Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tiptoeing Toward Turkeys

I promise...no Thanksgiving recipes this year...not even my much-admired oyster dressing (although celeb chef Robert Irvine's version isn't exactly chopped turkey giblets, either).

Yesterday I toured the site for the proposed $25 million High Plains Tactical Center outside of Denver. Wow! Ten thousand acres of wooded, rolling hills and spectacular views, with more than 3000 acres devoted to what amounts to a Jurassiac Park for shooters, After last week at the $14 million world-class U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, I have to call big-dollar shooting facilities an interesting and important national trend, essentially recognizing the recreational aspects of the gun culture as a wildly underserved market.

It also spits in the face of the antigunners, who have had their programs and their principles — if you can call that sad, sordid collection of mistruths, misinformation, spin and outright lies principles — increasingly rejected. While I like the trend, it still doesn't do anything to stem the loss of shooting areas around the country, although I am hoping for something of a "trickle-down" effect. The rationale for not building new, expanding old or sometimes even maintaining existing shooting areas has been essentially a reflection of antigun disinformation.

We are not a small, declining market...in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. The shooting sports and the self-defense market is vibrant, growing and full of potential. The building of such facilities as the U.S. Shooting Academy and. hopefully, the High Plains Tactical Center, along with other datapoints such as the multimillion dollar refurbishing of GUNSITE in recent years and the explosive growth of training as a major industry, signify that mainstream culture is moving closer to our core beliefs; that, hopefully, we are moving away from the seering indictments in the classic 1993 essay A Nation of Cowards:
Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e., exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social "re-education" is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's famous characterization of gun-owners as "hunters who drink beer, don't vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend." Similar vituperation is rained upon the NRA, characterized by Sen. Edward Kennedy as the "pusher's best friend," lampooned in political cartoons as standing for the right of children to carry firearms to school and, in general, portrayed as standing for an individual's God-given right to blow people away at will.

The stereotype is, of course, false. As criminologist and constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates, Jr. and former HCI contributor Dr. Patricia Harris have pointed out, "[s]tudies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners.... Later studies show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc."

8 comments:

DonWorsham said...

I'm glad I'm a shooter. Or is that shootist?

Anonymous said...

What? No recipes? Too bad, I really liked your cranberries with bourbon recipe you blogged last year and I expect to make it again this year.

Anonymous said...

$500 per year plus $50 range fee each and every time I bust a cap? (And that's the bargain-basement version.) NFW, Jose. Their price point may be appealing to celebrity gunsmiths and assorted media dweebs who gain entry by flashing a press card, but they sure as hell aren't interested in those of us who actually work for a living. This bears as much resemblance to reality as This Old House working on a two million dollar "second home". Looks like you've forgotten your roots, Michael. Time for a reality check. Come play with those of use who still enjoy IDPA.

Michael Bane said...

Good grief, dude! Did you read the whole post? I didn't say the big dollar facilities were the be-all and end-all of shooting...I said I thought they were a good trend...
I would also like to point out that I'm one of the guys who spent 2 1/2 years battling the Forest Service to get posted signs taken, which we succeeded in doing. That's about as much a reality check as I can imagine!

mb

Anonymous said...

This sure sounds like a variation of Front Sight in Nevada. Especially the "exactly as scripted" requirements for instructors. Any idea who the backers are?

Anonymous said...

Real women wear earrings......

Flash Gordon said...

It appears that "High Plains Tactical" consists of nothing but prairie and a website largely lifted from Front Sight in Nevada. If no ground breaking has occurred, and I don't believe it has, it won't be open by June, 2009 much less 2008.

I don't believe it will ever be open. The website domain is registered to someone in Golden, CO.

Could it be that this is just an investment scam? If you just think about the concept, it does not seem that it could be legit.

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