Hank Ellis said:One of my other interests is skydiving. Been doing that for over 15 years.
Go to any drop zone in the US and you'll find the majority of the jumpers are 35 and under. It's not a disposable income issue as a used skydiving rig is $1500 + another $1000 for jumpsuit, altimeter, helmet, etc. Figure on $1500 for the training to get you off student status. New main canopies alone can go over $2000. If you want a new rig, budget $5000 for starters. Jumps are $20 each and you never go to the DZ to do just one.
There are two things I believe that are keeping the under 40 crowd from the range.
1) Societal attitudes. To participate in the shooting sports you need a gun. Gun ownership goes against the attitudes of many in this age group. So we as gun owners, shooters, and competitors have to get to the grass roots and educate people about the facts of gun ownership and shooting. My method is to treat my competive shooting as any other sport. You may enjoy knocking little white balls into holes, I enjoy knocking little holes in cardboard. Big deal.
2) Marketing. We are horrible in marketing the shooting sports. Skydiving figured out the formula about 10 years ago and now we have a thriving industry. Many don't even know that matches exist because they never saw a flyer at the gun shop or shooting range. Even the NRA is poor about marketing. The competition list in the National Rifleman doesn't give enough info for you to pursue the details of when and where. You're interested but to check out the rulebook first, fine but you have to pay for it. It's almost like we've imposed a closed society on ourselves. Until our sanctioning bodies come up with a plan, we are the best marketers. Let the new CCW holder know that there are IDPA matches. Let the person with the 1911 know that he could have fun running and gunning in USPSA. Let the person with the Rem 870 know of a clays range. And the NRA has got to work on it's 'Olde Whyte Guy' image to attract younger shooters.