Accountants with guns


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Preacherman
November 24, 2005, 12:36 PM
From the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/24/nyregion/24shoot.html):

Now, Accounting Can Get Its Gun

By VINCENT M. MALLOZZI

Published: November 24, 2005

HIGHLAND LAKES, N.J. - This past summer, members of a Manhattan law firm went on a field trip to Danbury, Conn., where they spent an entire day at a range without swinging bats or golf clubs. The members of Kobre & Kim LLP were there not to hit and hack, but to lock and load, and to experience the thrill of firing pistols, rifles and even submachine guns.

While golf courses have long been the backdrop for many a company outing, some firms have discovered the shooting range.

"We do very aggressive litigation and trial work," said Michael Kim, a partner in the firm. "So we prefer an activity that dovetails nicely with that aggressive culture, and hitting a little white ball on the greens doesn't do much for us."

In the last few years, a growing number of professionals like Mr. Kim are abandoning traditional company outings like softball, golf or fishing, choosing instead to escape the pressures of their busy workdays by blowing off steam - and rounds of ammunition - at shooting ranges that give corporate retreats some of the atmosphere of military attacks.

"We offer a thrilling experience denied a lot of New Yorkers who have never fired a gun," said Andrew Massimilian, 42. He owns Manhattan Shooting Excursions, which takes individuals and corporate groups on shooting parties at seven ranges scattered around New York State, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey. The excursions are held outside New York City because almost all of the firearms in Mr. Massimilian's vast arsenal are illegal to possess in the five boroughs.

Chip Brian, president of Comtex News Network Inc., a distributor of financial news in Manhattan, has found that firing a few friendly rounds is an effective approach to bonding and networking. "At the end of the day, it's all about getting to know your clients better," he said, "and a shooting trip is one of the most unique ways to do that."

"There's a huge difference in taking clients out to dinner, with nice music playing in the background, as opposed to taking them to a sporting event, which is much more exciting," Mr. Brian said. "A shooting trip takes that to the next level - it really makes a lasting impression."

Russ Savage, a Manhattan lawyer who took a shooting holiday earlier this year, said that some of the men and women who have pulled the trigger on the increasingly popular excursion, especially those in the world of high finance, may have done so to gain "a feeling of empowerment."

"For major corporate executives whose job it is to lead, this is a much more powerful way for them to maintain a sense of aura than by simply taking their people on a company picnic," Mr. Savage said. "It's an exhibition of strength and power."

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Mr. Massimilian staged one of those exhibitions in a thickly wooded area at Highland Lakes in Sussex County, N.J., where a small army that included doctors, lawyers and Wall Street types, all wearing padded earmuffs and protective glasses, waited on his command to fire their guns into paper targets set 50 yards away in front of a mountainside.

When the signal was given, 17 men and women began blasting away at the targets, filling the cool air with the scent of gunpowder and the kind of echoing booms that can keep a deer up all night.

"Everyone goes golfing or to a Yankees game, but this is a much more exciting way to bring people together," said Anthony Belluzzi, a 31-year-old institutional sales trader for Knight Capital Markets in Jersey City. "It's great for people like me who sit in offices all day, under fluorescent lights, staring at computer screens."

Are field trips that involve packing heat instead of sandwiches detrimental to society?

"They might not be the best thing for a society that is already way too aggressive," Dr. Kenneth Porter, a Manhattan psychiatrist, said. "When you look at what is in the media, and what kids growing up are exposed to, something like this could have a negative effect on the overall mental health of the population.

"However," Dr. Porter continued, "shooting can be viewed as a legitimate sport and can be seen as a constructive outlet to express aggression, so it cuts both ways."

Seconds later, Dr. Porter, sitting at a picnic table at the Highland Lakes site with his fiancée and her son, picked up a long-range rifle and began firing at a wooden bull's-eye, shell casings flying behind him as he squeezed off round after round, his body recoiling slightly after every blast.

"Before today, I thought something like this was unequivocally harmful," he said. "But now I've learned otherwise."

Mr. Massimilian, whose grandfather once owned a firearms manufacturing company in Germany, holds an M.B.A. from Columbia. He worked for 20 years in the corporate world, with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Vornado Realty Trust, before establishing his shooting excursion business two years ago.

He said the fees for his excursions range from $150 to $600 a participant, depending on the firearms used and the level of personal instruction offered. His most expensive guns include the Springfield Armory M1-A Super Match long-range rifle; the Armalite AR50, a bolt-action, 50-caliber, long-range target rifle; the Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun; and the Heckler & Koch Elite, a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Some customers, like Mr. Belluzzi, the trader, chose guns with special nostalgic or sentimental value, such as the M1 Garand, a G.I. infantry rifle used during World War II, which he had fired most of the afternoon.

