Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cowboy Action Shooting isn't for Me, Either

I have to laugh, people can be so funny. They can get their panties in a wad over nothing, take the most innocuous comments personally and self-destruct over the slightest of perceived slights.

Just recently, John Taffin wrote an article in Guns Magazine, "Whatever Happened To Cowboy Action Shooting? It Was Such A Good Thing" and the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) world was throwing a community conniption fit. It was easy to see that the most virulent protesters of Mr. Taffin's point of view were those with the highest SASS badge numbers. Apparently old-timers (those with the lowest numbers) know there is some validity to Mr. Taffin's view of the sport. They have seen the changes as they took place and perhaps even voted on those rules changes. They know how and why things are as they are now.

That doesn't prevent the youngsters from saying anything they can think of in "defense" of their sport. From rationalizing about their choice of equipment to belittling one of the very best and most ethical writers in the business, they seem bent on killing the messenger rather than a discussion of the issues.

You know, if you read this humble journal, that I don't take part in any of the shooting games. Oh, I have shot skeet and trap in my youth. I think that I'd likely have done anything to shoot more and more often and these were things I could do with and have in common with Dad. That was reason enough. But Dad is gone and the constant rulesmanship requirement of American sports, including cowboy action shooting, is both boring and tiring for me. The sport also seems to me to be the antithesis of historical accuracy. The National Congress of Old West Shootists (NCOWS) seems to possibly be more oriented towards historically accurate living history. Still...

I have friends in the sport. Some of these started in Civil War reenacting and moved to it as a natural progression in their interests but for most this was their first foray into something close to living history combined with actual shooting. The reenactors and living history buffs I know were nearly all shortly done with cowboy action shooting (CAS). Some are long time participants, heavily involved and deeply committed to the sport. The ability to lose themselves in the sport and separate themselves from the rest of the world gives them true relaxation, the goal of sport. CAS has a lot of potential as clean family fun. The cost is up there, but one can, with some compromises, have a whole family compete. Age and gender are not limiting factors either.

All that said, it just isn't for me. Costuming, silly names, and an inability to be competitive in the shooting without compromising on the historical accuracy of the firearms used are downers for me. Now it seems club politics would be a bummer, too. I'll stick to shooting and hunting with the old guns and doubt that anyone will miss me on their range.

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