You’re reading this online, most likely. If you’re a typical American, you probably spend around 11 hours every day interacting with digital media in various forms as part of your routine of work, life, family, sleep, etc. There are naysayers who look down on this development as unnatural or a loss of real interaction, but I disagree. The networked world, the “internet of things”, has brought other people, other views, and more information to our fingertips—and that is a wonderful things.
It’s also why I have this job, but that’s neither here nor there.
For shooters this is especially important. Newbies can find the information and guidance they need to get started and get the most out of their new pursuit without wasting time or money. Old hands can share knowledge, acquire new skills, and enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded souls. But whether you’re brand new or a longstanding member of the Second Amendment community, it’s hard to keep track of the digital world, and how to get the most out of it. With that in mind, here are some thoughts from a professional internet warrior:
First, remember how hugely diverse the internet is, even within a fairly specific community like ours. You’re reading USA Carry because you’re interested in concealed carry and self-defense issues. Other folks are into target shooting, or duck hunting, or casual plinking, or three-gun, or any of a myriad of other shooting sports and activities. It would be near-impossible to follow every social media group, online forum, or chat session relating to guns and the Second Amendment, so focus on those that best fit your interest.
Speaking of which, internet forums may be a little passé in the world of social media, but for firearms-related stuff they are still alive and well and a treasure trove of information. They offer more in-depth discussion of the topics at hand, and a wider range of reviews, views, resources, and opinions. Their format makes them easy to search, and facilitates ongoing conversation. The right forum will teach you what you need to know while allowing you to share your knowledge and make friends.
Social media has done some wonders for the Second Amendment community, however. Twitter is a fast and easy way to tap into the hive mind for information, product reviews, news, and other happenings in the community. Following the right hashtags throughout the day (#secondamendment, #RKBA, #concealedcarry, #thatpewpewlife, #alwayscarry) can connect you to things you may have otherwise missed. You don’t have to post much yourself, or reveal any information, in order to track and follow all of this, so please get involved.
With all that said, I’ll leave you with some final thoughts: the internet is a lot like the real world, in that it is comprised of a whole lot of good people and a smaller-but-significant number of jerks. Ignore the jerks—feeding the trolls, as they say, has never fared well. You can walk away from an argument if the other side is just trying to get people riled up; your energies are best spent elsewhere. Remember that’s all just talk.
I hope this is helpful as you voyage across the digital sea. I’d like to hear about your experiences with the Second Amendment community online, so drop me an email or hit me up on social media.