The 2009 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades) Show was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL from January 15-18, 2009. Greg, Jeff and I had a lot of fun; we got to see and play with the latest firearms and related products, and to see some old friends and create some new ones.
The mood at the Show was a mixture of apprehension and opportunism. Apprehension for obvious reasons, as Barack Hussein Obama, a sworn enemy of the Second Amendment, was set to take the reins of government amidst an almost-religious fervor which had swept the country using such benign and vague words as "Hope" and "Change" as its mantra. Opportunism because, in the words of Jeff Quinn, "Obama is the greatest gun salesman since Oliver Winchester". Gun sales have been setting records across the country since the election in November, and sales of so-called "Assault Rifles" and .50-caliber rifles (as well as ammunition for all) have caused every manufacturer to be back-ordered for months, if not years. This will continue and expand to other types of rifles, handguns and shotguns as the new Administration and their friends in Congress take aim at an ever-expanding array of firearms, with the ultimate goal of removing the Second Amendment entirely.
We do not know what the future holds for the Second Amendment, for the rest of the Bill of Rights, or for the fate of the United States and the world as a whole, but we do expect things to get much worse before they get better. We expect the economy to continue to decline as Obama seeks to exponentially expand the power of government, and to extend the government's tentacles ever further into the private sector (both of which was begun by our former President George W. Bush, an honorable, if sometimes misguided, Republican). We expect the attacks upon our Constitutional rights to extend not only to the Second Amendment, but to the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments as well. We expect Obama's judicial appointments, rubber-stamped by a Liberal Legislative branch, to create ripples that will take decades to dispel. And we expect a good percentage of the American people to be perfectly willing to sell their freedoms in exchange for a government-feathered nest.
In the midst of all this, American ingenuity and, dare I say, "Hope", continue. New innovations, such as Ruger's radical LCR revolver and Kel-Tec's upcoming .308 Bullpup rifle, were the talk of the Show, even more so than the Liberal takeover of government. The feeding frenzy towards assault-style rifles has resulted in new innovations and new manufacturing techniques as gun companies scramble to keep up with demand, and we look to the future both with great apprehension and a glimmer of hope that the American people will see the error of their ways and seek to turn the tide come the 2010 mid-term elections.
In the meantime, we must continue in our support of each other and the firearms industry in general, and JOIN THE NRA. This has never been more important than it is right now. If you are not an NRA member, please join immediately. If you are already a member, please upgrade your membership (as Jeff, Greg and I have all done since the election). If you have any friends who are not members, please encourage them to join. It is only through the united strength of the vast numbers of gun owners that we have a chance to weather the approaching storm.
January 21st, 2009
Thanks for visiting SHOT 2009 with us!