"Both of my grandfathers served in the war and used the exact same weapon," he said. "I thought it would be cool to see what it felt like."

Mr. Massimilian blames Hollywood for the negative images attached to shooting.

"Hollywood marginalizes us by showing three types of shooters: criminals, policemen and soldiers," he said. "They never show the doctor, the banker or the father-and-son teams who just want to go out for a friendly shoot."

Or the aggressive lawyer, like Mr. Kim, who is targeting a return date.

"We're going back to shoot again," he said. "And we'll probably make it an annual event."

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losangeles
November 24, 2005, 01:11 PM
Sounds like a great idea to me!

migoi
November 24, 2005, 02:12 PM
in what was essentially a "golf with guns" type of fund raiser for the Boy Scouts at Risk program here in Hawaii. The local council solicited companies to send 4 person teams up for a day of competitive shooting experiences.

We set up venues for shooting trap style shotgun, .22 rifle, .22 pistol, and archery. The teams rotated through the venues and accumulated points for each station. We had to limit the pistol and rifle to .22 due to the limitations of the range at the camp. Plans for improving the range are in the works and we hope to be able to go up caliber with at least the pistol shooting next year.

Each shooter at each venue had an NRA qualified instructor with them since quite a few had never touched a firearm before. I helped with the trap style shotgunning. The trap head was situated to fire going into the prevailing winds which caused the clays to float forever. This made for a really high percentage of hits.

Comments from the participants indicated they enjoyed themselves a lot and were going to recruit other workmates into bringing more teams next year.

The really good part... the instructors got to shoot a lot between teams arriving and we raised quite a bit of money to help boys not able to afford to be in Boy Scouts.

The president of HRA (Hawaii Rifle Association) is closely connected with the Boy Scouts and he runs different shooting days for troops during jamborees all the time. There is a group of about 15 instructors he calls on to help.

I'm of the opinion that anytime we can get groups of non-firearms oriented people out to the range the better our chances of limiting the laws limiting firearms.

migoi

Spreadfire Arms
November 24, 2005, 02:18 PM
i have been approached by some execs looking to get a few of the executive committee members to get together and go out and shoot C3 weapons as well as standard weapons.

most of these management outings require some sort of bonding, leadership, and teamwork factors. i think it would be good to incorporate some sort of structure to the program, other than to just shoot lead downrange.

also, with people who have never shot a firearm, or who are smaller in stature, they may be intimidated by larger caliber weapons. thus you would also probably have to have a few .22's on hand, as well as some big guns too, so everyone gets to have fun.

i am currently working with a security and investigations company in setting something like this up.

the biggest things for me, in addition to the class structure, is insurance and a range to use!

MachIVshooter
November 24, 2005, 02:26 PM
While I like the fact that more and more folks are getting into the shooting sports, I do not believe that gaining a feeling of empowerment is the healthiest reason; certainly expressing a new found interest in this manner has a negative connotation. This article could easily scare some folks, being that there is little or no mention of safety and respect for said power. Perhaps the author has an agenda.............

His most expensive guns include the Springfield Armory M1-A Super Match long-range rifle; the Armalite AR50, a bolt-action, 50-caliber, long-range target rifle; the Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun; and the Heckler & Koch Elite, a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.


This kinda made me chuckle. Not exactly a high-end armory, when one considers that many a field grade O/U shotgun cost more than all of those combined.

MatthewVanitas
November 24, 2005, 04:04 PM
"However," Dr. Porter continued, "shooting can be viewed as a legitimate sport and can be seen as a constructive outlet to express aggression, so it cuts both ways."

Am I just a freak of nature, or does anyone else find shooting to be a non-aggressive practice? I find it very contemplative myself, especially when I'm alone at the outdoor range. If I'm hyped or distracted, I shoot poorly, so I relax, apply the fundamentals, and watch my shooting improve as I fall into the zone. Heck, I don't even find IDPA to be aggressive, though it is definitely more stressful; my best IDPA shooting (relatively) is when I relax, slow-is-smooth-and-smooth-is-fast, and apply the fundamentals. Running an IDPA scenario properly feels almost like choreographed dance, rather than busting windows with rocks.

I'm just bothered by this non-shooters' perception that gunfolks scream obscenities at targets while spraying them with AK-47 fire, and step back from the firing line coursing with adrenaline and soaked with sweat.

