After the number of licensed hunters fell from 7 percent to 5 percent of Americans over the past few decades, the gun industry realized that it had to do something. The NYT's Mike McIntire has the excellent report on where they're spending millions:

The campaign picked up steam about five years ago with the completion of a major study that urged a stronger emphasis on the “recruitment and retention” of new hunters and target shooters.

The overall objective was summed up in another study, commissioned last year by the shooting sports industry, that suggested encouraging children experienced in firearms to recruit other young people. The report, which focused on children ages 8 to 17, said these “peer ambassadors” should help introduce wary youngsters to guns slowly, perhaps through paintball, archery or some other less intimidating activity.

“The point should be to get newcomers started shooting something, with the natural next step being a move toward actual firearms,” said the report.

This was the feature story on Sunday, but it will have plenty of shelf life. And it's the first in a series on the growing availability of firearms in the United States. Read the whole thing tonight in bed if you must.