You may have noticed this blog has been quiet. In fact, my youtube uploads, instagram posts, and truly all my trickling media outlets have run dry lately. There’s a good reason, and I’m afraid I’ve been putting off writing this particular post for months now.
You see, I’ve gotten rid of all my guns, and emigrated to Ireland. The good news is that the man who took my guns is also taking over this site.
I just can’t do the firearms thing anymore. In 2014 I left a moderately decent job to pursue freelance firearms content fulltime, and it was a fantastic choice. But freelancing is a job that never ceases, where you must be your own marketer, accountant, manager, editor, and all the other roles a proper business needs. I love shooting, and I love being outdoors, but looking back on the time spent freelancing: I’ve never been more stressed, or had such a hard time meeting the bills.
I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things, meet and shoot with amazing people and cover some truly exciting stories. But I can’t help but feel I’ve also let an awful lot of you down. People in the industry who I respected, and who wanted to work me, I was unable to meet their goals. For every successful project that made its way online, another floundered or collapsed. Editors, manufacturers, dealers, and readers: all of you have been good friends, and I owe each of you an apology.
It is my intention to avoid being maudlin here. The fact is: it was time for a change, and I changed. As much as I loved writing and talking about guns, it only just barely put food on the table. Contrary to what some believe, I am not wealthy, but driven by passion. Often every ounce of income was dedicated to the shooting sports. I realized I would never own a home or raise a family pursuing such a career. More likely I would someday find myself publicly exposed to criminal prosecution after an unexpected change in legal interpretation. I know the RCMP are readers of my work, IP addresses from the office in Ottawa are included in the analytics of this site.
Consider this: never more than a year has gone by without a major shift in RCMP policy around firearms. As one thing enters the market, another is suddenly grey area or formally banned or unbanned. I cannot tie my livelihood to something so unstable.
Instead, I have taken a decent job with a decent salary, and chased a beautiful woman across the Atlantic and into the green hills of Ireland. There are a lot of things I want to do in Europe, and spending a few years close by should make those much more attainable. To start with, I spent Remembrance Day this year in France at Vimy, Ypres, and Passchendale. It is my full hope and intention to return to Canada someday (the Irish government, while welcoming, has certain expectations on that front) and hope to revisit the shooting sports with fresh eyes. But until then, what to do with this site?
You’ve already seen the handywork of Wally F on this site. He is the very image of a sensible shooter, with the keen interest of a civilian and the formal field instruction of a Canadian infantryman. I’m delighted and can’t wait to see how he takes the site forward.