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You may remember Evolve from their, well, creative approach to gun safety advocacy. (See their unconventional takes here, here, and here.) It’s been something of a mixed bag and not everyone has been on board with their strategy. But what differentiates Evolve with, say, the screeching harpies who populate Moms Demand Action is the fact that one of Evolve’s goals is to actually teach safe firearms handling practices. Toward that end, they held their inaugural Safety Sunday event at a range in Evansville, Indiana on Sunday. Here’s the press release . . .

Over 300 tri-staters took part in the first annual Safety Sunday event at Uncle Rudy’s on Evansville’s eastside. This free event open to the public, was filled with safety demonstrations, one-on-one instruction, resources, fun challenges and more.

“I’ve never shot a handgun, and today seemed like the right time to learn how to handle and fire a gun. I learned even more than I expected. I had no idea what I was doing, but the team really kept it simple for me and taught me the basics. I had a great instructor helping me one-on-one,” said Karen Johnson.


Pulling up to the event you’d notice the Indiana National Guard and Evansville Police Department presence, with Evolve USA and other organizations providing resources inside the range.

National gun safety organization Evolve USA says Evansville’s Safety Sunday event is the first in the nation and hopes for it to be replicated across the country.


“Evolve is excited to be working with Uncle Rudy’s on the first gun Safety Sunday. We hope this will become a model for others around the country to plan family-friendly community events that put gun safety first and foremost,” said Rebecca Bond of Evolve USA.

After opening the gun range in 2015, Uncle Rudy’s owners John and Melissa Rudolph established their role in the community to educate on safe and responsible gun ownership.


“This is one of the most important programs we’ve ever offered at Uncle Rudy’s. And, it’s why we started this business – to educate others on safe and responsible gun ownership. Every person that walked through the door today was able to pick up free gun locks and chamber flags. We had a lot of families come out to Safety Sunday, which is what we really wanted to see,” said John Rudolph.


Children stood in line to try the airsoft gun challenge. But it wasn’t as easy at just aiming and firing; Rudolph’s son Allen demonstrated his advanced training by showing proper gun handling, loading and firing with kids of all ages on the airsoft guns.

Uncle Rudy’s offers a variety of safety training courses and one-on-one instructor training all year. For more information on safety training, visit or call 812-962-7663.

Uncle Rudy’s is Evansville’s only indoor shooting range. Uncle Rudy’s goal is to provide a safe, family-friendly environment to learn gun safety, where beginners and experts can feel comfortable and enjoy shooting sports in the Evansville tri-state. Our staff is highly trained, skilled NRA instructors who want to take the time to educate each and every person who walks in our doors.

Evolve USA believes that a third voice is needed in the gun debate. Contrary to what some think, there are important common values that resonate with both gun owners and non-gun owners alike. Safety and reduction of gun violence are of paramount importance to both. We focus on voluntary actions, taken on by individuals, to avoid gun preventable firearms deaths and gun violence.

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  1. Even though “safety” and “gun violence” have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and organizations such as they continue to try to conflate them, kudos to Evolve for holding an actual firearms-safety event.

    • My only problem with Evolve’s approach/message is now and has been since their beginning that it is NOT a “third voice.”

      They act like they are saying something “new” just because they focus on safety.

      WE focus on safety. Gun owners and RKBA supporters hound about safety all the time. As a group, we are incredibly vocal when safety violations (including ND’s) occur.

      I’m not sure why they are trying to co-opt our position. Why don’t they just say, “We are trying to help get the word out about safety” rather than the falsehood that it’s a “third voice.”

      • “I’m not sure why they are trying to co-opt our position.”

        Read that sentence back to yourself and it gives you your answer. If still unclear, refer to Ralph’s post below.

      • The fancy term is “epistemic closure”. The layman’s explanation is “some people hear NRA and stop listening”.

        Anything that promotes our position is good. We’re based on facts. If we get people to handle guns, on average, we win.

        If that requires some outside group attacking or criticizing the NRA while basically doing what the NRA does, and leading people to be pro-gun- so be it! We win when people aren’t anti-gun. The NRA is too tough a pill to swallow for many. Not saying it’s right, but saying its true.

        • …and yet they are using NRA-certified instructors to teach the classes.

          Does anyone really think there are people out there who would refuse to attend an NRA-sponsored gun safety class “because NRA”, but who would gladly attend a third-party safety class entirely taught by NRA instructors?

  2. We need to have a person recording the classroom portion of these “events”, so we can evaluate their level of respect for the Second Amendment and gun ownership in general.

    More gun safety is generally a good thing, but not if the safety class is being used as a stealth delivery system for anti-gun/anti-gun-rights messages to people who are just beginning to show interest in firearms ownership or use.

