I popped by my local gun store on the way home from work today and I noticed it was a good deal busier than normal. And In addition to the usual over-60 crowd of overweight guys swooning over pearl-handled revolvers and Buffalo Bill leverguns, there were a substantial number of 20-somethings clustered around some AR-15s, which were new to the store. Prior to today, it had always been a more conservative place, bedecked with hunting equipment and generally eschewing guns with the tactical look. But it looks like they finally caught onto what the NSSF already knows: black semi-automatic AR-15 style rifles are smoking hot among the younger generation of shooters. So hot that the NSSF is estimating that 8.9 million Americans went shooting with one last year! That’s a lot.
While the folks now turning 60 were raised on cowboys, people my age cut our teeth on video games featuring cyber ninjas, G.I. Joes, and super elite tacticool delta force operators. We don’t want single action revolvers and bolt guns, we want rifles that look like M16s with more rails than you can shake a stick at! The sooner the shooting industry realizes this and de-emphasizes hunting and old-fashioned weapons, the sooner more people like me will line up to empty our wallets to buy them and defend our right to own and carry them.
So gun marketers, let me give you a big hint: