Photo Credit: Shot Show
For those that don’t know, Shot Show is one of the largest trade shows and conventions in the firearms industry. To many in the community, it is now often looked upon negatively and even referred to as “Sh*t Show”
In all fairness, it does attract a substantial number of “tacticool” try-hards and tough guy wannabes. And for some, this a huge turn-off. Add to that, the constant posturing and peacocking that takes place when you cram thousands of alpha-male types into a Las Vegas casino.
Additionally, their is obviously a huge air of corporatism and “selling out” because it is, after all, a trade show. Combine all these factors, and you get an often jaded view of the whole experience, full of snarky internet posts and memes…
The Other side of shot
However, there is a whole other side to Shot Show, that few people really get to see. This past week marked my second year attending this huge convention. What I surmised the year before was undoubtedly solidified as positive aspect to Shot.
Amidst all the chaos, tactical pants, and concealed carry permits, I saw something quite remarkable taking place. Men and women who hadn’t seen or been in contact with each other for years, were suddenly reunited. Men and women who shared a unique bond and whose brotherhood and camaraderie seemed able to transcend time and geographic space. Brothers and sisters at arms who are our nations Veterans.
Pictured: Warfighter Tobacco and High Caliber Community
What I was able to witness, was something that I feel overshadows any trivial grievance against Shot Show. It is an opportunity for our Vets to rekindle that connection that they so often lose when transitioning into civilian life. A transition that for some, can be one of the most difficult times in their life. It goes far beyond getting free stuff and checking out the coolest new firearms on the market.
Say what you will about Shot Show, good, bad, or whatever. But for me, it is one of the few yearly events where I can watch some of my Veteran friends reconnect and reminisce with those who share the common ground of fighting to defend way of life.