My fingers have become numb from typing. Obviously, I haven’t been writing for my blog but I have been writing. I’ve been trying to get caught up on some article assignments and I am now 2/3 of the way to being caught up. Of course, being caught up only means that I will then return to other writing projects that are sitting in the wings, which includes two book projects, “The Pines Review,” and a couple of other projects that are close to my gizzard.I’ve decided to keep the name of this bog as it is. Why fiddle with something that works? Too often we are tempted to do exactly that and when we succumb to the temptation to tinker it is the rare person who can honestly say they’ve improved things. That’s a problem that plagues the entire outdoor industry--too many people want to “fix” something that isn’t broken. Throughout the four days of the SHOT Show I kept hearing complaints about different aspects of the shooting and hunting world needing to be “fixed.” I was starting to wonder if what some of these people were talking about was castrating NSSF because a complaint that I heard several times was that NSSF should not allow the law enforcement/tactical companies to exhibit at the SHOT Show.
When I asked why, the answer was usually that SHOT stood for Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade and not cops and robbers. The funny thing is that I can remember when the big controversy in the press room was the presence of “black guns” in the show. In fact, one day during a past SHOT show, the chief executive of NSSF rushed through the aisles of the show to a booth where the infamous black guns were being displayed and he ordered the guns removed or the company would be evicted!The guns were taken down. Another year there was a controversy over paintball guns and still another one was over the presence of crossbows. All of these disputes have faded and finally disappeared, but I am not so sure the debate over the law enforcement and tactical exhibitors will be so quickly resolved. The disconnect between these exhibitors and the rest of the shooting and hunting industry is one that is too easily fueled by grumbling malcontents who want to maintain a purist approach to shooting and hunting. I think that is an entirely wrong approach. There is already too much division between various groups of the outdoor industry and grumbling about the presence of law enforcement and tactical exhibitors at the SHOT Show isn’t helping to heal those divisions.