Camp Perry hopeful needs help getting to competition


July 5, 2003, 11:26 AM
Sharpshooter has his sights on U.S. title
By Joshua L. Kwan
Mercury News

When Brian David needs to relax and escape the frustrations of the day, he packs three pistols into a briefcase lined with foam and drives from his apartment in Mountain View to the tree-lined hills of Cupertino.

At an outdoor shooting range, the reigning state pistol-shooting champion lays out his guns, puts on a headset and loads a magazine clip with bullets.

Holding a pistol in his right hand and staring down a black circle on a target 25 yards away, David is no longer an unemployed 36-year-old worried about making the rent.

There is ``nothing but sight alignment and trigger control,'' he says.

In less than two weeks, David will be competing at the National Rifle & Pistol Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio, having qualified by winning the California state competition in his first try. To get to Ohio, David has been asking friends and fellow members of the Sunnyvale Rod & Gun Club for financial help.

One club member donated round-trip air fare. Another friend slipped him an envelope with money inside and a good-luck note scribbled outside. His older sister, Liz David, promised to chip in.

``It makes me feel better when someone gives me something and I can give something in return,'' said Brian David.

In David's gentle, genial manner, he already has given them something -- the informal shooting lessons and equipment advice that he doles out as the club's resident sharpshooter. And perhaps that's why some of them were quick to help David when he was invited to the national competition but couldn't afford to make the trip.

So far, David estimates he's raised half of the $2,000 in travel expenses and competition fees.

Two years ago, Stuart Eichert, a 26-year-old software engineer, walked into Eddy's Sports Shop in Mountain View with the vague notion of wanting to overcome his fear of guns. Behind the counter was David, a son of the owner, Jerry, and a grandson of Eddy, the founder of the store.

David invited Eichert to the club, gave him a lesson in firearm safety and introduced him to the thrill of shooting a gun.

``He's willing to talk to just about anybody who walks in off the street,'' Eichert said. ``I thought, `Wow, this is fun.' And I've been practicing ever since.''

``My brother is relaxed and easygoing,'' said Liz David. ``That's his personality, just relaxed and easygoing.''

David is a former machinist by trade and the manager of his father's gun shop by passion. Eddy's Sports Shop was a fixture for more than 50 years among the small crowd of National Rifle Association members in the Bay Area.

David's father, Jerry, taught his four children, including daughter Liz, how to shoot a gun and fall in love with its culture. ``When your dad has a gun shop, you learn to shoot at a fairly young age,'' said David.

But Jerry David was forced to close the store last year after both his health and his business deteriorated. Brian David found work with a gun distributor for awhile, but was laid off in February.

These days, David spends much of his time at the shooting range, socializing with club members and getting ready for the big competition. He practices most often with a .32-caliber pistol because he can save about a quarter each bullet by making them with a machine in his garage.

In the speed segment of the pistol competition, David must get off five shots at 25 yards within 10 seconds. Endurance becomes a factor with higher-caliber guns because of the weight and stronger recoil of the pistol.

``I don't have to go running and do push-ups every morning, even though I probably should,'' David said.

Liz David sometimes worries if it's such a good idea for her brother, without much money and currently unemployed, to devote so much of his energy on shooting competitions, which don't carry much monetary reward.

But she quickly returns to this redeeming notion: ``It's just a good life experience for him. In a way, it'll enhance his general life skills, sticking with something and completing it and having this accomplishment. I think it's admirable.''



Brian David will compete in the National Rifle Association's National Pistol Championship July 16-19. To contact him, call (650) 967-7176 or e-mail

The contact e-mail fro brian is: (

The original post scrambled the addy by running a line under it.
Contact Joshua L. Kwan at or (650) 688-7580.

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July 5, 2003, 05:42 PM
Hey folks, we're the good guys, remember... We have a chance here to show the news media what we are about! This news story was written up by the Knight Ridder news organization, one of the most anti gun media outlets in the nation. Knight Ridder was challenged to write about social situations and editorials in a positive way examining all sides of issues, since their history has been to not always show both sides of the coin.

Knight Ridder accepted the challenge and has begun to write news articles on subjects that they do not necessarily agree with. This is the first time in more than thirty years that I have seen anything postive about firearms reported on in the San Jose Mercury News, a Knight Ridder Paper.

This is not just about sending a man to the Camp Perry Pistol Matches, it is also about our response to a positive story printed in a mostly anti gun paper. I know I'm making a donation, cause I want to show the world we, gun owners and shooters are not a bunch of "Redneck Bubba's" sitting around spitting tobacco juice an shootin' road side signs.

I think "our" public image is worth somthing good and fine. We need to devote time and money to work on it and polish our public image up 'til it is shining bright as possible.


July 6, 2003, 12:08 AM
I wonder if that place in the hills of Cupertino is actually Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club?

July 6, 2003, 12:33 AM
Yes it is, and Brian is a good guy!

July 21, 2003, 12:31 AM
Brian David made it to the National Shooting Matches at Camp Perry. I checked the results on The Presidents Pistol Match, he placed 198 in a field of 560.

Slow fire 164-2 Timed fire 92-2 Rapid fire 88-2 Aggregate 344-6.

I collected these results from the CMP site ( There may be other match results I am not aware of.

I think he done good! took a lot of effort getting there.


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