    • I agree, but even if the training does come with an unhealthy dose of propaganda, some of the attendees will become real shooting enthusiasts over time and graduate to other sources of info, like TTAG.

      I do think “gun violence” is a really stupid term – it’s “human violence”, or perhaps “violent humans” that is problem. The tools are secondary.

    • NineShooter: With all due respect. NRA Certified Instructors. No brainwashing, no politics, just unbiased attempt at helping educate folks on gun safety. I’m sure Uncle Rudy’s would be more than happy to share with you the content of their seminars. Rather than jump to negative, unfounded conclusions, you might try reading the article again, digesting the information and contacting the parties involved if you still have questions. I am a member at Uncle Rudy’s. John and Melissa are not promoting anti-gun propaganda. EVOLVE is non-partisan. If you choose to make assumptions based on your insecurities and paranoid, delusional thought rather than perform the due diligence of investigation and discovery so be it. God knows it’s your “right”. I am pro-gun and pro-gun rights but I am sick of the bickering between the gunnies and the non-gunnies. In your unfounded condemnation of others’ intentions you do exactly that of which you accuse your adversaries. When voices of reason like EVOLVE come along it would behoove all of us to embrace the moment. Don’t fight the feeling. If someone’s agreeing with you, why are you upset? Please give it some thought. I attended Safety Sunday. It was excellent. Thanks.

      p.s. This opinion is applicable to any others on this forum that have made assumptions based in fear and past bad experience rather than facts.

      • Gabe,

        Those of us who are old enough, and who have paid attention to the politics of gun control for decades, have seen this type of thing before. Forgive me for suggesting the program should be evaluated with this historical background in mind (“Those who do not learn from history…”).

        NRA certification does not surgically remove biases from instructors, nor does it alter their personal political leanings. I’ve seen NRA instructors wax eloquently on the importance of individual gun ownership in America, and then in the next sentence say they think so-called “assault weapons” have no place here. The lefties/progs have successfully taken The Long View on many issues facing this country (see the intrusion of lefty/prog ideology into the public school system), so assuming the same might be happening here is not any kind of a stretch.

        Additionally, just because an organization is non-partisan NOW, does not mean it will remain so in the future. For this reason alone, it should not only be evaluated now, but re-evaluated periodically to make sure the organization (and it’s reputation) has not been hijacked and turned against gun owners/ownership. With popularity and a large member base will come pressure (from BOTH sides) to align with one side or the other on gun-related issues. Will Evolve be able to stay non-partisan in this type of high-pressure atmosphere?

        I didn’t say, or even imply, that Evolve has any problems; I just said it should be evaluated, with a view to detecting any problems of the type that gun owners and gun rights’ activists have seen in the past. Maybe there is a reason that idea is scary to you? That you feel you must belittle and demonize a person who even suggests that we learn from history, and act accordingly?

        Finally, the fact that you categorized most of my concerns as “feelings” (“Don’t fight the feeling.” “…why are you so upset?” “…your insecurities and paranoid, delusional thought…”), instead of rational concerns based on historical observations, says a lot about your own insecurities and thought processes.

        Blindly following a group or business based on your “feelings” and their slick pre-packaged propaganda is a recipe for disaster, whether it’s a century-old gun safety and use organization or a brand-new non-partisan gun safety organization. I also note that the shop in question was happy to list Evolve as a “strategic partner” but wasn’t quite up to putting the NRA (the organization that trains all their instructors, as proudly noted multiple times on their website) on the same list. A bit strange, is it not?

        • NineShooter: Your best bet: Go back in the bunker and wait for the black helipcopters. As for me, I’m going to continue to enjoy my life, shoot my guns at Uncle Rudy’s, carry my guns legally and be thrilled in the fact that I live in a country where I can do all these things without fear of retribution. That being said, I will always be aware of my surroundings and assess all threats. I

        • Apologies for the previous fat-fingers oops.


