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

    • Al Bumbry: From Bronze Star to AL Rookie of the Year
      May 31, 2021 | 2:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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