Thursday, June 22, 2017

This is a Tough Month for USPSA: MATT B.

First there was the incident where a competitor shot and killed himself in Vancouver

Now one of USPSA's Champion Shooters has been busted: Majorly!

This is the first time I've heard about this.

I'm shocked.
Feds: Scottsdale Shooting Champ, Gun Maker Matthew Burkett Busted for Meth | Phoenix New Times: Former national shooting champion and Scottsdale gun maker Matthew Burkett continues to blow up his career with legal troubles: This time, the feds say he's on meth. Burkett  was arrested in Arizona this week — and remains in federal detention — for testing positive for methamphetamine three times in the past month, court records show. He confessed to using meth after one of the three tests. As the Phoenix New Times reported last month, Burkett previously was accused of defrauding customers of his company, Predator Tactical.
Other sources:

The Firearms Blog
The Outdoor Hub

I'm not sure that these "other sources" have any more to add to the story, but that's where a quick Internet search found appropriate references.

No, I am not prepared to editorialize on this story.  I doubt I will be prepared in the near future.

Except that I will say this:

I started shooting in USPSA in 1983.   Quit for a few years, then got back into it, and now I teach a class but I don't compete any more (my weakening eyesight is my alibi).   I have found the people I met in this sport to be among the best.  Sometimes rude, sometimes unkind, but they ALWAYS played by the rules.

To "give back to the sport", I took the classes and was certified as a CRO.  Worked a few major matches.

And when I was actively competing, I "GAMED" every stage I could.  Sometimes my twisted approach provided a competitive advantage, sometimes it blew up in my face.  I always believed in the adage:  "Who Dares, Wins!"   I may have bent the rules, but I never deliberately broke one.

It's almost impossible to "cheat" in IPSC competition, without getting caught.  That's one of the things I've loved about this sport for over 30 years; it proved that an armed society IS a polite society, as Robert Heinlein loved to say in his books.   And I think that is one of the reasons why it attracted such (you'll excuse the expression) "Straight Shooters".

Now, one of my heroes has fallen.  He has revealed himself to be flawed in character.

I can only hope that it was an act of desperation, the product of his addiction ... whatever has happened, this is not the kind of story I expected to read about one of the giants of our sport.

We read in Front Sight magazine occasional stories of "So-And-So Has left The Range", which is what passes for an obituary to beloved fellow competitors.

What can we say about a fellow competitor who has fallen from choice, except that as cancer has attacked some of them, addiction has apparently attacked this one.

IF THIS STORY WAS ABOUT ME, in a similar situation, I would rather have died than to bear the shame of public humiliation.  I can't imagine the thoughts which must be haunting Matt in this life crisis.

More important matters are on his mind now;   certainly he is humiliated, and he faces serious jail time.  No more competition, with a record like this.  No more guns.

No more business.  Apparently that was gone before the got busted.

This is not the way that Matt Burkett would want to be remembered; to be a loser after so many years of being a winner.  He tried to game the system, and now he has been DQ'd.

Matt, please sign your scoresheets and turn them over to the stats crew before you go.

Sad to see ya, wouldn't want to be ya.


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