          I think your best bet might be to go back in the bunker and wait for the black helicopters. I think you’re the one doing the demonizing. You started this not me. Without your initial “Chicken Little”, I’m radio silent. You’re the one casting doubts on intentions. As for me, I’m going to continue to enjoy my life, shoot my guns at Uncle Rudy’s, carry my guns legally, handle them safely, promote/teach/practice gun safety and be thrilled in the fact that I live in a country where I can do all these things without fear of retribution. That being said, I will always be aware of my surroundings and assess all threats. I am a Sheepdog. I do not blindly follow anyone. I am not a member of any social movement or organization. I am a 66 year old retired sob that doesn’t believe in group-think. Not a member of the NRA. Not a communist. Not a socialist. No political party affiliation. Not a member of EVOLVE. Not a member of any pro or anti-gun movement. Actually I don’t think we have much quarrel. I just think you feel somebody’s always trying to take away your “rights” and I’m living my life enjoying the fact that nobody is. I vote and I hope you do also. I also judge all people by their actions and deeds not by history. History is a reference point. It allows me to be aware of what has happened. It does not mean I should make judgments based on what has happened. I can only be accountable for my decisions. I can’t stop others from feeling differently than me. That doesn’t make them evil, anti-American or immoral. It just means they don’t agree with me. I may think they’re stupid but they think I’m stupid too. Who wins? NOBODY! My ancestors did things that horrify me. Hell, my grandma was a card-carrying member of the KKK. Woof! According to your theories that likely makes me a member of the KKK. You would be COMPLETELY WRONG! Please stop prejudging my or anyone’s intentions based on history. There are nine other amendments that make up the Bill Of Rights besides the 2nd. Let’s make sure we give weight to all of them. The difference between you and me is I am judging you based on your statements. You are judging me based on your interpretation of my intentions. That’s a real dangerous method of operation. I stay alert, aware and vigilant but I don’t manufacture monsters. I refuse to let irrational fear and unfounded distrust rule my life. You choose your path. I’ve chosen mine. If and when EVOLVE or any organization tries to take my freedoms from me, believe me I’ll be on the front lines against them. But until it happens, it’s all good. By the way, I attended the Safety seminar at Uncle Rudy’s and I can guarantee you there was not a single reference to any political doctrines. No thinly-veiled propaganda aimed at my weapon-castration. No frighteningly, devious tactics meant to brainwash me. Unless I was somehow post-hipnotically suggested or implanted with a mind-controlling microchip during a handshake with one of the (evil) representatives of Uncle Rudy’s, I came out unscathed. If you were there and witnessed evil, I defer. All I saw and heard was an instructor trying to impart information that just might save a life. I’m armed and ready. Sounds as if you are, too. Peace!

        • More mischaracterizations, insults, and Feelz from a Fudd loner. Willing to enjoy the rights others have fought for, but not willing to lift a finger to keep those rights safe for the next generation by becoming a member of an organization like the NRA (doesn’t have to be them; pick one, or start your own). Talks tough about jumping in to help if things get bad (knowing it’s highly unlikely to happen in his lifetime), but how do you un-boil a frog? Answer: you don’t. You CAN’T. When it comes to our rights, an ounce of prevention isn’t worth a pound of cure, it’s worth tons.

          You couldn’t even answer my observation about why they dote on the NRA instructor certification, but refuse to list the NRA as a partner.

          P.S. — I have no bunker. I put major efforts into making sure I won’t need one. Nor will my kids.

        • Now that we’ve both wasted major portions of a couple of evenings looks like we’ve accomplished nothing. Bored others with our non-productive insults and I think proved the point that justifies EVOLVE’s existence. I will never understand your fears and you will always question my motives. As far as your questions concerning Uncle Rudy’s statements and/or policies, I am not their spokesperson. ASK THEM! That’s what I meant about due diligence, investigation and discovery as opposed to speculation. Ask me about my statements. Ask EVOLVE and Uncle Rudy’s about theirs. I don’t think I used “tough talk” anywhere and I’m not cool enough to even know what “Feelz” and “Fudd loner” mean.

          All animosity and meanness aside, I’d love to buy you a beer sometime (Please tell me you drink beer). No, I’m not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that). My real name is Gabriel Waitman and I live in Evansville, Indiana. Unless your given name is NineShooter, you have the advantage. Hell, I’ll even take you to Uncle Rudy’s and you can evaluate to your heart’s content. May even be able to get you in on a $5 Buddy Pass if we hit it just right. If you’re ever in these parts look me up. Who knows, we might even find something on which we can agree.

        • *sigh*

          Yes, we could probably find something we agree on; maybe a lot of it.

          But I have some bad news for you on the beer front…

          Anyway, good travels and good luck to you, in everything you do.

  3. Kudos on getting kids involved with an airsoft challenge, but it would be better to graduate the children from airsoft to the real deal.

    • For some kids sure, but that is a very personal decision. This is a way to teach safety fundamentals in a way that won’t freak out newbies and undecideds. Also some kids just do not have the impulse control and self-regulation necessary to be introduced to firearms, even under close supervision.

    • I agree with Jeff 100%.

      I’ve taught children as young as 6 to shoot 22LR out of a bench rested Thompson Contender (single shot break action). It’s all about the equipment, patience and positive hands on control (you know, close supervision.)

  4. Something that always bothers me, and it has nothing to do with this organization other then it’s in the second picture up top, is when I go to a gun store or a range and people have their firearm of choice in an IWB holster, with their shirt tucked behind the holster showing the gun. Now I know everyone has their own preferences, but if you want to open carry is that really the beat way?

