So You’ve Played Red Dead Redemption 2 and Loved it: Be a gunslinger in real life, join the Cowboy Fast Draw Association

As much as I talk about other things, I am not completely lost like a lot of people my age might otherwise be on the magical world of video games and their relatively new impact on global entertainment. But let me just say to my usual readers, its big business. I finally finished the story mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 after around 100 hours of game play, taking my time when I could and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed by the result. The game is such an astonishing technical achievement and it is by far the best thing that could have ever happened to the entertainment format of the American Western. As a story and experience it really is like taking a real-life cowboy experience like the movie City Slickers and placing them into a 1960s spaghetti western with all the high drama of something like Game of Thrones. It is big, bold and beautiful in so many ways. And I knew that as I completed the game and all the epilogue missions that there was going to be a Red Dead online coming at the end of November. I planned to revisit the game at that time but wasn’t expecting much. But let me say that I have been pleasantly surprised. It looks like as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 is as a game with sales well over a billion dollars already and something like 20 million copies sold before the Holiday season, that the purposed of the online play is to use the game as a kind of training experience for the online world that they have created. It is just vast and ultimately never-ending in what it allows players to do and interact with one another.

I couldn’t help but think as I was playing missions with other people the other day, most of them much younger than I am, that this game is really their only experience with a real American western and for many they are very touched by it. The game itself is a very moral story about good and bad and the many quandaries of the critical decisions that went into exploding life across the American frontier. But at its core it’s about gunfighting and is clearly one of the best arguments for the real-life problems of the Second Amendment. A lot of young people may not be paying attention to the real political problems going on in the outside world, but they sure care a lot about earning enough money in the game to purchase upgrades for their guns and dress in the coolest gunfighting outfits. But I couldn’t help notice that many of them probably didn’t know that they could do all the things they are doing in Read Dead Redemption in real life with Cowboy Fast Draw as seen at the following link:

http://www.COWBOYFASTDRAW.com

Belonging to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association is one of the groups I am most proud to affiliate with, they are really a good group of people who meet all over the United States to compete in real life fast draw competitions using real guns. It’s what I think of as one of the coolest sports in the world right now as other countries are trying to participate but have too strict of gun laws to actually do it. But in the good ol’ United States it is much easier to participate in. Yet I have noticed that most of the members are well over 40, largely because guns and holster rigs are expensive so it takes a little upfront investment to get involved. But once you do, it is infinitely rewarding. I enjoyed the original Red Dead Redemption enormously and getting my own fast draw rig was always something I had planned to do. But raising a family every last dollar that I made went into family needs, a car was always breaking down, a kid always needed a school fee or band instrument. Someone needed braces of a family member across the country wanted us to visit them, so there was always something for like twenty years that kept me from getting my own fast draw gun rig.

I ran across a substantial amount of money for a big job I had been working on so I treated myself to my gun rig and have been practicing at Cowboy Fast Draw for several years now, and am getting pretty good at it. After probably 30,000 to 35,000 shots at a fast draw target, I am starting to feel good about my speed and accuracy. It did take a while. It was something that had been on my mind well before I ever played the first Red Dead going way back into my twenties when I was going through a really tough time. Westerns and western music really kept the zest for life alive in me. On their most basic foundations westerns are about the meaning of life so they always had great appeal to me so when I grew up I wanted to be as much of a gunfighter as society could endure. Ironically, I had acquired my gun rig and some advanced fast draw skill before Red Dead Redemption 2 came out which had even more meaning for me because of the new hobby I had.

Traveling around the online world it has become very obvious that many young people are deeply touched by Red Dead Redemption 2 and likely would like to have a similar experience as I have. So let me put this little invite out there. If you are unsure of how to get involved in Cowboy Fast Draw because you are enjoying playing Red Dead Redemption but would like to take everything up a notch, don’t hesitate to ask me. I can help you get started on something that would be infinitely rewarding. While my regular audience here is much older than the people playing Red Dead Redemption 2 I would personally love to see more young people getting involved in Cowboy Fast Draw. It really isn’t any different from what you do in the game, but that it never ends. While the content of Red Dead Redemption does eventually run out, the challenges in real life never do.

In the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, you get to dress up as a gunslinger for real, and have a reason to do it. You have a reason to buy fancy guns for real and learn to take care of them. And the scoring format is safe and fun. Its one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my life and I would recommend it to anybody. I had been thinking that membership in the cowboy sports may just flicker away because new generations just do not have many positive western entertainment venues that are cool enough to hold their attention, that is until Red Dead Redemption 2 came along and inspired millions of people to live in that world quite authentically. And for those who just want to climb into the world of Red Dead Redemption for real and live it in real life I’d point you to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association at the link shown here. If you have any questions, just ask. I’d love to help as many new people get involved in the sport as possible. While I personally love the world of Red Dead Redemption, it is no match for having a real fast draw rig on your hip which is an experience I have every day. And wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Rich Hoffman

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“Shoot Extreme” : The fine dining of target shooting in all of America

One of the true delights in life is to have a gun in your hand. Guns are the great equalizers that are among the greatest human inventions, because due to guns, tyranny has a hard time digging its claws into the individual lives of citizens. This has paved the way for a productive society not afraid to invent and to look down their nose at the political class with comfortable disdain. Because of the gun, the political class in America cannot believe that they are superior in any way to the average person. Because of the gun, freedom exists. Because of the gun, diversity of business can thrive in abundance. And because of the gun one of the most interesting businesses I have yet come across has started in West Chester, Ohio, the unusual concept called Shoot Extreme.

