Allow me to disagree

Three people I consider friends are taking issue with something Jim Scouten said on Arfcom about why ShootingUSA wouldn’t cover Joe Huffman’s Boomershoot event.  Uncle, Kevin Baker, and Sebastian (as well as others) are of the opinion that either A) ShootingUSA should cover Boomershoot, or/and that Jim is wrong for not wanting to cover it or thinks it shouldn’t be covered.  The original thread on Arfcom is here, and while I’ll agree that Jim’s initial response was a little vague and lacking, his follow up quite accurately clarified his stance on the issue.

So what, in my judgment, is not acceptable for prime time national TV?

1) Camo worn by any competitor in any match, except active duty military events, reenactor events, or history segments. (Knob Creek fails the test, as does the SOF annual competition.)

2) Wearing any clothing, T-shirts, etc, that carry offensive statements or images, or T-shirts with ripped off sleeves.

3) Shooting up anything that is not recognized as a shooting sports target. (Full auto fire on a school bus takes out Knob Creek. Same test failed the old 2nd Chance Bowling Pin match, when they machine-gunned propane tanks.)

4) Sniper Competition Events that allow participation by civilian teams. There is no way to explain civilian snipers to the public.

5) Any event that requires an extraordinary expense by a viewer to become involved. (Full auto events are, at best, an expensive curiosity, and can not extend our invitation to “get involved”)

None of this is to suggest that I disapprove of any of the fun and legal activities we choose not to cover for TV. They are exactly that––fun and legal.

But our greater purpose is to do no harm to our gun rights, to put nothing on TV that could alarm the anti-gunners.

Each week we portray shooters as responsible gun owners, from all walks of life, enjoying organized sports, frequently as families enjoying time at the range.

Now, here’s the thing – while I think that Boomershoot is an awesome event, and hope to someday own the kind of rifle that can compete at Joe’s shindig, I agree with Jim and ShootingUSA on this one.  ShootingUSA as a show has always presented itself exactly as Jim said, inasumch as it’s rather similar to one of the specialty shows that you find on ESPN.  Think of ShootingUSA as a shooting sports version of Baseball Tonight, or Inside the NFL.  Because of that, their target demographic isn’t people who would necessarily be interested in something like a Boomershoot, or a Knobb Creek event.  That’s why when you watch ShootingUSA, you see coverage of events like S&W Ladies’ Shooting Clinics, or the IDPA Indoor Nationals.  These are “mass market” items, something you can show to Suzy Soccermommy and not have her think “oh my goodness, what are those lunatics doing”.

Now, I do think that there is a place for those Knobb Creek/Boomershoot types of shows, and that’s where the market comes in to play.  While ShootingUSA won’t cover that, Shooting Gallery (hosted by Michael Bane) is a big evangelist for the “non-traditional” shooting sports.

So for the people who are calling Jim Scouten a bigot, or saying that he’s made “an enemy” of them, those guys should probably stop being retarded.  Jim has done more to advance the shooting sports on a nationwide level than most of us will do in a lifetime, so why don’t you hold your horses before you start calling names, people?

Bottom line?  ShootingUSA is a tremendously successful outdoors/shooting sports show, with a proven formula.  They’re not going to break away from that formula, because as Jim explained, it would contravene what he feels is the most effective direction for the show.  So instead of harping on ShootingUSA for not wanting to change the business model for the longest running shooting sports show in TV, perhaps you ought to work on getting Boomershoot covered by another outlet, such as Downrange.tv?

25 thoughts on “Allow me to disagree”

  1. “I’ve always thought there are some events that shouldn’t get National TV coverage. ”

    “So what, in my judgment, is not acceptable for prime time national TV?”

    He didn’t say that it wasn’t appropriate for their format. He said it shouldn’t be broadcast at all on National TV. Stating repeatedly that it shouldn’t be covered at all on national TV isn’t even remotely the same as if he had just said “that’s not a good fit for our show”.

  2. Actually, he said that Knobb Creek shouldn’t be on National TV. Everyone else is inferring that Boomershoot shouldn’t.

  3. Uhm, Caleb, you might want to re-read the thread. Jim’s “shouldn’t get National TV coverage” comment came immediately after the first post, which included references to Boomershoot, but contained no references to Knob Creek.

    He did, specifically, agree that Knob Creek should not get National TV attention, but he also directly implied that Boomershoot should not, as well.

  4. No, I read that part – including the part where he later elaborated, specifically mentioned Knobb Creek, and didn’t mention Boomershoot.

    The point is that getting all in a twist because Jim Scouten doesn’t think Knobb Creek and maybe Boomershoot should be on national TV is two things: 1) a waste of energy, and 2) silly. It’s not like Zumbo, it’s not like Cooper Firearms, and it’s not like HS Precision putting Lon Horiuchi in their catalog.

  5. It’s not like Zumbo, it’s not like Cooper Firearms, and it’s not like HS Precision putting Lon Horiuchi in their catalog.

