Watching Washington, Moving Forward

Jan 8, 2013
Today, a brief respite from the constant onslaught of bad legislation, inaccurate reporting and general foolishness from anti-gun groups across the country. OK, not a total break, I did want to congratulate the Associated Press for what might qualify as the most interesting phraseology -ever- in a bit of statistical reporting.

The story, entitled "Fewer Excited Gun Buyers in Colorado and Connecticut" begins by setting out the premise that in Connecticut and Colorado "scenes of the most deadly mass shootings in the U.S. in 2012, people were less enthusiastic about buying guns at the end of the year than in most other states."

Sounds reasonable, right? After all, these states are both reeling from the havoc caused there by crazies.

Not necessarily. While the story is accurate that the biggest surges in background checks for gun purchases were in the South and West, the numbers weren't exactly insignificant in either Connecticut or Colorado. The increases in NICS checks, and as may be implied, gun sales, in those states were only sixty five and sixty-four percent, respectively. Colorado's checks frose from 35,009 in October to 53,453 in December. Connecticut went from 18,761 to 29,246 during the same period.

It might be more accurate to say that "despite horrific tragedies, the demand for firearms in both Connecticut and Colorado grew, although not as fast as the red-hot markets in the South and West."

But that wouldn't fit the narrative, although the observation that "background checks also tend to increase after mass shootings, when gun enthusiasts fear restrictive measures are imminent."

As the old expression goes, "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Statistically speaking (ouch), we've done a considerable amount of growing since our beginning more than a decade ago. And we have another addition to the Outdoor Wire Digital Network beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, January 9, 2013).>
Photography like this is a part of the material you'll see included in each edition of The Birding Wire, our newest wire service. Photo by J.R. Absher
Outdoor Wire readers will see a new service in their email boxes as we launch The Birding Wire. It's our first consumer-focused service, and centers on one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoor industry: bird watching. It will cover the gamut of information birders should find helpful, everything from sightings around the country to photographic tips from Yamil Sued, one of our industry's best photographers.

For us, it represents an expansion into territory we knew had an avid following, but realized several months ago many of us enjoy - although we might not realize it.

As outdoors enthusiasts, we all spend a lot of time sitting and observing our surroundings. If you think about it, some of your most vivid memories of being afield, even when hunting or fishing, will be the times you spent watching birds doing their thing.

That doesn't mean we're simply enrolling 165,000 + of you into the service. We're sending you the first edition so you can see for yourself if it is something you'd like to keep getting on our weekly (at least for now) basis.

If you don't, please don't send us nasty-grams. Go to the bottom of the page and click the unsubscribe link. You won't get another edition.

If you insist on sending me a note expressing your dissatisfaction at getting something unexpected, please don't be irritated if I respond asking you to go to the bottom of the edition and click the aforementioned link.

Our systems are built so that we can't easily access our subscriber lists. That's part of the security system that makes certain you never have to be worried about receiving anything from us but information. We don't share, rent, sell or otherwise use your information.

And a couple of other items: those of you who also receive The Archery Wire will wonder where your Tuesday morning edition is. Short answer; it isn't. Editor J.R. Absher is in Louisville at the ATA Show and will be back next week with a comprehensive wrapup of that show. He'll also be joining the rest of us at SHOT Show.

And speaking of SHOT Show. Next week we'll be publishing our annual SHOT Show special editions. That means we'll be combining the Outdoor, Shooting, and Tactical Wires for the week. It enables our editors to cover their respective beats at SHOT and still get regular news covered.

If you're still sitting on special announcements for SHOT, I can't encourage you strongly enough to get that embargoed material to us before the end of THIS week. Next week we'll be involved in the day-to-day activities of covering the show itself. Your releases might not make it if they're not already in queue for inclusion on the day you'd like material released.

We're adjusting a bit to the fluid situations involving regular industry actitities in this very busy time of the year and the developing political and legislative story across the country.

It's a little confusing at times, but all part of our promise: we'll keep you posted.

--Jim Shepherd