SHOT Show 2023 – It’s The People

Seeing all the new products being released at SHOT Show is cool. Since I caught the SHOT Show crud during the show and not after it, I didn’t get to see as much as I usually did. Nonetheless, what I really enjoy most about going to the SHOT Show is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

I’m not the best at taking selfies but others are. I ran into Charlie Chambers who I first met at a Gun Rights Policy Conference at Range Day. He was there with Amanda Suffecool and Rob Campbell of Eye on the Target Radio. This was taken early in the day before the rain arrived and the wind picked up.

Then there are the people you run into in the Media Room. In this case it was Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun with Charlie and John Petrolino of As Charlie noted, all three of us were recipients of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Ray Carter Blogger of the Year Award.

Thursday was interesting as lunch and then dinner ran the political spectrum from Right to Left. Lunch was with Paul Valone and his wife Lori of Grass Roots North Carolina along longtime GRNC volunteer Josette Chmiel. Paul is the author of the book Rules for Anti-Radicals which deals with defeating leftism.

L-R: Me, Paul, Josette, Lori

Thursday evening I swung to the opposite end of the political spectrum when I had dinner with people from the Liberal Gun Club. Beyond the wonderful food at Bouchon, I had a great time reconnecting with Lara and Ed Smith and trainer/revolver guru Grant Cunningham. Grant was at the SHOT Show representing Lubriplate which makes non-toxic firearm lubricants (among many other things). It had been years since I had seen Grant face-to-face so it was really fun to catch up with him.

Finally, there is my old friend Michael Bane. I ran into him at Range Day where he introduced me to James Tarr. Later that evening, I had dinner with Michael and his “sweetie” along with Paul Erhardt and one person whose name I still don’t remember. The Complementary Spouse insisted I get a picture. Unfortunately, I forgot. Fast forward to Thursday when Michael was doing the giveaway for a customized Tisas 10mm 1911 at the SDS Imports/Tisas booth. His “sweetie” was kind enough to take this picture of us and the Complementary Spouse was pleased.

There were a lot more people I ran into at SHOT than I can name without leaving someone out. Despite coming down with the crud and missing a day of the show because I stayed in bed, it was a good trip and it was the people that made the trip.