SHOT Kicks Off with a Bang at Media Day

More than 1,000 members of the outdoor media gathered for Media Day at the Range to kick off the 2013 SHOT Show on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas. Of course, politics were discussed as much as products. With the smell of gunpowder in the air, some of the biggest names in the business, like Craig Boddington, Mark Keefe and Wayne Van Zwoll discussed the immediate future of firearms.

The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) is the industry trade show for the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It is where manufactures of firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics and related products and services gather to display their wares and write orders with dealers. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who owns and sponsors the event, buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries attend.

Widespread misinformation is being spewed by millions of uninformed Americans who have bought into calling AR-15s assault weapons. I imagine they would have been aghast at the number of these “modern sporting rifles” being recreationally enjoyed by law abiding gun enthusiasts. True assault weapons are automatic military and law enforcement weapons, like M-16s. As far as I know, there were no fully automatic assault weapons at the range to be shot by the media.

I’ve touched on the topic of modern sporting rifles many times, but in today’s political climate it’s a topic that needs to be continually addressed. AR-15s are not assault weapons. They are semi-automatic rifles that operate no differently than semi-automatic rifles built back in the 1950s. They operate the same as semi-automatic duck hunting shotguns and the ever-popular Ruger 10-22. The difference is only in how they look.

Historically, sporting firearms follow a militaristic pattern. After each war in the history of our nation, firearms of the day come to mimic those used by soldiers. After World War I, bolt-action rifles became popular with sportsmen. Today, we see rifles in the hands of hunters and shooters that look like those are soldiers are using in the Middle East. AR-15s look scary, but they are no more dangerous than the semi-automatic handguns, shotguns and sporting rifles people have owned and shot for well over 50 years.

So I saddled up to a shooting bench, and wrapped my hands around a DPMS chambered in .223. I took aim down range and with the first pull of the trigger I punched a hole in paper 100 yards away. And man, did it feel good. It felt as good as any bullet I’ve ever fired. It’s so hard for me to understand how my freedoms are under attack because of the acts of a few crazies. The crimes were horrendous and the criminals should be made an example of; not sensationalized on television and in print.

There is no telling how many thousands of rounds of ammo were fired at Media Day, but I do know this; every shot fired was sent down range by an American who despises the idea of letting politicians enact an agenda at our expense. So we’ll all write positive stories about our experience to try to inform a few of the misinformed, and we’ll then grimace as we look at our depleted paychecks because more of our money is being taken away by the new tax increases.

See you down the trail…

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