Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seeing barriers when only wide avenues exist.

Jule Golob and Old Fat White Guys

Julie Golob: Barriers to Shooting Competition Too High - The Truth About Guns:
Ms. Golob wants shooting sports to look like . . . CrossFit. “The first rule of shooting competition is to talk about shooting competition,” she opines. Ms. Golob pitched the idea of simple (i.e. easy rules, common equipment) “virtual shooting competitions” around the U.S. to the NSSF audience, imagining a network of ranges connected by the Internet. 
It's impossible to make sense of this press release .. Golob obviously has a vision but she has been Stuck in Stupid because everything she says has obviously been filtered by the press.

Basically, Ms. Golob thinks the current shooting sports associations suck. She wants to bring millions of people into the shooting sports by creating a new shooting sports organization, simplifying, standardizing, marketing and friendly-izing firearms competition.

Of course the goal of USPSA and IPSC has been to attract new shooters; that's how I got sucked into the sport in 1983 and have spend tens of thousands of dollars in ammunition, practice, competition, match fees, new equipment to meet my improvements and (not the least) Travel Expenses!
I wonder if her presentation will inspire someone in the audience to launch her dream league. Or whether the OFWG gestalt of current shooting orgs will continued unopposed. *
* (That quote is from the original TRUTH ABOUT GUNS article; incidently, OFWH stands for "Old Fat White Guys" ... which is a pejorative, and not something which we would expect from Mw. Golob.).

Actually, USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association).  and  IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) were established for exactly that goal.

They have established a half-dozen or more "Shooting Divisions"so that competitors compete only against other competitors using similar equipment: including Revolver, Single Stack, Production, Open, Limited and Limited Ten (I'll leave it up to you to look them up at the USPSA website)..

As for the claim that competitive shooting expenses are too high .. GUILTY AS CHARGED!

If we're talking about the cost of match fees, ammunition, firearms, travel to out-of-state matches, food and housing and incidental expenses: yes,  it is expensive:  competition in ANY sport is expensive!

Golob is, of course a Major Competitor.  Her expenses are covered by her sponsors, because of her excellence and her status of one of the top two (depending on the latest records) female competitors in the world.  One of her sponsors is Smith & Wesson.

She doesn't pay for ammunition, weaponry, travel (food and lodging, etc.), and she receives a "stipend" for practice and whatever is necessary to maintain her expertise.  We understand this; there are a number of other sponsored professional shooters in the sport and we welcome them because they show us how exalted a performance may be demonstrated by a person who has no other goal in life but to earn her living by kicking ass at USPSA matches.

You may think that her sponsorship makes her sound less than candid when she complains about the high cost of participation in the Shooting Sports.  But nobody in the sport denigrates her for her sponsorship.  There are dozens of other sponsored competitors in the sport, and we all expect them to win every match .. if not Julie, another of her sponsored competitors.

The rest of us are rank amateurs at best, and most (such as I) have to work  very hard to achieve membership in that tiny coterie.

The professionals shoot for wages; the rest of us shoot for fun.

I've competed in major matches with some of the best of the professional shooters, such as Todd Jarrett.  I've watched them complete a stage with a result that is so far above my ability that I stood in awe.

They, on the other hand, were kicking the dust and saying "Ah, Shucks!  I Coulda Done Better!"

I don't want to live under that pressure.  I enjoy shooting for intrinsic reasons; I just like the loud noises and sulphur stench of an open-air pistol match.

People like Golob live survive by not EVER having a Bad Stage at a match ... even a tiny State Match or Regional match.   The pressure on them is .. well, for me, it would be unbearable.

On the other hand, I don't shoot a thousand rounds a day in practice, and I don't have an "angel" looking over my shoulder saying  "Do it again, but this time to better!"

Julie Golob and her competitors are welcome to their skills, their talent, and their sponsorship.

I go to a match, I enjoy the company and the camaraderie.  Sometimes I don't even disappoint myself..

I once went to a Major Match, and my score was the lowest (in a match with over 100 competitors) of those which scored zero for the match.

Not my best day, but I went home with a smile on my face.  I spend a weekend doing what I best loved, even if it wasn't what I do best well.

I have nobody to please but me.  And whether I win or lose .. I still win; because I can relax, enjoy myself and my friends; and whether I win or I lose, the pay is the same.


Mark said...

When you reach our age, finishing in the middle of the pack is reward enough.

Anonymous said...

Or, just finishing.