Despite living in a world with virtual informational overload courtesy of the Internet, cable TV, satellite radio and much, much more, it’s amazing the misinformation that is still out there.
In fact, no matter what the subject, misconceptions often persist as one person says something to a friend, on Facebook or on some message board and it gets repeated and shared enough that it becomes the truth. The more discussed the topic, the more widespread the misconceptions it often seems. Certainly there are many notions that persist when it comes to recreational shooting in America.
We’ve decided to share a few key facts this week that will help you the next time you find yourself in a discussion with a nonshooter or even a shooter who spouts out some incorrect information. It’s important that all of us, no matter whether we like to hunt, target shoot or are focused on self-defense, can speak intelligently about our lifestyle—because recreational shooting is, after all, not just a hobby to many of us, it is a way of life.
- 40 million Americans currently participate in some form of recreational shooting.
- The number of recreational shooters is on the rise growing from 32 million to 40 million participants—a jump of 8 million—between 2008 and 2012. The number of recreational shooters jumped by 4 million in 2012 alone.
- Shooters are not just a bunch of old men as is often portrayed. In fact, much of the wave of new shooters are actually younger—and female. Sixty-six percent of new shooters are between the ages of 18 and 34 and 37 percent of new shooters are female—a number that continues to climb each year.
- So what type of shooting gets top billing? Handgun shooting tops the chart with 64 percent of new shooters joining the ranks shooting a revolver or semi-auto handgun.
Remember these shooting facts next time you find yourself in a discussion with someone questioning the types of folks who participate in the shooting sports. It is an activity that is enjoyed by millions of Americans from all walks of life, meaning entire families and people of all ages, races and sex can participate, succeed and have fun equally. And isn’t that what America is all about.
Photo courtesy of NSSF.