Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



How to Get Started in Shooting Sports 1

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Martin Banks

Competitive shooting can be an extremely exciting sport, although the idea of actually going to a competition can be intimidating at first. Perhaps you feel like you’re not good enough, or maybe you just don’t know where to start. Fortunately, getting involved in shooting sports is easier than you might think. You just need a bit of knowledge, some equipment and a willingness to learn.

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For New Shooters

If you don’t have much experience with guns, there are a few preliminary steps you need to take before you can get started. First, you’ll need to take a gun safety course to learn the basics. The National Rifle Association hosts firearms safety and training classes in every state. Your local gun range might also offer its own introductory courses. Another option is the First Shots course sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, although these classes aren’t available in all areas. Read the rest of this entry →

The Annies Are Getting Their Guns: Women Sports Shooters on the Rise 13

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Martin Banks

This is part two of my previous post on the history of shooting sports.

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Annie Oakley rose to fame in the 19th century, renowned around the world for her incredible marksmanship. It was said that Oakley was so skilled a markswoman, she could shoot the end of a cigarette between her husband’s lips or put holes in playing cards launched into the air before they hit the ground.

Part of Oakley’s novelty wasn’t just her skill; it was once considered extremely rare for women to be able to handle a gun, let alone shoot one with that kind of skill. But things are changing, and fast. Let’s take a look at in what ways.

More Women Gun Owners Than Ever

Women gun ownership is growing at a remarkable pace. Last year it was reported that gun ownership among women had risen by 77 percent since 2005.

Opinions are divided as to why more women than ever are learning to shoot. Some believe that guns have been highly glamorized by a pro-gun American society. Others point to the vulnerability that many women experience in terms of violent crimes. An armed women may feel safer when by themselves than their unarmed counterparts. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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