I take shooting very seriously. Partly because it’s my job, and partly because I believe that I should strive for excellence in anything I put my hands too. I practice hard, I train hard, and in the end I want to make sure my shooting is as good as I can physically make it.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want this to be fun. Which brings me to the subject at hand, namely zombie targets. Some guy is upset because he thinks zombie targets make us look bad or something. Luckily, Tam did all the heavy lifting and said the smart stuff that I was going to say about how zombie targets are largely a socially acceptable way to train against a semi-realistic human silhouette without offending the majority of the other shooters in the range. They’re also fun. One of the ranges I frequent has Santa Zombie targets. You can’t tell me that blasting that jolly-old undead elf right in between the eyes after you get another ugly sweater from your in-laws wouldn’t feel good.
But the point of what I wanted to talk about is that as an industry and sub-culture, we ignore pop culture phenomenons at our peril. Zombies are popular right now in media, and the firearms industry has a tremendous opportunity to attract new shooters by offering them the chance to do in real life what they would only do in video games or see in film – shoot zombies in the head. This then creates a training opportunity for us in the industry as well. Take a video game/zombie film aficionado and take them to the range and have them try to make a reliable head shot on a static target at 7 yards in less than 2 seconds. It’s not easy, and then that opens the door for us to try and steer that person towards action shooting, professional training, and hopefully making them a life-long shooter and hobbyist.
Zombie targets are fun. Zombie stages at IDPA matches are lots of fun. If we constantly sit around pooh-poohing everything that doesn’t mean our lofty standards of “serious shooting” then we run the terrible risk of alienating the current youthful demographic. I don’t know about you, but I want to still be running USPSA and Steel Challenge matches when I’m 70, but if we don’t still have a shooting culture by then, it won’t be possible.