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Shooting Industry September Digital Edition - Page 54

Industry watch Message: It’s Time To Grow Up! oes anyone else find it absurd that there are those among our citizenship — who are considered adults — who must to be told “Don’t Shoot the ‘No Shooting’ sign!”? Sadly, a drive in the country will reveal plenty of “No Shooting” signs and other road signs perforated with bullet holes. You’ll also discover piles of shell casings — trash left behind by those with little regard for others. To those involved in these activities, it’s time we sent the message: grow up! Yes, I know this doesn’t apply to everyone who takes a firearm to the country to hunt or target shoot. But there are enough gun owners involved in this silliness that it paints all of us into a rotten picture. Now is a perfect time to knock it off! The industry is enjoying a renaissance of gun ownership, with Americans rediscovering that it’s OK to own a firearm and actually enjoy shooting, whether that’s plinking, hunting or organized shooting matches. Plus, hunting is making a comeback. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports a 9 percent increase in the number of hunters between 2006 and 2011. To actually see growth in hunting is good news for numerous companies in the industry, especially given the challenges of finding places to Russ Thurman D hunt. More landowners are posting their lands, with many of them saying they took the action because of poor conduct of hunters: discarded trash and failing to ask permission to hunt. Getting to the point where gun ownership, recreational shooting and hunting are growing has taken years of effort and enormous amounts of resources from every segment of industry. That effort is diminished when recreational shooters and hunters disregard the law and show a lack of respect for others, including landowners. Tread Lightly!, the national nonprofit organization that promotes outdoor ethics, addresses such poor behavior through its campaign “Respected Access is Open Access.” The public service announcements (PSAs) are well done, with just enough punch to send the right message. The campaign was created in partner- Sending The Message ship with many in the hunting and shooting sports community, including Yamaha, NSSF, Dallas Safari Club, National Wild Turkey Federation and Boone and Crocket Club. Your help is needed to expand the delivery of the “Respected Access is Open Access” message. If you have a publication, even a newsletter, consider providing space for the campaign’s PSAs. The PSAs also will work on websites and Facebook pages, plus Tread Lightly! offers web banner PSAs. Visit www.treadlightly.org and click “education.” Supporting such campaigns — along with checking our own actions, whether at the range or in the country, whether we’re target shooting or hunting — will improve access for all of us. It will also send the right message to everyone that we are responsible gun owners who respect others. If you put a bullet hole in it, you sign the hunting and shooting community’s name to it. Help protect the reputation of responsible hunters and shooters by not leaving your signature and by reporting vandalism. IronIc or MoronIc? This Public service AnnouncemenT is Powered by ask first “Having permission to access private land is more enjoyable than dodging land owners. Respected Access is Open Access.” HELP US PUT AN END TO TRIGGER TRASH Trigger trash is litter, and when you leave it on public lands, you trash the reputation of responsible hunters and shooters. Set an example and encourage others to protect our public lands, so that respected access does not become restricted access. This Public service AnnouncemenT is Powered by THis Public seRvice AnnOuncemenT is POweRed by Masters Fantastic! “ his is fun!” “What a fantastic event!” “The best industry gettogether!” A record may have been set for the number of times we heard these phrases and others at the 10th Annual Shooting Industry Masters at the Rockcastle Shooing Center in Park City, Ky., in July. As we’ve stated often, the Masters is really a family picnic with shooting involved. Many in the industry are starting to understand the real value of the Masters. There is lots of trigger time and opportunities to shoot a lot of different firearms in a variety of often-imaginative courses of fire. I even heard someone say the Masters was like a family reunion. That’s it! The real value of the Masters is bringing together the great SEPTEMBER 2012 T variety of companies in the industry in a non-business environment. While many of those taking part in the Masters see each other at trade events, there’s just not time to really talk, to really get to know each other. There’s also something different about getting together at a range. It’s a different atmosphere, where those in the industry are not in Continued on page 53 54 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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