    It doesn’t rise to the same level, certainly, but basically his position is that we – all of us – should act ashamed of people who do things – legal, fun things – that might “frighten the white people.”

    I do not hold to that.

  6. I’m not that concerned about Boomershoot and other similar events not being shown on Mr. Scouten’s show. He is, of course, missing out on an important educational aspect: it’s difficult seeing those little holes make on a target when it’s 300 or more yards downrange, and the ‘sweet spot’ on a jug of tannerite 500 yards away is a more realistic target.

    My problem is with the other stuff:

    1) Sleeveless t-shirts? Is he serious?
    2) Civilians wearing camo? See above
    3) Only military/police with sniper rifles? WTF? And if he cannot think of a way to present that to the American public, I am available for a consulting gig. Most of what I own falls into the ‘sniper’ category, so take my ire over this one with the appropriate grain of salt, OK?

    And I, for one, have gotten to the point of changing the channel if I hear him say the words “Bianchi Cup”, or any of the other competitions. They’re great fun to shoot, but I’d rather watch paint dry than watch someone else do it. Sorry.

  7. Agreed Peter on the pistol competitions — nobody seems to have come up with a way to make them compellingly interesting TV. I think a POV run-through of the stages would be a simple and cheap way to involve the viewer, but nobody’s tried that yet to my knowledge. Computer-animated diagrams of the stages would also help. It’s the 21st century, after all….

    I find Bane’s Shooting Gallery more entertaining, but because of the more diverse subject matter rather than any more impressive production techniques.

    Apparently Michael Bane gave some thought in 2006 to doing a piece on long-range shooting with specialty pistols after my Bower Shooting Clinic mentors placed well at the previous year’s International Tactical Rifle long-range competition despite my mentors using single-shot pistols vs. everyone else’s semi-autos. Shooting Gallery covered the ITRC that year, so I presume Bane saw my mentors’ shooting and found the concept intriguing But it didn’t pan out for a reason I never learned.

    Hopefully the press at this year’s Boomershoot will find the specialty pistols interesting enough to dwell on. Of course, that presumes that I don’t stink up the place missing boomers.

  8. Bane also did try some more creative stuff with Il Ling New as a “color commentator” for one pistol competition a while back. It was an interesting try, and had its moments, but still didn’t quite click IMO. A step in the right direction, though.

  9. There is no “maybe” about it, Caleb – Scoutten directly said that “some things” do not merit national television attention, when the only thing on the table at the time was Boomershoot. Sure, he agreed to another proposed event, but his opinions concerning the one in question were already settled.

    Like I said, I have absolutely no problem with Scoutten showing whatever he desires on his television show, and not showing whatever he does not desire. My problem was with his flippant dismissal of what is a rather significant event in the firearm community, and one that could stand to recruit a lot of people – after all, who does not enjoy a few booms, caused by yourself, no less (aside from Scoutten, that is).

    In short, I echo Kevin’s sentiments.

  10. Seriously.

    I totally understand where Scoutten is coming from.

    Heck, my own father asked me “What the hell do you need that for?” when I bought my AR.

    Go ahead, call my dad a Fudd. I don’t care.

    Best regards,

  11. Scoutten has a formula that has worked for him, and he’s not going to deviate… Sniper shoots are covered by Military Channel, including civilian teams, abut I also think he (Scoutten) really doesn’t want any competition (read alternative shows) that would impact his base.

  12. Actually, I do think this would be an excellent topic for Gun Nuts.

    One of the things that I disagree with is the notion that watching Bianchi Cup or USPSA is somehow “boring”, but on the flipside, those are games that I play, so there’s a certain level of personal enjoyment there.

  13. Hi kids;

    FWIW, POV running through stages doesn’t work nearly as well as one might think it should when filming shooting sports. Tried it. I now believe that to be really as exciting and involving as an actual match a shooting competition would need to be designed from the ground up for television…a lot of that has to do with camera placement, scoring systems and careful choice of competitors to balance the playing field.

    I’m spinning a series off SHOOTING GALLERY called SG: FULL AUTO that focuses more on immersion into rock and rolls stuff rather than coverage per se to address this issue. Think a heavily armed DIRTY JOBS.

    SHOOTING GALLERY was the first television show to cover black rifles, full auto shoots (we won two Telly Awards — essentially cable Emmys — for our Knob Creek shows), suppressed firearms, LEO/military simulations, the National Tactical Invitational, precision/sniper matches and numerous other parts of OUR culture. SG routinely uses humanoid targets such as “Tactical Teds,” features close-quarter gun-hand-knife techniques and state-of-the-art training. For Season 10, I’ve blocked out shows that have NEVER been done before, by anyone on any channel.

    BTW, I screwed up on the long-range precision pistol show…the people I picked to do that show failed to live up to the ethical standards I insist on, and as a result the whole show got spiked.

