January 19, 2012
By Frank Miniter
“More and more people are uneasy these days about the world around them. Hence, gun sales are up.” –KTRN
If James Anthony Bailey and P.T. Barnum had seen the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) they just might have conceded their “Greatest Show on Earth” needed more guns, sideshows and characters. Because come one, come all, the SHOT Show has no comparison on Earth and, in fact, is especially interesting this year because gun sales are breaking records.
I shoulder in with the 60,000 people the show has brought to Las Vegas to find out why guns are selling in a mostly down economy. The people around me have come to buy and sell firearms, ammunition, optics, tree stands (devices hunters attach to trees so they can sit and wait for deer to show), deer urine (for attracting those deer), as well as holsters, knives and enough law-enforcement paraphernalia to keep CBS’s show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation filled with cool props for another ten years.
They’ve come from all over America and from more than 100 countries. They are gun dealers, wholesalers, manufacturers and outdoor personalities. They are perhaps our most misunderstood capitalists: the politically incorrect people who buy and sell things that go bang.
They all seem to be having a hell of a time.
Their very own celebrities are here. Michael Waddell, Ted Nugent and other popular outdoor television hosts are shaking hands and talking guns. Legendary gun designer Dan Coonan, inventor and designer of the Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic 1911-style pistol, is at the Coonan Inc. booth. Richard “Dick” Marcinko, the former Navy SEAL who wrote Rogue Warrior is at the DeSantis Gunhide booth. The heroes from the History Channel’s “TOP SHOT” are mingling with fans.