I love 3-Gun shooting. It was my goal since I released from the Canadian Forces in 2008 to get into it, particularly as a part of my personal commitment to maintain a minimum proficiency at arms at the level I had when I was a soldier.
It was not easy, but over the course of 10 years, I struggled in the background to build up a 3-Gun program, as none really existed when I started.
The problem is that when it comes to guns, Canada is deeply cucked. (A cuck is a man so weak, he tolerates, permits, or encourages his wife to cheat on him).
Canadians don’t identify guns as an inherent part of their culture, and so “Canadian gun owners” are stricken with a sense of cognitive dissonance at such an oxymoron.
As a consequence, target associations that rise up very often tend to be anti-gun themselves. This is why there is so much infighting and backbiting in the Canadian gun community.
Hunters think pistols should be banned. IPSC shooters think AR15s should be banned. Black powder shooters think everything should be banned. Tactical AR guys think Fudds should be banned. And on and on it goes.
3-Gun represents the best chance at bringing together disparate factions in the Canadian firearms community, in that its fundamental premise is pluralistic mastery of 3 radically different classes of firearms, incorporating skill sets from different communities of firearms owners.
Therein lies the problem.
On the one end, purists of a particular shooting discipline view 3-Gun shooting as heretical. Hardline institutional IPSC or F-Class shooters in particular, and so, very often there is a willingness to “throw the book” at fledgling 3-Gun programs, branding them as Outlaw leagues deserving of condemnation, obstruction, or outright elimination.
Exacerbating this is the fact that 3-Gun is growing in popularity and especially in Canada, with a very small firearms community, the directors of disciplines (such as IPSC or F-Class) can feel threatened that young people in particular are gravitating towards 3-Gun while taking less of an interest in their sports.
Compounding this fact is that often times, the best representatives of other, more established shooting disciplines are often older and very experienced. They very often feel insecure about the fact that their commitment to their sport was irrelevant as younger shooter’s interest in their sports start to wane.
A sensible attitude would be to try to make their sport more accessible to new, young shooters – but sadly, very often the mentality of the older shooters is to intentionally sabotage programs they perceive as a threat to their own.
The older shooters tend to sit in the board of directors of many of the target shooting associations that have ranges where they shoot on.
Having entrenched positions, they wield tremendous organizational power. When threatened, they pour out their wrath, and 3-Gun programs in particular end up dying as a consequence.
In Canada, building and maintaining a 3-Gun program requires walking a tight rope to build a program people want to be a part of, but peacekeeping with the gatekeeper “Old boys” who hold the keys to the castle (or combos to the range locks).
It’s no small feat.
A misstep in organizing and operating a 3-Gun program means finicky shooters will write off your program as poorly organized or in the worst case, unsafe (and go on Facebook and rip your reputation to shreds).
Conversely an opposing misstep may lead to vindictive Boards of Directors revoking your access to the range and shutting you down.
I’ve seen both happen and over a decade I’ve tried my best to build a program that avoids either fate.
It is incredibly taxing to walk that fine line. It takes a mix of self-sacrifice, hard work, diplomacy, foresight, organization, stress resilience, and an almost unending need to compromise.
In the end, when you take on the roll of program or match director, your range time is spent obsessing over minute details that your board might use as a noose to hang you for.
You clamp down on and micromanage, coming down hard on your shooters who often don’t understand why you’re being so paranoid.
Instead of devising stage plans or assessing the serviceability of your gear, you think up ways to cover your ass in case some vindictive director comes in and hammers you for the most benign of mistakes.
Then, you get you ass handed to you on a stage and reflect on the fact that if you just had your head in the game, you might not have made the stupid mistakes that added thee seconds to your time.
It really robs all the joy of being on the range.
For a time, I tried to find comfort that some of the newer shooters who started shooting became young Luke Skywalker’s. Amazingly talented shooters who are better than me in ever way.
Overtime, I started growing resentful that my young Padawan’s are having the times of their lives in the range, while Darth Maul lurks in the background, waiting to impale you with his lightsaber of blame for other people’s reckless and inconsiderate behaviour or judgement that your not sanctioned with an international shooting body.
I hate resenting these guys, because they have such talent and energy that I really respect and admire.
Regardless, I’ve stopped coming away from the range delight at the chance to run and gun with an AR.
I’ve started dreading making the 2 hour trek to shoot.
It’s taken it’s toll on my health and my family, and that’s where it’s crossed the line.
That is why I’m quitting 3-Gun.