There’s a certain tension in the air. Indeed, the future holds lots of uncertainty for those of us with an affinity to the guns and shooting culture. What, if anything, will be happening in Washington during coming weeks to put a noose on our Second Amendment rights. Is change coming, or can we ride out the growing fervor calling for increased restrictions on what guns and accessories we can legally purchase or own.
As we enter this new year there are many more questions than there are answers as to where new gun legislation might take us—both federally and at the state/local levels. If you’re like me, lately your e-mail is filled with warnings and pleas for money from various groups leading the pro-gun fight.
I can’t help but imagine how this year at SHOT Show® there will be an unusual vibe in the air because of this strange political climate. Oh, sure, there was a sense of it back in 2009 when Barack Obama first took office, but that year our elected officials weren’t necessarily feeling empowered to take pot shots at our gun rights. This year is much different.
When the doors to SHOT open I fully anticipate a great deal of discussion amongst the myriad of attendees. Much like the FBI sting operation back in 2010 that netted some 22 people from various companies, that news spread like a wildfire at SHOT and often the story was stretched well beyond reality.
Now, I’m not saying or even predicting that anything that grandiose will occur at this year’s SHOT, but it’s hard to get 60,000+ people together in a small area and not feel the electricity in the air. Part of that excitement comes in what I call “word on the show floor.” That’s right, spend any amount of time at SHOT and you will hear the “buzz.”
This year, more so than other years, I expect there to be lots of chatter about gun control effects, product availability, sky-rocketing prices on certain products, to name but a few. The challenge with hearing so-called “facts” by word of mouth is by the time they pass through your ears the truth may have already been distilled out of the rumor. To put it another way, many times what is heard on the show floor may only have a hint of the truth remaining by the time you hear it.
Bottom line is not to repeat tidbits of information until they have been verified true. Oh, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy listening to the attendee chatter that permeates all 630,000 square feet of SHOT. It can be intriguing. It can be surprising. It most certainly is entertaining.
Yet, this year—especially with the highly charged emotional environment we live in—it might be wise to use some due diligence to properly verify what is being said before repeating it. Remember, especially for those of us in the media, but certainly true for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account, the eyes and ears of the world will be on us next week at the SHOT Show. Make sure that “breaking news” event you pass on to others has first passed the sniff test.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.
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