Reality is 90 percent perception. If you believe—perceive—the zombie apocalypse is coming and do nothing to prepare for it, well, shame on you. But zombies are not real. Or are they?
Let’s look at the facts. Goggle “zombie” and you will get about 333,000,000 hits. That’s four times as many hits as you’ll get if you Goggle the word “vampires” and twice the hits you’ll get if you Goggle “hunters.” We trust the Internet don’t we? This could be proof that zombies only truly exist in cyberspace. If that’s the case, then why are so many people preparing to kill them?
First, we need to consider exactly what a zombie is. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word zombie as “a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead or a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior.” We’ve all seen folks like this. Very possibly, we have all, at times, been like this. However, neither of these definitions—which accurately represent someone who is overly tired or excessively hung over—should constitute concerns of global fear.
It’s more likely that one of the other accepted definitions is driving this worldwide panic and hysteria: “the notion that a dead body may be reanimated by some supernatural power or voodoo.” This concept, further enhanced by pulp fiction, has turned the zombie into a flesh-eating monster that can pass along its curse or sickness by biting another human. And, it has also created the notion that the only way this creature can be stopped is by a head shot or decapitation.
Based on the Internet alone, it would seem zombies are more popular than vampires or hunters, and as hard as this might be to believe, it could be argued it’s indeed the reality. Regardless, we now have ammunition from Hornady engineered for shooting zombies. Mossberg is offering a Model 500 shotgun specifically for shooting zombies, Crimson Trace has laser grips for handguns that are marketed to zombie hunters. And finally, DPMS’s Outbreak Omega is an immensely popular shooting event where all the targets are zombies.
While reality might very well indeed be 90 percent perception, and while the perception of the masses might be that zombies are real, they are, as a point of fact, fictional. However, this doesn’t mean zombies aren’t a real and large part of modern culture. There’s indeed a reason Hornady, Mossberg, Crimson Trace and other companies are making zombie-specific shooting products: Normal, hard-working, red-blooded American gun owners want them.
As much as some of the old timers think all this zombie business is as stupid as a cat on roller skates, the younger generation realizes that everything related to zombies is as funny as a cat on roller skates. And that is precisely the reason all things related to zombies are good for gun owners. It makes owning and shooting guns more fun.
Hunters sometimes get too caught up in the legacy and tradition of hunting to acknowledge that owning, accessorizing and shooting guns is and should be fun. Those who don’t hunt, but are part of the gun culture because they see guns as the common-sense approach to self defense, sometimes take it all too serious. Some become “tactards” and turn their nose up at anything zombie related, calling the entire phenomenon “juvenile.”
Shame on them all!
We can argue all we want that guns are important because they’re part of our American heritage. We can preach about guns being a citizen’s last resort for personal protection, and we can give homage to the Second Amendment. And we should. But we should also acknowledge that guns are fun to shoot and shooting zombie targets is, for many, more fun than shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun, little squares and circles with a precision rifle and blockish looking cardboard silhouette targets with a pistol.
The more fun you have shooting, the more you’ll shoot. The more you shoot, the better shot you’ll become. If you’re a better shot you’ll have more fun, become a better hunter and be more prepared to protect yourself.
That is fact. That is reality. And that is why zombies are very, very real.