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American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2012 Digital Edition - Page 106
the insider w TM roy HUNtINGtoN gunist ife Suzi and I were chatting the other day probably aware of some pretty silly new products that have about someone in the industry who got a been introduced over the past 10 years or so. After a jaunt to new job. She said, “Nah, he won’t make it, SHOT Show, I have often come away thinking, “Did anyone he’s not a Gunist.” I paused, thinking, “I don’t think I’ve who was an actual shooter even look at that product before ever heard that word, but it’s a good one.” they introduced it?” And the scary thing, is sometimes I find “So,” I said, “what’s a Gunist?” Suzi is editor of out that actually, no … nobody who was an actual shooter had our American COP magazine and has been around our looked at it before the VP of Sales (formerly a VP of sales industry for quite some time. I was curious to know what at Enron or something and a definite non-shooter) simply insight she had on the matter. ordered it launched and their Madison Ave. marketing firm “Oh, you know, someone like you. Somebody who’s did it. Then we usually witness what we call “the big silence” lived it, breathed it, grew up with it, reads those boring as people don’t buy whatever “it” is. books you read about old English guns, proof marks, Of course, then that VP ends up at some other unsusall that reloading stuff, works on guns in the garage pecting company and does the same thing. Repeat ad-naufor hours at a time, you know — gun stuff. If I need seam. All of which is fine if all I’m going to do is complain to know something about guns, I ask you and you just about it. So let’s not just complain and wring our hands and about always know at least something about it. He’s not repeat woe-is-me chants. What can we do about it? like that and doesn’t understand who we are, or how we Actually, it’s easy. Make yourself known. If (fill in the think. Just because he blank here) company can sell refrigerators, announces, introduces nah, he won’t make doesn’t mean he can or tries to sell you on a work in our industry product that’s stupid — it, he’s not a gunist. selling gun stuff.” tell them. Pick up the And it dawned on phone, drop them an me, she was right. e-mail, fill out the survey, whatever it takes. Just say, “Hey, In the “old” days, say, 20 or 30 years ago, the vast I don’t mean to be ugly, but that new digital/hi-tech/batmajority of executive level types in the biz were gun tery-powered/operator-based/polymer/CR123/lavender-laser/ guys, or as Suzi says, “Gunists.” They had grown up Kydex-wrapped widget, is … um … stupid. Don’t waste shooting, hunting, collecting and more than likely, your money on it, because I won’t waste my money on it working in our industry. They understood their customers either. And besides, you shoulda’ asked a Gunist before you — because they were their customers. Fast-forward 20 or did it in the first place.” 30 years and in today’s “corporatized” companies, there Of course, some of those marketing disasters have served is a tendency to think, “Well, if they can sell widgets, to make our industry interesting at times. I’ve still never actuor tractors or used cars, they can sell guns.” But almost ally seen a magazine for a Bren Ten 10mm auto. Can you say always it ends up not to be the case at all. There are “Rogak P-18” auto pistol? Even the term “Short Magnum” exceptions, but not many. may go the way of the Do-Do bird. And just because you can The really bad thing is some of those who get brought make it out of polymer, doesn’t mean you actually should. into our industry have tended to bounce from company to Well, at least then it could be recycled into those little booze company, wrecking havoc, getting fired, getting golden bottles you get on airplanes. handshakes, only to turn up again in some executive posiSo let’s cross our Gunist fingers and hope the industry tion. It’s like, once you get a union card, you can get a looks harder for executives who know the difference between job no matter what. “Hey, he was the VP of marketing a .22 Hornet and a .22 LR, have some 1950s Gun Digests there, so he could be the VP of marketing here,” sort of laying around that are well-thumbed, and are really sorry thinking. Not. they can’t make the meeting on Wednesday because it’s dove If you’re a “Gunist” and reading this now, you are season opener. Please? “ ” Elegant Rides S theinsider ome ideas defy words, and this might be one. It seems on one Texas hunting ranch when the need arose for another hunting vehicle for clients and guides, they took matters into their own hands. You can see “Toyota” marked on the hubcaps but I doubt this is any off-road design they’d ever thoughtup. Nonetheless, according to Travis Noteboom, who actually rode in the car (truck? custom off-roader? limited edition safari car?), it worked just fine and offered all natural air conditioning and unlimited aiming possibilities without even getting out. We also think Jake The Wonder Dog approves. Where’s my cutting torch …? Continued on page 104 106 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2012