There is the privilege of taking a first shooter to the shooting range, and then there’s the event organized by Mr. Kevin Dixie. To celebrate National Shooting Sports Month, Dixie, or “K.D.” as he is better known—took 17 inner-city youths and gave them one heck of a firearms education.
An Unparalleled Event
“I was absolutely honored to be working with the NSSF for the National Shooting Sports Month,” K.D. related, “as it allowed me to put together a great group of co-sponsors and show some kids—who may never had had this kind of opportunity—exactly how a firearm is built and then fired.”
K.D. had the perfect platform in place to launch such an event to celebrate 2018’s National Shooting Sports Month. He runs No Other Choice (NOC) firearms training, located in Olivette, Missouri. His program takes a sensible and unique approach to firearms training. While NOC offers advanced training for experienced students, its primary focus (K.D. refers to it as hyper-focus) is to help enlighten new shooters about the realities of being a concealed carry weapon holder, primarily, how to avoid the confrontation at all costs before resorting to deadly force.
K.D. has a colorful personality and is the kind of guy you feel immediately comfortable with, whether in person or on the phone. (Take a look at some of his videos and you’ll see why.). It’s a personality that’s leant itself well to teaching this sensitive subject.
It’s also one that excels at embracing opportunity, and that’s just what K.D. did when the idea of creating a totally unique opportunity for youths during last year’s National Shooting Sports Month. With K.D. driving the plan, No Other Choice and its sister project, Aiming for the Truth, partnered with rifle manufacturer CMMG and clothing and outerwear specialists Propper for a very special day.
“We got to take the kids to the CMMG facility to see how an AR-15 is engineered from the ground up. The kids met the engineers and designers, coming to the conclusion that these folks could make anything but decided to make high-end rifles,” Dixie explained.
“Propper did a great job providing the participants with custom shooting shirts, and seeing the children’s and parent’s faces while they learned how an AR-15 comes to life, and to see them gain a new respect for … ,” K.D. told me, clearly enjoying the memory. “And the best was yet to come.”
After the CMMG tour, the group headed to the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Columbia, Missouri, where the youths were given proper instruction in safety and firearms handling and then given the opportunity to shoot the guns at the firing line.
“Those smiles were priceless, as was my own as those kids became shooters that afternoon.”
Good Deed Gets Payback
“While No Other Choice enjoys many different business ventures, this opportunity to be featured in NSSF’s National Shooting Sports Month was a very special one. Just the NSSF name gave a different level of attention for my business,” said Dixied. No stranger to social media, with a presence on Facebook, Instagram and a YouTube channel to boot, K.D.’s promotion of his youth event during August proved to be a boom for his business.
“Our video about the youth day came out last August, during National Shooting Sports Month, and immediately the web traffic increased on my site, I’d say by roughly 40 percent. Of course, that particular video would have the potential for great numbers, but the residual effect was an overall increase in attention,” said Dixie.
It is those intangible connections, those relationships that are not necessarily quantified by internet hits or social media “likes,” that can be the one that will later show the irrefutable value of networking, especially in the firearms industry. K.D. indicated to me that though the numbers on his social media efforts definitely showed increased engagement, it was the intangibles that have made a definite difference to his bottom line.
Dixie is a huge proponent of the #LetsGoShooting marketing effort developed by NSSF and the signature hashtag of National Shooting Sports Month. He believes in promoting as many opportunities for people to go shooting and receive training as possible—especially those who’ve been raised in an inner-city environment. Our industry could certainly use more people like Dixie, who see the advantages National Shooting Sports Month provides not just in increased shooter participation, but exposure to those who only get sound bites about firearms from the evening news and paper headlines.
“When you have a business like mine, a business built around sharing not only knowledge but about sharing a mindset, you can quickly see the value of not just exposure but the right exposure,” Dixie told me. “We want to help people realign their attitude. We want to educate folks—including students, teachers and parents—on their Constitutional rights, and that requires both networking and exposure, which the NSSF brings to the table.”
In addition to NOC, Dixie is the developer of the “Truth” pistols, a pair of customized Heckler & Koch VP9 handguns with intelligent, highly useable options and accessories. An ergonomic design, the Truth handguns celebrate a pro-2nd Amendment theme, with the larger pistol coming in a case highlighting Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street—where black businesses thrive—and the smaller gun embracing the Underground Railroad. Both themes are Dixie’s way of sharing the dangers of gun control through oppression, a topic about which he is both animated and adamant.