The New Year!
On behalf of all the good Americans at Gunsite, Happy New Year!
It is a time of renewal and hope with the new Congress taking their seats as majority. We continue our hope that the efforts to get the conservatives back in power will be of some solace to us all. Moreover, we wish it to be a new beginning for our Republic. In President Theodore Roosevelt’s Sixth Annual Message on December 3, 1906, he said:
“The Congress has most wisely provided for a National Board for the promotion of rifle practice. Excellent results have already come from this law, but it does not go far enough. Our Regular Army is so small that in any great war we should have to trust mainly to volunteers; and in such event these volunteers should already know how to shoot; for if a soldier has the fighting edge, and ability to take care of himself in the open, his efficiency on the line of battle is almost directly Proportionate to excellence in marksmanship. We should establish shooting galleries in all the large public and military schools, should maintain national target ranges in different parts of the country, and should in every way encourage the formation of rifle clubs throughout all parts of the land. The little Republic of Switzerland offers us an excellent example in all matters connected with building up an efficient citizen soldiery.”
That is probably too much to ask for a century later . . . .
Gunsite begins the New Year with repairs and refurbishments. The many students we have, even shooting as well as they do, take their toll on the facilities. Work from stripping and mopping the classroom floors to replacing shoot house walls to work on range berms begins. This is also the time we visit our friends and fellows in the industry at SHOT, Safari Club, NRA, and more. It is also time to review our instructional materials to ready them for the classes starting again. (Our first 250 Pistol Course is January 12!)
That brings to mind . . . . What have you done in 2014 to “repair and refurbish” your shooting skills? When did you last read “Principles of Personal Defense” to help you not live in “White?” If you can’t really answer those questions, it is time for renewal and hope for you and your family’s safety.
Find that copy of Principles of Personal Defense on your bookshelf and read it again. (It is only about 43 pages!) Get those important in your life to read it as well. I recall my Wednesday morning Mindset Lecture by Col. Cooper about 25 years ago. Near the end, he said that if we follow the Color Code and these seven (7) Principles, we would survive or avoid a life threatening event in the next twelve (12) months. Well . . . . As much as I thought this was part of the “script,” I did try to follow the sage advice and it came true. (But that story is best shared in a Mind Set Lecture!) Re-read that book, gift it to those of importance to you. Let it be a new beginning for you.
One more thing, as I posted this week on the Gunsite Facebook page and as Buz Mills says to graduating classes: “When was the last time you took a youngster out to shoot?” Teach them responsibility with firearms at a young age and those same principles of responsibility are apt to carry over to other aspects of their lives. This time it was an 8 year old lad being helped by grandfather and a good friend. It brought fond memories of my father and I (at about age 8), playing tic-tac-toe with .22 rifles on my Mom’s bowling night. Whew . . . . . hard to type with something in my eyes . . . . Make those memories with those young Americans important to you.
If you have not yet visited us at Gunsite, now is the time! If it has been a bit since you have been back to Gunsite, now is the time! Our experienced instructors and staff are eager to meet you, meet you again, and help you learn to help yourself. You need to have, as President Roosevelt said: “ . . . the fighting edge, and ability to take care of himself. . . “
For those of you serving our Republic in public safety and the military, continue to stay strong. Please share this sentiment with your family as they too serve.
Ken P. Campbell
Chief Operating Officer
Gunsite Academy, Inc.