    • I think that on the range you want it handy, especially when dealing with a lot of strangers, and folks who are new to guns. At the same time, depending on your state, you may need to untuck that shirt and conceal when you leave the range.

    • No, David, that’s not the best way, but I can think of several common/simple reasons he might be doing it that way. Anon in CT mentioned one — ease and/or speed of access.

      Another might be the business mandating a shirt-must-be-tucked-in policy (for neatness) which may conflict with a need for the pistol to be exposed (either a legal reason, or shop policy).

      Finally, the person may only own one holster, and if you only own one, it’s easier to use a concealment holster for mandated open carry, vs. an OWB open-carry-style holster for concealment on the way home.

    • IWB is not considered open carry in all states. Also, I haven’t seen an IWB holster with positive retention just friction. If you going to OC it’s best to use a belt or paddle holster with positive retention. You can get them on Amazon for cheap.

      • “Also, I haven’t seen an IWB holster with positive retention just friction.”

        Then you aren’t looking very hard, Owen. Holsters of this type have been around for a long time, and still exist today. One I have personal experience with is the Bianchi Pistol Pocket. I’ve used these for various revolvers and pistols for over 30 years. Most were fixed-angle, but some were adjustable. I have one of these for K-frame S&W revolvers, and it is my go-to IWB holster on the rare occasions when a revolver seems like a better choice for carry in a certain situation. The base model Pistol Pocket is still offered through The Safariland Group.

        Even on Amazon, this type of holster isn’t rare. A quick Google search for “amazon IWB holster thumb break”, then click the “Images” tab, will show you a half-dozen or more on the first screen of images, all from Amazon or their vendors.

  5. Evolve’s motto is “Clear it. Check it. Lock it.”

    Here’s a recent dialog from Evolve’s Facebook page:

    “Eric von Kleist: Clear it, check it, lock it…or go to jail for 20 years and lose your gun rights.

    “There has to be some teeth behind the concept.

    “Evolve: There will always be that. But this site has become a community of many who can set aside some of that and talk about what we are all here to talk about. We can’t abandon these efforts because they can make a difference. So don’t give up on these efforts. Though we get your point.”

    Do you really want to support an organization like that?

    Evolve is the rat in the larder..

    • I love safety pushes, and education, but Evolve is still operating under the erroneous impression that a RIGHT is subject to social utility arguments – “well there would be so fewer accidents if the govt. would just mandate X, Y, or Z”.

      Therein lies the rub – it doesn’t matter if the whole world thinks its a good idea to infringe on the people’s rights – the Constitution prohibits it. Period.

      ..and like all good Statists that don’t have any rebuttal for the 2ND Amendment, they are forced to pretend it doesn’t exist. Phrases like “I don’t want to hear that 2nd Amendment sh*t” usually ensue if you push the issue.

  6. Evolve started out with a resident ‘expert’ who praised their message and assured us they gave us a more rational choice in the gun debate.
    That man’s name is Mike Weisser.
    Of course he lasted just long enough in their organization to refer to Colion Noir as the “NRA’s house Black Man” before they seemed to have parted ways.
    I called that POS out on his blog and asked why he was no longer affiliated with Evolve. He then bold faced lied and said he never was a member-despite actually claiming to be a member on his blog.
    I swear to god, that guy is either a serious boozer or some kind of special needs.
    While this is certainly a welcome addition to their message, I’m mighty suspicious of them and their affiliates.

  7. Evolve spoke with the range owners at shot show and gave us a small safe, some hats and T shirts, and other miscellaneous items to give away. Safety sunday was a success in our community with their help. With that being said, our safety classes and short safety seminars held on sunday are our own material. We dont get political with our training, people come to us to become better and safer shooters not to hear a bunch of political nonsense. We believe the second amendment should be interpreted as it is written and dont use our classes as “stealth delivery systems” for any anti-gun politics. Anyone is more than welcome to come to our range and talk to us about any concerns they have. We would love to talk to you.

    • Question for you: Does the NRA allow their name and logo to be used in conjunction with classes that are not NRA-approved? Such as touting “NRA Instructors”, when the class lesson plan is produced in-house, and not approved by the NRA? Seems to be trading on the NRA’s reputation as a premier gun-safety organization, but not offering an NRA-approved/vetted product, to me.

  8. My husband and I attended the Uncle Rudy’s Safety Day. We had a great time. I tried out a couple of pistols that we different than what we have, we attended the Safety Class, and we did the video game. Loved the video game! Great job on having your knowledgeable staff on hand to explain the gun features, give handling and improvement tips and supporting your programs. Again, great job, great time!
    Yvonne (Uncle Rudy’s member)


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