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?