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Dan Z. for TTAG

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Hang out at the range, or take a course like the one Bob Keller coached for OSD a couple months ago, and you’ll see people talking about bullet weights, trajectories, the merits of different aluminum manufacturing processes, and ergonomic efficiencies that’ll shave a couple tenths of a second off your time on a particular drill. In a word: nerdery. People don’t spend hundreds of hours a year — or do their first-ever range trip, for that matter — to perseverate on sturm und drang. They do it because it’s really, really fun. Negative emotions can get a rise out of people. Yes, that is an open zero-day on the human brain. But for healthy people, it’s not a sustainable exploit — only positive emotions will keep them coming back. The dirty little secret of gun culture is that it’s a concentrated IV drip of positive emotions.

If you’d like to invite more people into gun culture, this is your greatest tool — and forgetting it is your greatest pitfall. You’re inviting people to something that’s inherently fun and which speaks to a love of life and community. So lead with that! Even pro-gun-rights people sometimes accept the framing that gun rights are about you versus society, or the gun as some final bulwark against a Hobbesian winter that’s coming. And sure, guns are a last line of defense in that sense. But that’s not you versus society — that’s you pro society. It’s you saying that if society falters and isn’t able to have your back for a few minutes, you’re ready to have society’s back and fill the gap for yourself until help arrives.

Plus it’s just really fun to hit the range. Nobody has fun at the anti-gun range, and everybody has fun at the gun range. Take people to the range. Have a safe time, and have a fun time. Do that well and everything downstream of it gets a lot easier.

— Open Souce Defense in Nobody goes to the anti-gun range

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