10 September, 2016

An analogy

From a facebook post I just made...

Here's an analogy... For the purposes of this anlogy, we have a gun range and a gun shop that sits right beside the gun range, where people talk about their hobby and a range of topics associated with their hobby.

The cast of our analogy include:

A seasoned marksman who has been in the hobby for years (no, actually decades). This marksman currently runs another range and while he generally shoots rifles, he is generally interested in all elements of firearms.

A new range owner who has spent heaps of time promoting his new range (actually the one next to the gun shop) but is running into the same problems that the seasoned marksman has seen time and again over the years.

A young shooter, who has shot a few times but certainly doesn't own a range of their own, and is a friend of the new range owner.

Scenario begins:

New Range Owner: I spend all this time and effort making targets, and all they want to shoot at is that silly shrub on the side of the range that looks like a duck.

Seasoned Marksman: Yep. Been there.

Young Shooter: HOW DARE YOU TALK TO OUR RANGE MASTER LIKE THAT!?!?! I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN YOU ON OUR RANGE, YOUR NOT A REAL SHOOTER. I'M GOING TO TAKE OFFENCE TO ANYTHING YOU SAY...BECAUSE....STUFF!!!

(The seasoned marksman suspects that her next line is going to be "AND I'M A FRIEND OF THE RANGE OWNER, AND IF YOU KEEP TALKING TO HIM YOU'LL MAKE ME CRY")

The seasoned marksman is a part of a community of similar range owners, and checks the member listing to see if this you g shooter is someone he should be concerned about...maybe they run a range of their own, maybe they co-own the range next to this shop...nope, they're just showing the traits of someone who is mouthy and obnoxious.

Meanwhile on the other side of town, a range specialising in shotguns decides it won't let rifle shooters come anywhere near their site, even if those rifle shooters are interested in seeing how shotgun enthusiasts do things differently. This shotgun site was just shown on a quirky TV show with all of the enthusiasts carrying rifles... and look, there's the new range owner and the young shooter with them on TV.

A few old the seasoned marksman's old shooting competitors see how ludicrous the whole situation is. They all spent years trying to get the hobby to a point where it is now a small but legitimately accepted pursuit. They agree through various phone calls and personal chats that these status seeking new arrivals don't respect the work that was done for them, and that they stand on the shoulders of others who did a lot of the heavy lifting.

Then there's the dude who has a reputation for making an ass of himself in NERF circles, but who runs a popular air-rifle show and therefore thinks he is the gatekeeper to the hobby for anyone who hasn't held a firearm of any type... He chimes in, saying that the seasoned marksman isn't building a good reputation, despite the numerous things that the seasoned marksman has heard about him. The marksman dismisses him as another youngster who also has no respect for the events of the past.

...

The seasoned marksman goes home, and vents his frustration by explaining the situation in a thinly veiled analogy about LARP. He knows that many of the young ones won't read it, others might be too oblivious to realise the analogy refers to them, and many of the old shooting competitors will fead through the analogy and get a good laugh out of it.


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