The soft-spoken young gentleman sitting next to me at lunch yesterday reminded me of the description once used to describe the smiling, freckle-faced Tom Watson: Huckleberry Dillinger.
Like a young Tom Watson off the golf course, Daniel Horner is the quintessential all-American quiet kid. That changes when he steps onto a course of competitive fire.
Horner at rest. When he's not competing, Daniel Horner doesn't look like he's in a hurry to go anywhere. But looks are misleading in this case. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
At that point, he becomes something to watch- or in the case of a shooting competition held in complete darkness in order to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficacy of lights and lasers on all firearms- something to marvel at as a light and laser seem to fly through courses of fire.
Horner proved his effectiveness yesterday as he dominated the field in the second annual Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun, taking home a total of $10,000 in cash and a haul of goodies from a bulging prize table.
This win by Horner may go a long way to spread the three-gun competition message- and bring attention to his formidable abilities in 3-gun. The reason I say this win might be especially important is because of the considerable media presence at the event. As you can see here, being in attendance at an event makes it simple - and logical - to tell the story later.
Both of those things are good, because the three-gun format (rifle/pistol/shotgun) isn't just good entertainment, it helps shooters become more adept with all their guns.
OK, most of us won't be suiting up in night-vision gear and doing room-clearing exercises with a silenced pistol and a full-auto rifle, but anyone who has that opportunity might be reintroduced to the fun aspects of shooting. Photo by Matt Foster. With permission.
According to Crimson Trace Marketing Director Kent Thomas, promotion is the reasoning behind the company's creation of an event that isn't just a huge organizational challenge, it's well outside the company's realm of experience. But the promotion, he says, isn't purely for Crimson Trace.
"This is the best way I can think of to get people to realize there's a lot of shooting-related businesses out here in Oregon," he explained, "we aren't trying to push Crimson Trace, but we are trying to raise the awareness of the number of really good companies located out here, while we're advocating for the use of lights/lasers by all gun owners."
It was hard for me to believe that fewer than sixteen percent of all gun owners today are using light/laser mounted systems on their rifles, pistols and/or shotguns. That means there's a terrific potential market of light/laser users already out there- and sets the stage for introducing new shooters to the illumination/identification concept from the very beginning.
Originally considered a crutch rather than an aid, lasers are now accepted as essential tools for teaching correct shooting. And weapon lights, despite the fact they must be considered guns with lights instead of lights mounted ON guns, are really essential for an emergency defensive situation. Teaming both up on a rifle, pistol or shotgun really makes the gun and its user more effective and enables considerably faster responses in an emergency.
You can read the entire results of the Midnight 3 Gun in today's news section. And I'd imagine you're going to be reading and seeing material from the event for some time to come in print and on television.
We'll have a lot more material from the companies involved in the event as well. All part of our promise to keep you posted.