Or is it just me? -MV

det.pat
November 24, 2005, 04:14 PM
shooting is just like any other activity, just what you make of it. it can be contemplative and spiritual, or fast and aggressive. we make shooting what is for each of us.
pat

Standing Wolf
November 24, 2005, 04:55 PM
Chip Brian, president of Comtex News Network Inc., a distributor of financial news in Manhattan, has found that firing a few friendly rounds is an effective approach to bonding and networking.

Every time I bond and network with criminals, I like to have a gun handy.

Seriously: the more people who shoot, the safer our nation is.

Khornet
November 24, 2005, 07:17 PM
if I'm not mistaken, the annoying point of this article is the idea that guns are fundamentally aggressive tools, and that he who holds a gun in hand is fantasizing about mayhem. It's a cheap, easy stereotype which makes a good newspaper column but contributes nothing to the truth.

Newspeople are fundamentally lazy. When they can drop a story into a comfy paradigm which requires no further thought, they will do so. Soundbites, and all that.

Otherguy Overby
November 24, 2005, 07:47 PM
I'm just bothered by this non-shooters' perception that gunfolks scream obscenities at targets while spraying them with AK-47 fire, and step back from the firing line coursing with adrenaline and soaked with sweat.

Or is it just me? -MV

Nah, I tripped over the same statement made by a "knowledgeable" shrink. World champions in anything know that discipline, practice, restraint and knowledge are a basis for success. Only a true leftist "knows" victory can be achieved through emotion. They still believe in "Rocky" movies.

Winning in anything requiring physical skill can't be achieved through rage.

Zonamo
November 24, 2005, 09:20 PM
It's fun to charter an accountant,
And sail the wide accountan-cy.
To find, explore the funds offshore,
And skirt the shoals of bankruptcy.

It can be manly in insurance.
We'll up your premium semi-anually.
It's all tax-deductible,
We're fairly incorruptible.
We're sailing on the wide accountan-cy.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=31735&d=1132885209

benEzra
November 25, 2005, 07:37 AM
Am I just a freak of nature, or does anyone else find shooting to be a non-aggressive practice? I find it very contemplative myself, especially when I'm alone at the outdoor range. If I'm hyped or distracted, I shoot poorly, so I relax, apply the fundamentals, and watch my shooting improve as I fall into the zone. Heck, I don't even find IDPA to be aggressive, though it is definitely more stressful; my best IDPA shooting (relatively) is when I relax, slow-is-smooth-and-smooth-is-fast, and apply the fundamentals. Running an IDPA scenario properly feels almost like choreographed dance, rather than busting windows with rocks.

Shooting is Zen. Control your breathing, empty your mind, your front sight becomes the world for an instant...

I once went to the range immediately after going running, and was still wearing a heart-rate monitor. I jogged downrange to set up targets, then back to the firing line. Glanced at the heart rate monitor out of curiosity, then put a magazine in the 3913, loaded a round, put the front sight on the target, and focused hard on it, watched my breathing...and glanced again at the HR monitor to see that my HR had suddenly decreased by >20 bpm. That surprised me greatly at the moment, but it made sense after I thought about it.

I'm just bothered by this non-shooters' perception that gunfolks scream obscenities at targets while spraying them with AK-47 fire, and step back from the firing line coursing with adrenaline and soaked with sweat.
Heh. Last time I took my "AK" to the range, I fired only 70 rounds over the course of 2 hours, from that gun only. Spent a good bit of time on the 200 yard line. Very relaxing, even including the jog to and from the target stand...

Nathaniel Firethorn
November 25, 2005, 07:45 AM
Manhattan Shooting Excursions website:

http://www.eliteshooters.com/

http://www.eliteshooters.com/images/truck1.jpg
http://www.eliteshooters.com/images/truck.jpg

- NF

keyhole
November 25, 2005, 08:22 AM
It's just fun.:)

williamlayton
November 25, 2005, 08:26 AM
On the surface it would appear that much of what was written about the outings WAS a negative understanding of the sport/rights/concept.
I find, personally, that guns/shooting are very enjoyable. I can shoot alone, which is most often the case, without need of interaction with others. On the other hand, here I am interacting with folks of like interest and, well, also at the range if the opportunity presents itself.
The interaction is not agressive, well, again, it can be depending on the subject, the mind-set of a person on a day to day basis, and how his/her day has been going.
HUMMMMM--Shooting is still not an agressive mind-set for me though the conversation may be a little more prejudiced, depending on the subject.
Maybe we should just shoot off at the range,and well, not here on the forums.
Blessings

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