As I prepared to enter the Shoot Extreme facility at the corner of Tylersville and Cincinnati-Dayton Road I noticed that The Cone ice cream store was almost right across the street and I felt pride to live in a community that could sell ice cream in a unique specialized shop less than 200 yards from a shooting range that is indoor and set up to practice tactical target shooting with real guns. The concept of Shoot Extreme is a great one–move through a haunted house like maze with live ammunition and shoot at zombies that jump out at you from every direction. It’s a unique way to practice strategic skill, blow off some steam, and target shoot under pressure.

Shooting at fixed targets is one thing, and Target World in Sharonville is a wonderful venue for that. But shooting under pressure, where the shooter only has three seconds in a low light environment to identify a “friend or foe” target is a wonderful benefit to the civilian community of West Chester. It’s a wonderful option to live in a community that allows a person to get a fine steak diner at Jags, then to cap off the evening with a run through the tactical course at Shoot Extreme and take out the frustrations of the day by blasting the hordes of zombies set up throughout the maze. After the shooting is done, all the shooter has to do is turn the guns back in at the counter and Shoot Extreme takes care of cleaning and maintenance. The shooter can then have desert over at The Cone without further worry.

Needless to say, I am deeply impressed with the staff and concept at Shoot Extreme. For a gun loving community like West Chester, Mason and Liberty Twp, I would expect a place like this wonderful shooting range to be packed all the time. It is highly recommended that reservations are made online ahead of time to reserve a spot, and to fill out the release form on the website www.shootextreme.com before arrival because it speeds up the process of getting guns and ammunition just a bit quicker, because that is the goal of shooting at Shoot Extreme, to shoot zombies and to sharpen your senses.

This is a wonderful idea since some of the most popular videos games currently on the market are Undead 4, and Call of Duty. Shoot Extreme allows average people without access to military training and hardware to get a taste of tactical training in real life, beyond a video game environment where the smell of gunpowder and the urgency of the moment are elements of additional danger. For the cost of a night at the movies, a shooter can run the gauntlet of zombies and increase their combat skill level combining entertainment and practicality into a wonderful symphony.

More timid spectators might wonder why such things are important—why people would desire to shoot guns, let alone to do it in such a fantasy environment. The answer is because guns are cool, and are an important part of American culture. For those who don’t like guns, I would suggest that they do not understand what being an American is. Guns are the foundation of freedom, and it is healthy to become competent with them. I would say that shooting guns is as important as eating ice cream at The Cone, or buying new cloths at a department store. Shooting guns is the essence of freedom in America and there is simply no better way to celebrate it than with a trip to Shoot Extreme.

If you want fine dining, in West Chester, Mitchells Fish Market or Jags are the places to go. If you want to shop, then Voice of America shopping complex is where it’s all at. But if you want the fine dining equivalent of target shooting, then it is Shoot Extreme that becomes a must. This is simply the best indoor shooting experience of its kind anywhere, and it’s found in West Chester, Ohio.

The public perception of guns is that they are somehow a taboo subject, and that they should be feared. The timid types who still believe these ridiculous notions are in for a harsh reality as the new shooting range Shoot Extreme is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming. America has a youth that has been brought up on films and video games that heavily involve shooting, and as they come into age, thoughts about guns will loosen up considerably. I foresee a day in the not too distant future where guns will be openly carried by civilians like jewelry is displayed today. They will be just as common, and will not raise alarm when seen. And in the near future gun ranges like Extreme Shooting will be more common than unique as this range in West Chester is now.

The creation of Shoot Extreme is out of a desire for an indoor facility that gives to the public the same type of training only the military had access to before. The fun addition of zombies being the targets instead of actual terrorist insurgents only adds a layer of commercial appeal to a functionally sound tactical course that makes it just more than average entertainment. The desire of the timid to remove guns from society with rules and regulations is to suppress a fundamental American right that is never better present than at Shoot Extreme and the eradication of zombies in a mock apocalypse that can befall anyone with the price of a ticket. And the ticket is well worth it!   Part 2 of this posting will go up tomorrow and will dig deeper into the actual merit behind tactical training and the weapons involved at Shoot Extreme.  I am very proud to be a card-carrying member!

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Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
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