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The Sinistral Rifleman on HBO Real Sports

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The Sinistral Rifleman, AKA Russell Phagan, sometime RECOIL contributor from KE Arms, found himself on episode 230 of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Of course, the depiction was extremely biased, as you may have anticipated. In his words, taken from his social media page:

Apparently a clip from one of my MGM Ironman match videos was recently used in an episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

There's a lot wrong with this show, but the main things that bothered me are that the “industry” is driving sales and the “industry” is propping up sports like 3 Gun to sell more products.

I've been in the gun industry for 15 years and worked for several companies. Nothing drives sales like the media making propaganda like this and politicians proposing bans. In 2008 when Obama was elected, that election night products like standard capacity magazines and modern firearms sold out. Within a span of 48-72 hours inventories nation wide were depleted. That isn't the gun industry pushing sales it's a grass root general public reaction to a fear they won't be able to purchase something in the future. Welcome to the age of the Internet. I wish I was as 1% as effective at marketing as the media and politicians are.

Americans don't like to be told what to do or what they can't own. Being told what I can't own in 1994 during the Clinton era assault weapons ban sparked my interest at 12 years old in owning these firearms. The same is true for many Americans. The Global War on terror spurred further interest as Americans became more concerned about defending themselves against more than simple muggers and burglars. Unlike previous American wars where veterans brought their service rifles home with them (Springfields in WW1, M1s in WW2 and Korea), this generation of veterans came home and bought semi auto variants of their service rifles. And then their friends and families bought them in turn.

In short blaming this all on the “industry” discounts the beliefs and concerns of millions of Americans. These people are your neighbors and coworkers. They're aren't “industry” shills or pawns.

The action shooting sports, including 3 gun, were not started by the industry. They were started by people passionate about shooting including military and law enforcement personnel. Many of us in the industry view action shooting sports as a test bed for proving out new ideas and technology; be that for military, law enforcement, or self defense applications.

We are in this industry because we are passionate about the rights of free citizens. There are a lot more profitable things to do besides sell guns, It is difficult to track direct sales to sponsoring these events. We do it because we care about our community and want to see people using guns in a safe responsible, manner. Being skilled in the use of firearms is what being “well regulated” meant in 18th century English.

Action shooting sports have a a lower injury rate than high school football, and deaths are unheard of compared to the same. Media people spare us your judgement until you quit promoting sports populated with violent felons, rapists, and animal abusers.

You can't legislate these guns away anymore than you can legislate away iPhones, the Internet, the wheel, or fire. Technology can't be made to disappear.


We would like to note that they used a much older clip featuring Russell taken from this stage video. He wrote this post fresh off attending the 2016 Ironman 3 gun where he used the same Vepr-12 featured in issue #12
You can visit KE Arms online here, or check out his blog SinistralRifleman.

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