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Old July 21, 1999, 05:18 PM   #1
Covert Mission
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This is from today's LA Times:
Wednesday, July 21, 1999

'Practical' Gun Game Proposed for Olympics
By STEVE BERRY, Times Staff Writer

Firearm enthusiasts from around the world who organize run-and-gun competitions--
once commonly known as "combat" shooting and often featuring human-shaped targets--
are trying to persuade the International Olympic Committee to let them compete in the Olympic Games.

The 60-nation International Practical Shooting Confederation
has been trying to persuade the committee to accept the
competition as a sport for the last two years, President Nick
Alexakos of Canada said Tuesday.
Though now referred to as "practical" shooting to avoid the
negative connotations of the word combat, the international
game pits shooters armed with assault rifles, semiautomatic
handguns and shotguns against imaginary adversaries in the form
of human-shaped targets. Children as young as 9 compete in the
United States.
"It's a running-and-gunning type of deal," said Andy Hollar,
president of the 14,000-member U.S. Practical Shooting Assn.
In a typical American competition, a shooter jumps up from a
prone position, grabs a gun from a table drawer and starts firing
away, Hollar said. The U.S. group is sanctioned by Alexakos's
international confederation.
In an Australian competition, a shooter must also carry a
person for 100 yards, "as if rescuing a buddy," Hollar said.
Competitors in the contests shoot at a variety of targets,
including "tombstone-shaped targets that roughly represents a
humanoid shape," Hollar said. There is also a lollipop-shaped
steel target "that falls down when you hit it," he said.
Competitors shoot from behind walls with cutout windows
and doors and around corners. Shooters get higher scores when
they hit spots where the head or heart would be located in a
The confederation scored a major victory last October when
it persuaded the IOC-sanctioned Hellenic Shooting Assn. to host
a practical shooting exhibition for the 2004 games in Athens.
Alexakos said all IOC members and other Olympic officials
have been invited. Although the exhibition is not sanctioned
directly by the IOC, the Hellenic association approval is
considered an important step toward winning legitimacy.
Efforts to include the competition in the Olympics has
sparked outrage among gun control organizations.
"This type of shooting is for military maneuvers in NATO. An
organization [the Olympics] that is supposed to celebrate peace
should not be sponsoring military shooting," said Naomi Paiss,
spokeswoman for Handgun Control Inc.
Critics say including the competition in the Olympics would
be a way of legitimizing weapons and fighting gun control.
Philip Alpers, a New Zealand firearms researcher, and the
Washington-based Violence Policy Center have done an in-depth
study on the sport of practical shooting. They plan a series of
press conferences Thursday in Washington and other world
Bill McGeveran, a spokesman for the center, said its findings
"should persuade IOC that violent fantasy and combat weaponry
have no place at the Olympics." He declined Tuesday to release
any details.
Although the U.S. still uses targets that resemble human
shapes, Alexakos said his organization no longer uses them.
The competition, he said, is simply "shooting at as many
targets and as fast as you can."
IOC officials in Lausanne, Switzerland, declined to say
whether they favor the sport, but noted that IOC approval is a
years-long process.
The practical shooting contests contrast with existing
Olympic gun competition, which is limited to skeet and trap
shooting, air-gun shooting and .22-caliber weapons. The contests
also include the hunting-based shooting biathlon, which
combines cross-country skiing and shooting, and the modern
pentathlon. The pentathlon, a sport rooted in ancient
civilizations' military messengers, requires competitors to
shoot at stationary targets, fence, swim, ride horses over jumps
and run a 3,000-meter, cross-country course.
Alexakos said his shooting confederation began talking with
IOC officials, including its sports director Gilbert Felli, two
years ago.
Alexakos said the contact with Felli was not encouraging.
Although the name has been changed from combat shooting,
the confederation's constitution lists "principles and objectives"
implying that the competition is designed to simulate military,
law enforcement and self-defense shootouts.
Targets "reflect the general size and shape of such objects as
the firearm may be reasonably be called upon to hit in their
primary intended use," including human enemies.
Alexakos said "those principles are 25 years old," when the
major thrust of the contest was law enforcement applications.
"The fathers of practical shooting were primarily interested
in law enforcement and self-defense," he said.

Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

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Old July 22, 1999, 01:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: November 19, 1998
Posts: 986
Yeah, these peacenik dweebs, I've heard, want to completely "demilitarize" the Olympics.

No more spear-chucking.

No more jumping over fortification walls.

No more long-distance running to deliver critically important military messages.

And of course, no international rapid-fire pistol--which was perhaps the *first* target game shot at human targets (originally complete with heads). No more modern pentathalon (expressly military skills in the Olympic tradition).

The military created the Games anciently. Now the peaceniks want to take it away from its noble history of WARRIORS putting aside their differences periodically to match military-related skills in the brotherhood and now sisterhood of competition.

Oh yeah, no more fencing, boxing, or judo.

Bring on the synchronized swimming and underwater basketweaving! No one will ever get hurt.

What else would we need to dump to accomodate these narrow-minded views?

What's the Time's URL? I want to send this to them!

Cheapo the honest,
Who owes his life and liberty to gun-loving revolutionaries.
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Old July 23, 1999, 09:02 AM   #3
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Location: Brisbane.....Australia
Posts: 1,258
You forgot to mention that originally the Olympics was competed in the nude !
Hell, even I'd stay up late to watch Synchronised Swimming ....

"The Gun from Down Under !"

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Old July 28, 1999, 07:16 PM   #4
Futo Inu
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Join Date: February 12, 1999
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Posts: 3,624
I'm just wondering how many American IPSC shooters would have a heart attack if they tried to carry a buddy/body 100 yards. I think that Aussie version of the sport would go a long way toward legitimizing the sport as an Olympic event, as it would combine the shooting skill with some endurance activity, to make it far less distinguishable from the mentioned biathlon and pentathlon.

I am ambivalent about the human targets thing. On the one hand, I think it's a fact that NOT using them would help in getting Olympic approval. On the other hand, I strongly object to the end of their use on appeasement grounds, because it would really represent a long-term victory for the antis. Once the populace forgets what the sport is REALLY about (incapacitating humans), that's one big step down the slippery slope of forgetting what one of the biggest practical uses of guns are (which is in turn tied to the political battles re RKBA).
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