows, and saw and liked a traditional “Ribbon Shirt.” In fact, he liked the ribbon shirt and the TV show so much, he wrote in a column at Slate.com the following. “Hey, those ribbon shirts are pretty cool. I think more clueless white people should watch this show about pow-wows, or maybe even go to a pow-wow so they could see that NOT ALL Indians are shiftless drunks or hopeless welfare cases permanently stuck on the Rez.”

        For folks who actually wear ribbon shirts, for real, the only appropriate response to that kind of statement in such a column would be a very hearty and sincere “F@CK YOU!”

        He says liberals should watch Top Shot so they can see that “gun owners aren’t all crazy survivalists or slavering right-wing fanatics.”

        Even though I never used the words “F@CK YOU!” in the post to which you responded, your suggestion does seem pretty appropriate, now that I think about it.

  4. I liked the Slate story! The writer honestly seems to spend a lot of time branching out in his life. He had a lot of good, fun lines (“this year they have involved cannons, grenade launchers, and zip lines—just like the Battle of Bunker Hill!”) I would take Justin Peters shooting any time. He understands that sportsmen and women are mainstream.

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