    I am a shooter and have been one since I was 6 years old. I am a proud member of this culture…I shoot machineguns, carry a concealed weapon every day, have competed in USPSA, IPSC, cowboy, bullseye, 3-gun, sporting clays, .50 BMG and stuff I’ve forgotten. And I spend FAR TOO MUCH money on guns!

    Thanks for watching, all. I appreciate it more than you know.

    Michael Bane

  14. Won’t Boomershoot be a great event whether TV is there or not? I’ve been to some matches that will never see TV because of who shoots ’em, but that in no way makes them less important to the participants or less successful as a match. TV simply ain’t that big a deal. Life is better without it much of the time.

  15. I think Jim Scouten has the right to produce whatever shows he wants to produce. Just because he won’t cover certain shows doesn’t mean that he’s against them; nor is he taking away anyone’s choice to cover and air them. He’s doing his own thing and he’s NOT harming anyone while doing it.

    If Michael Bane wants to cover Boomershoot and Knob Creek and air it on National T.V., that’s his prerogative.

    As for the average hoplophobe and anti; if they don’t want to watch what’s on the channel, they can always change it. It’s like when Howard Stern first started at NBC radio – people who liked him tuned in because they wanted to hear what outrageous thing he was going to say next. The people who hated him tuned in because they wanted to hear what outrageous thing he was going to say next. They all had a choice to either listen or not.

    Trying to “zumbo” Jim Scouten here because he doesn’t want to do what you want him to makes you no better than those who pass legislation banning things that you enjoy.

    Frankly, all of you who are trying to strong-arm Jim Scouten into covering Boomershoot or Knob Creek, sound like a bunch of whiny children who are throwing tantrums because you can’t get what you want, whether or not what you want is right or wrong. I’m annoyed by this whole exchange.

    And so what if he was flippant? Skin so thin that it hurt your feelings? Geez. Anyone who’s never been flippant ever in his entire life may cast the first stone.

  16. I don’t have any issue with him not wanting to cover Boomershoot on his show. But that list he gave (the quoted up there in the original post) was not a list of things he said don’t fit his show. He said that was a list of things that don’t belong on prime time national TV period.

    If he intended that as a list of things he didn’t feel would be good on his show, I’d be very quick to defend that stance. If he meant it as he wrote it, all I really have to say about it is this:

    Just because he can’t make the subject approachable on prime time tv doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong there at all.

  17. I agree with Caleb: Presenting IDPA/IPSC on TV is a daunting challenge, especially to those outside of the sport. Animations and expert commentary and a telestrator would help, as showing the difference between how an average schmuck like me and a pro would run a stage. These guys are good, and if others could see how good they are, the sport would gain in popularity.

    As for the Boomershoot/Knob Creek controversy, I can see both sides. No one likes to be told (or even implied) that “You’re not good enough for TV” and I can understand why people might feel that way. I don’t think Jim meant any ill-will with his comments, but care must be taken to market our sport to as wide a base as possible, and I think that’s where Jim was headed. Boomershoot and Knob Creek look like a lot of fun, but they’re not things that I could talk about with non-gun owners without them looking a little askance at me. Practical pistol is bad enough! 🙂

    Just my $.02, but I think we’ve got more than real enemies of our chosen passion out there, we don’t need make more internally.

  18. Caleb ~

    It’s one thing to want to improve the presentation of the message, with a really professional, well-dressed and well-spoken public presence. Nothing wrong with that, and I applaud Jim Scoutten’s efforts in that area.

    But some folks on “our side” of this game don’t only want to improve the presentation. They want to change the actual message. They want to erase half the industry, instead of simply putting the industry’s best foot forward and letting the chips fall where they may.

    Scoutten’s comments come frighteningly close to falling into the latter category, and that’s not acceptable.

    It’s close to what the NSSF has been doing to the entire self-defense market for awhile now. Those folks won’t ever talk about defensive handgun use, instead using the code words, “target shooters” — which is hysterical when more than a third of the booths at SHOT Show are run by people catering to the civilian defensive firearms market. They won’t talk about all the people tricking out their ARs for home defense, and setting up shotguns for close quarters encounters. They just quietly ignore those people, as if they are the red-headed stepchildren of the firearms industry. The attitude here is something like this: “Sure, we’ll sell you a gun. But don’t expect us to acknowledge you in any way, after we’ve got your money!” (And you can bet we’re planning to throw you under the bus if the political scene threatens us too much…)

    So no props to Scoutten for his position here. The Second Amendment belongs to all of us, not just the golfers.

  19. See, I don’t think that Jim wants to “erase” any of the shooting sports, otherwise he wouldn’t feature carry guns and gear, black rifles, or any of that on ShootingUSA – which he does.

    I do agree that we can’t afford to marginalize or “disappear” any aspect of the shooting industry; and if I thought for a second that’s what Scoutten was talking about, i’d have jumped all over him for it.

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