This week on the Black Man With A Gun Show podcast, Michael J. Woodland takes over for me as the host. He talks about scopes and long range competition. I give a little update on what I was doing at this years SHOT SHOW along with some motivation.
The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show or SHOT SHOW is an annual event that brings the international firearms industry, law enforcement, military and media together. It’s not open to the public. It’s highly coveted by people in the gun community because it’s a show and tell of all the new products. The day before the show opens there is a “media day” that is partially by invite only and strict registration. If you get to go, busses take you from designated hotels around Las Vegas, out to the Boulder City Range which looks like it could double for a moonscape in a SCI-Fi movie in space and sparseness. It’s here that a quiet battle is waged by traditional writers, photojournalist and new media warriors that blog and podcast. The writers are often distinguishable by age, and or dress. They are more likely to get the private invite to see new things, get the catered meal and be first at unveilings. The bloggers and podcasters are usually younger, not dressed for the surprisingly cold desert range, don’t have the logoed swag representing the firearms industry but more famous in appearance. You have probably seen their YouTube videos, Facebook post or heard their podcasts. There is a culture shift. The good news is that relationships are getting better every year with all parties. . I missed it this year because of travel arrangements but that was ok. It was not my focus this time.
I went this year for three reasons. The first was to get some “face-time” with some representatives in the digital media space to level up from being a podcast to video/cable TV and a future employer. I’ve grown a lot in the last decade and ready for a new challenge. With the help and professional production of Thundershot Studios, we created a “sizzle reel” showing my presence and skills of improvisation on screen. It helped me realize I need to lose a few pounds too.
The second was to connect with a few companies to see if they would be interested in sponsorship and sharing new products with you guys. And the final part was to connect with friends that I would never see except here. I missed a ton of people though and decided to take the time to rest. I have found out that Las Vegas, Nevada is a great place to rest if you don’t care about spending money, gambling or running around. If you have a good hotel, and I was in one of the best I have ever been in, you can refresh, download and get back to yourself. I was at the Venetian Hotel. One of the nicest places I have stayed outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s, guest palace. No, really. The marble floors, king size bed, sunken living room suite, large bathroom with tub and separate shower, three televisions… should I go on? It was so nice, I felt guilty. But I needed it. I got some rest.
One of the reasons I went searching for a job was that my current one has me stressed, frustrated and unhappy 99% of the time. The Delta Defense, that sponsors the Black Man With A Gun Show podcast saved me and gave me the opportunity to get to this event. Delta Defense publishes Concealed Carry Magazine and runs the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). The USCCA is the first and largest, member-owned association designed to educate, train, equip & insure responsibly armed Americans. They are on a mission to change the way society views the responsibly armed citizen! They were founded in 2003. Considered an “overnight success” (that took ten years), Delta has been named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5000 fastest growing privately held companies in both 2012 and 2013. They are the 11th fastest growing company in Wisconsin. Delta Defense is a group of innovative, hard-working, fun-loving people who are trying to change the world. For more information, please visit www.DeltaDefense.com
I got the opportunity to meet the chairman emeritus (second generation) of Armscor, Demetrio “Bolo” Tuason. It was cool meeting many of the members of that Filipino American company out of Nevada.
I got to have dinner with the spouses and the ladies of the Women’s Gun Show podcast, Barbara Baird and Carrie Lightfoot. I laughed and enjoyed the company of Dan and Cheryl Todd of AZFirearms.com, that graciously allowed me to sit with them at the State of the Industry dinner.
I ducked in and out of the press room where was the only place I saw some of my friends in new media when I wasn’t taking a look at the impressive displays by the industry. High points of the show for me was the new pistol by Caracal pistol that had the rear sight about an inch from the front sight. The UAE company disappeared four years ago but is back with a US operation. Met a friend of a friend that is starting a new company that builds plate carriers and commo rigs for the military called Arbor Arms, Jon Zummallen. I checked a couple uniform supply companies in the military and law enforcement areas because I am always looking for a pair of comfortable shoes. If you work on your feet all day like a first responder, your feet are a priority. There are a lot of shoes out there but the ones that hold up are few.
There were quite a few new products from Taylor’s and Company. Smith and Wesson and Springfield Armory.
My last night was spent laughing with six Asian American brothers I only get to connect with at SHOT Show. The ethnic jokes were steady. It was a interesting mix of law enforcement, health, tech and firearms industry guys that shoot together every now and then in California. I missed a dinner party I was supposed to be at with USCCA because I am Kenn Blanchard. Sometimes I need my handler and she was at home. We managed to end up at a soul food restaurant in North Las Vegas. It was like a scene from Rush Hour 5.