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Chasing Away Potential New Shooters

Earlier this week, my friends at PistolPay were able to set up a very unique opportunity for me to teach a couple of the most popular people on the planet how to shoot. This was an amazing opportunity to let a huge number of people who never watch Outdoor Channel or read Guns & Ammo to see a positive image of someone they admire shooting.

I was kind of surprised at the number of negative comments that the picture of me teaching a pop-celebrity how to shoot garnered. While I haven’t seen her, or her family’s, reality shows, I understand why many people wouldn’t be impressed with her or her lifestyle. I can understand why they wouldn’t see her as a role model or want her kids to see her as such.  BUT, that does’t change the fact that she influences a huge number of people. I think her Facebook page has more “likes” than all the firearms instructors and competitive shooters combined… probably multiplied by 6.

The fact is that, for all the TALK about expanding the ranks of gun owners and reaching younger people & more females, the kind of ignorant responses that some have offered aren’t going to encourage a twenty-something year old girl who happens to follow the Kardashians or Justin Bieber or who will vote for Obama to come to a shooting range and give it a try. In fact, some of the comments might downright chase them away from even being open to trying shooting or wanting to be part of the ‘gun community’.

The Biggest Offenders have actually suggested that I should have taught her to shoot herself and/or attacked her looks and/or suggested that it would’ve been better if she had been wearing a bikini in the picture.  Really?  Is this how we should represent ourselves to potential new shooters or even anti-gun converts?

Those types of comments aren’t going to do anything to sway someone who is on the fence about going shooting to imagine that they will be welcomed with open arms at gun store or shooting club and, in fact, could push many people away.

Whose side are you guys on?


20 Responses to Chasing Away Potential New Shooters

  1. Ken September 24, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I understand your disappointment with so many negative comments. Some people that embraces guns think the embracing is a complete package of rules, ideals, and preconceptions. Such people just don’t have the word “tolerance” in their minds. It is most often found among those that consider themselves “conservative” and even prevalent in one political party. I always eschewed such labeling as a way to degrade me.
    Please find me an avid reader of your blog, it is quite diverse and informative! I don’t have to agree with every last thing written to have learned and enjoyed the time spent.

  2. john September 24, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Well spoken, Rob ! I agree completely with your sentiments.

  3. Ira Goodstadt September 24, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    As usual you hit the nail on the head. I feel that many of these haters cannot see past their own monitors or refuse to look in the mirror at their own physiques. (The old “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones” quote comes to mind). These are the same people who will not fully read info clearly posted on a site , but yet have full opinions and pass judgement before trying something new. Am I a fan of this celebrities show? not really but I am fully open to sharing my passion and hobby to someone who shows interest. These posters who showed nothing but disdain and I would even say hatred for someone who could actually help give shooting a positive spin with those who admire her but are not shooters is very shortsighted in my humble opinion. Rob you keep up doing what is right..

  4. Florida Shooter September 24, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Very well stated. Do we want to educate and convert, or not?

    We can’t expect results by preaching to the choir. If we want to bring people IN, then they must be those who are now OUT.

  5. Daniel Ortiz September 24, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    One of the biggest new shooter turn offs will be the guys that give high powered firearms and/or loads to the inexperience. The recoil usually overwhelms them and injury to ego or body is the result. Its not funny at all. Getting hit in the face with a .50 AE Desert Eagle, scope from a HP rifle or knocked over from a safari gun is a trick in poor taste. These are the same folks that give hot spices to children and family pets. They’ll laugh at first, but you will never see them at the range again and justifies their reasoning in hating them.

  6. Frank Sharpe September 24, 2012 at 10:39 am #


    I made no commenets about her, her lifestyle, or you teaching her. I have no problems with any of that. My only comment was that we, as instructors, are responsible for the risk management of our students – especially one who don’t understand what the risks of shooting are. My students are not allowed to shoot with open toe shoes on, or without hats. The first is to keep toes from being burnt by hot brass – the second to keep hot brass from lodging behing the shooters glasses.

    It’s my responsibility to prevent such simple injuries. And in preventing them the students will have a better experience and NOT be chased away.


  7. Ira Goodstadt September 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    In defense of The pictures of Ms.Kardashians footwear, the owner of the yacht asked that we not wear shoes on his newly redone teak.. so we had to comply in order to use the yacht. I am sure in 100% of Rob’s classes this would not have been an option.

    • Frank Sharpe September 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      When I made my original comment, I in no way implcated Rob one way or the other. I assumed it was either boat rules, or that it was simply “dealing with the rich and famous” as only they will allow themselves to be dealt with.

      But since I’m responding here, I think Rob’s doing just fine, and those who might critisize him simply for taking on the job are just jealous.

      The TV/Movie/media people are exactyly who need to be convinced that gun ownership is not evil.


  8. TK September 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Rob, glad to see you back on Monderno. Well said, I get tired of the disrespect new shooters and especially women are shown by some of those in the gun community. Case in point – spend some time on Reddit, and you’ll see the real scum of the gun community.

    • Brandon September 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      To be fair, I think the bad eggs are a small minority. They just tend to also be the most vocal, giving the impression that they make up a larger percentage.

    • David September 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      LOL Reddit…complete sewer in the comments.

  9. Dr. L. September 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks for being a good ambassador, Rob. As a gun owner, I’m tired of people assuming I’m Republican, male, Christian, and homophobic. A little more tolerance and inclusion would be nice, and might just go a long way towards a civilized discussion over the issues of gun ownership and gun control.

  10. Scott Mitchell September 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m a local police firearms trainer and I was on the yacht with Rob. Our gun owning community, as well as our way of life are regularly under assault by folks who have little understanding of, and as a result, little comfort with gun owners and our sport. In my personal observation Rob was a consummate professional top to bottom and we might consider ourselves fortunate to have had a representative of his quality introduce these personalities, as well as countless of their fans, to a glimpse of safe and responsible firearm training. There is absolutely no down side to publicizing the image of a popular celebrity receiving safe high quality instruction.

  11. Burns September 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Looking for links to suppliers of IWB Appendix holsters for the Kimber Solo w/CT grips (Kimber Solo CDP). Thanks!

    • Brandon September 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

      Post your question on our Facebook wall. Thanks.

  12. Linoge September 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Oh, the irony.

  13. mitch curtis September 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    It’s kinda like the pink gun thing. So many people hated them, but what they failed to see is that it seemed to get more women out there to go shooting. If you don’t like her fine, don’t watch her show. At least this is bringing the sport of shooting to a new group of people.

  14. James Marvel September 26, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Damn good point , Boss. If you don’t like someone on TV. Turn them off. If you haven’t met them, you don’t know them.

  15. Caz September 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    As a matter of atonement, I have to admit that Rob totally called me out on my negativity regarding this photo. I allowed my general disdain for much of pop culture’s influences – and particularly the disturbing influence of this family and their show – to overshadow the importance of using that very same popularity to advance the legitimate appreciation of the shooting sports.

    Overall, I think the reactions were less focused on the generality of teaching a pop-celebrity to shoot, and more focused on what this particular pop-celebrity represents. In some cases, I think one could argue that not all publicity is good publicity. None-the-less, we of course only hinder our case by reacting with emotional and ignorant responses, regardless of the humor or wit that we may think we are conveying.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Pincus!

  16. Handgun March 28, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    I agree. Most of the time new gun users are afraid because they don’t understand the mechanics of the weapon itself. I think people need to spend more time with education of the handguns and at the gun range, Respect the Gun!