Yesterday I took a moment to visit their website – mostly out of curiosity – and headed for the subscription option. One quick click later I was ushered to the subscription page…for a print magazine called American Survival Guide. Just one more nail in the coffin for Gun World Magazine, one of the oldest gun mags in the industry.
In reality Gun World’s print publication ceased to be earlier this fall, but with print delays being what they are the December 2018 issue still hit newsstands (well, where you can find gun magazines nowadays). The closing of the print doors of the magazine, which had just celebrated its sixtieth year, has been met with little fanfare. It’s almost as though the other publications are afraid it’s catching and dare not speak of its demise. Of course, it isn’t only Gun World you’ll no longer see in print.
Engaged Media, Inc. – which is headquartered in, ahem, California – is the publisher behind industry titles such as Gun World, World of Firepower, Tactical World, Sniper Journal, Legendary Arms, and Gunslingers of the Old West. They’ve closed all their outdoor titles except for American Survival Guide, Knives Illustrated, and Concealed Carry Handguns, the latter of which I have been told will be a quarterly for however long it lasts.
As for the web presence of the now-shuttered titles that seems to be up in the air. The sites are still up and friends of mine have had their work posted as recently as today, but considering all those articles were in the possession of Engaged Media awhile ago, who knows what it means, if anything. Will the websites go on? For now, yes, albeit in a reduced capacity. How reduced is anyone’s guess.
So maybe you’re wondering what this has to do with you. You’re online at the moment, after all, so who cares about print? I do, for one, and you should, too. With the proliferation of blogs and vlogs we’re also seeing an increase in every Tactical Timmy out there becoming an expert in his own mind and most newbies don’t know better until it is far too late.
With the loss of print comes the loss of wisdom. No, not all print writers are qualified – I may or may not have someone in mind here and if you’re a writer, I bet you do, too – but far more bloggers and vloggers are out there disseminating potentially dangerous information than are print writers. Just as anyone can make a Wikipedia page, anyone can start their own personal blog. Safety and experience should count for something and I’m saddened at the loss of shared knowledge from certain writers.
Before you think I’m about to blame Millennials for the loss of print I actually put most of the blame at the feet of the older generation. A refusal to evolve with the gun industry times is an enormous problem in these circles. Unless print magazines quite literally get with the times they are all doomed. Only the NRA print pubs continue to do well and that’s only because they are backed by members. If those magazines were subscription-based, it would be an entirely different story.
It would take thousands more words to explain how the media works and how many misconceptions there are about the life and practices of an ethical gun writer. Suffice to say it’s sad to see more print publications go under. I could easily make a list of which pubs will likely go next and in what order.
The writing is on the wall. Either the gun industry realizes it’s 2018 and they need to cater to a different crowd or the entire media will continue to suffer. And when media suffers and good writers can no longer afford to stay in the job, you, the readers, suffer.
This one’s been coming for a while, but it’s still a shame to see these titles disappear. Rest in Peace to Gun World, World of Firepower, Tactical World, Sniper Journal, Legendary Arms, and Gunslingers of the Old West.