Editor’s Letter: 2016 in review

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posted on December 31, 2016
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It is New Year’s Eve, and as another year comes to an end it is a great opportunity to reflect on the changes we faced in 2016. The across-the-course service rifle matches during the National Championships are now completed in three, rather than four days, in response to busy schedules and higher travel costs. With what some have called a “tumultuous” change, the high power rifle portion of the Nationals is moving to Camp Atterbury, Ind., in response to scheduling challenges among overlapping sponsoring organizations. This year’s rule changes included limiting team captains to membership in only one team, restructuring who can qualify for a national record, and refining equipment restrictions to avoid becoming a gunsmithing contest—all in response to changing times.

We are experiencing a very different world than the one that existed when Shooting Sports USA was conceived more than 100-years ago—not only a different world in terms of equipment and competitive shooting formats, but a completely different generation of competitive shooters with different needs.

Mobile apps geared for shooting sports continue to be developed at a relentless pace, and social media reigns supreme for sharing accomplishments on the range. With the increasing dependence on social media as a source for news—short, catchy content is replacing articles of substance. We work hard to continue to provide in-depth material with Shooting Sports USA—with both the free, monthly digital edition (subscribe here), and the daily blog (website) that cover everything from the Olympics to cleaning tips.

While there are many who lament these changes, they are a reality and Shooting Sports USA is committed to addressing change by meeting the needs of our readers. Despite the challenges, Shooting Sports USA has remained at the forefront of reporting news in the shooting sports arena. Readers can help make SSUSA even better in 2017 by emailing us at [email protected] with your suggestions.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying “Life is a progress, and not a station.” My military friends are a bit more pointed, with “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” If we embrace change, we can manage it. To ignore it puts us at risk of becoming obsolete.

As the year draws to an end I’d like to thank all our regular readers for their loyalty and contribution through their many posts and comments, both on ssusa.org and our various social media channels. I’d particularly like to thank our writers without whose efforts this site could not exist. To all of you scattered across the country and the world, I wish you a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. And of course—good shooting in 2017!

—John Parker, Managing Editor, Shooting Sports USA

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