We are living through some exciting times indeed. The gun industry has exploded with new pistol owners and shooters.
The Big Picture
One overlooked category is License to Carry submissions. While I cannot guarantee each student who completes the requisite course work submits their paperwork, I do know the number who register. This number is huge and while the numbers have been steadily growing, they got a huge boost during the Chinese Flu period. This should not surprise anyone. How folks feel it is important they have the means to defend themselves with all this uncertainty. I have found it interesting to informally speak with several of these students to learn a little more about their rational. I will do a more detailed blog in the near future after I’m done compiling the results and my thoughts.
Safe & Dependable
In the month of March we saw record gun purchases. We sold just about everything we had at our facility and we keep selling the most popular brands as we get them. They are selling for a reason, there is a sense of comfort with these name brands. People with little to know knowledge of the minutia that plagues our industry just want a dependable and safe firearm for their defensive needs. Without knowing much about firearm safety there is still an understanding associated with name brands as safe. Many of these new shooters are looking for peace of mind. Granted, this can be a dangerous road, but I don’t get that feeling.
Going Back To School
The irony is after the dust settles some may come to regret their first time gun purchase. Those will more than likely be a small minority. Many are taking advantage of this period to do something they have wanted to do for some time. Whatever their reasons for procrastinating, they have moved past them. Within this group is another group who I hope will represent the new firearm owner of this generation. They are the ones who want to be educated. Not self educated, but actually sit down and learn from someone who can teach them. They are intelligent are looking to learn more about this new subject. It is awesome and I’m grateful.
Know Your Audience
I see so many instructors in our field who felt compelled to address these new firearm owners. Some did so with disdain, in an effort to belittle these new crops of gun owners. Others with more of genuine interest in their well being. A large majority were in the middle and while they may have had well meaning intentions, they came across as talking down to these folks. I understood their intentions, but the mistake being made is not understanding the audience. If you don’t spend time working with the group of people you are talking to your message is probably not being received. If all you do is put out material for the “advanced” shooter and haven’t run a beginner class you might want to reconsider your approach. My recommendation is if you truly want to help, then make it a point to address their real concerns, not your own perceived concerns.
While many within the industry are arguing over what amounts to inconsequential subjects, there are many new firearms owners. Maybe this new batch is not cut from the same clothe as most of us who have spent as much time in the arena, but don’t be the reason they opt to on the sidelines.