This blog is our chance to contribute to the ongoing conversation in our culture about guns. But this isn’t going to be a neutral forum in which we’ll speak in soft, measured tones. It’s not a secret: we love our guns. We love to shoot them, study them, critique them, brag about them, hunt with them and improve our skills in using them. We love the camaraderie they create. Whether it’s at the gun range, in deer camp or online, conversing with fellow gun fans is time well spent.
Sit down and start talking with people who are passionate shooters and firearms enthusiasts and you’ll have a good idea of the turf this blog is going to cover. We’re going to talk about how our old guns are shooting and about the newest guns on the market. We’re going to talk about shooting techniques, shooting technology, our most recent hunting experiences and gun politics. We’re going to cast a critical eye on both the latest bolt-action rifle and the latest pronouncements from our elected leaders. Our aim is to have a good time and to discuss the types of things that come up naturally whenever gun guys meet.
Who are we? Well, the about link will flesh out some of the biographical details, but in short, we are editors and contributors at Outdoor Life magazine and, to a person, are committed gun nuts. Our crew includes Todd Smith, editor in chief of Outdoor Life (who also happens to by my boss); Andrew McKean, our hunting columnist; Slaton White, editor of SHOT Business magazine; contributing writer Michael Bane; and me—John Snow—executive editor at Outdoor Life.
Of course, those with no shooting experience or who don’t consider themselves gun enthusiasts are welcome to the blog, too, and my suspicion, or at least my hope, is that they’ll be glad they stopped by. My optimism on this point is not without justification. Even though there are many people who define themselves to some degree by their distaste for firearms and those who shoot them, experience has shown me that everyone is on some level a gun nut—or at least has the potential to become one. How so? Over the years I’ve taken lots and lots of folks to the range to shoot for the first time—men, women, city dwellers, suburbanites, liberals, conservatives, soccer moms, kids, teenagers, you name it. No matter how they went into the experience mentally—excited, skeptical, nervous as hell or some combination of the three—without exception they all ended up having a great time. Talk to anyone else who has taught others how to shoot and you’ll hear the same. No big surprise here—shooting’s fun. (Though the contrarian in me would love to meet the one diehard sourpuss for whom the crack of the shot and the resulting hole in the target didn’t elicit a smile.)
One thing this blog will not be is a bullhorn to broadcast simplistic us-versus-them diatribes that characterize so much of modern discourse, especially where politics are concerned. We want to do better than that.
Thoughtfulness is certainly encouraged, even expected. Welcome.