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Community Building

Community Building

A few of my friends in the firearms world have been poopoo-ing the SIG Sauer Rose Retreats, where women pay a healthy chunk of cash ($5k or so) to get some training, a signature pistol and hang out for a weekend or so at a swanky hotel with Lena Miculek. The detractors of this event focus on the lack of training time (a day on the range and a day off the range) and the cost ($5k? You can do five days at Gunsite for less!), but training isn’t the point here, it’s the experience. 

Open Source Defense, however, nails it once again when they talk about this event. The point of a Rose Retreat isn’t about pushing you to learn stance, grip, sights and trigger, the point of a Rose Retreat is to show women how owning and carrying a gun is a normal, everyday thing. Moreover, it’s a thing that people do together in groups, with like-minded people. The Rose Retreat is designed for women only. What would an event like this look like for guys? Maybe something like a GoRuck or a Gunsite class? 

I like the fact that a signature gun is part of this experience, as it cuts down on gear envy. Maybe a Gunsite 250 where a gun, gun belt, holster, mag pouches and ammo were part of the experience? Gunsite really isn’t set up as a personality-driven site: The attraction there is Gunsite itself, not being trained by Jerry McCown or Steve Tarani or Erick Gelhaus, it’s the Gunsite 250 itself that’s the draw, so that’ll cut down on the male ego factor a bit (I hope). On top of that, as I remarked to Gunsite CEO Ken Campbell in a recent interview, I heard an F-word at Gunsite I never hear anywhere else: Family. Gunsite is about building up inter-personal relationships, something that dovetails nicely with this idea. 

When you go to Gunsite, your after-class time is up to you, as is where you stay. Is $5000 too much to spend on a curated 250 at Gunsite that includes a Gunsite Glock (with all the trimmings), a nice hotel room along with a dinner each night at a restaurant in Payson with speakers that cover other parts of the defensive lifestyle such as less-lethal and creating a safe room? Maybe. 

Ok, Ken, the ball’s in your court. Let’s see what happens.