We’re in the middle of a transition between Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0. Unfortunately, the transition is not as simple as updating the operating system on your iPhone. The old farts that new shooters think are antiquated don’t just go away when some whippersnapper posts on their blog or Facebook about how out of touch the old hands are.
This new millennial gun writer/blogger is indeed different from older gun writers but they are not necessarily better at, well, anything except taking selfies and utilizing social media. Are those valuable skills? The later for sure, the former not so much. That is of course unless you are strikingly handsome or have endowments that are rare, desired, and alluring.
I’ll admit that while I’m on the edge of being an old fart, I feel firmly in the middle of the old and the new. I see the value that tactical gadgets can afford the hunter and I also see how tactards can learn from those who were wandering around Mozambique, hunting big game animals, during a war, with an AR 15 on their one side and a bolt rifle on their other. I also comprehend the value of the Internet, I can repost on Instagram, upload video to my blog, and I can even take a selfie. (I don’t take selfies because I realize no one in their right mind wants to look at me unless they absolutely have to. A lot of other folks should realize this too.)
My advice to those wanting to be a part of the gun-writing crowd in gun Culture 2.0 is to find an old fart that earned their way to where they are. I’ve been fortunate in that a few old farts taught me some things. I’ve learned from the younger crowd too and some of the grey haired gun writers should do the same. In the end, it’s not about hits, likes, and shares, it’s about connecting with readers and viewers.
John Wooters, Gary Sitton, Finn Aagaard, Skeeter Skelton, Bill Jordan, and Townsend Whelen did not have a the Internet; they had the skill of being a talented communicator and the knowledge gained from years of practical application. Without both of these things you’re just another opinion, one that is often obnoxious. (By the way, if you do not know who these men were, stop reading right now, and fervently beat yourself over the head with your plastic pistol until it breaks or you pass out…Odds are 50/50 which happens first.)
These men are not remembered because they belittled another professional or bashed a gun they did not completely understand or like. They are revered because they could present substantive educational information in an entertaining way. Yeah, I know, your latest post or video got 10,000 likes. Just to keep things in perspective, a video of a cat licking itself got even more.
There is a wide chasm between new and old gun owners or gun nuts as some refer to them. Truth is, neither can exist without the other. The old set the bar and the young raise it higher, just as in every other human endeavor. Crotchety old gun writers refusing to become Internet savvy, will soon become lost in the yellowed pages of some book or exist as the lining for the bottom of a birdcage. The younger ones who think it’s all about likes and shares will ultimately suffer some unforeseen digital fate far worse than having a parakeet poop on their picture.