The highlight of last weekend was not getting to shoot free ammo out of other people's fully automatic firearms, but was being around other bloggers. And not just bloggers, but Gun Bloggers.
If you ever spend anytime with people who like to shoot, aka "Gunnies", you'll discover that they are generous to a fault. Here's the best example I can give.
About a year or so ago we were teaching the live fire portion of a Illinois Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Education class. We had one kid, a little younger, about 10 years old if I remember correctly, and he was somewhat smaller then the other kids in the class. He was having a hard time hitting the clay birds with Youth Sized Remington 870 in 20 gauge, as it was a little big for him. One of our club members, who is not an Hunter Ed Instructor was walking by and had stopped to watch and talk to us instructors. When he saw that the kid was having trouble getting on the bird, he said "Hey, hold on. Let me go get my 28 gauge and try that." And hustles off toward the parking lot. We let some other kids shoot and he comes back with his 28 guage Over/Under and a couple of boxes of 28 gauge shells.
We show the kid how to load the gun and take the safety off and be ready to shoot. The kid calls pull and breaks the bird with his first shot. He then proceeds to dust about seven or eight birds in row. I was standing back behind the firing line with the kid's Dad. Dad is suddenly all smiles, as visions of a Father/Son bird hunt ending with filled game bags, dance through his head. He smiles, looks at me and asks, "How much for a gun like that." I smile, because I shoot with the club member who has volunteered his shotgun for the kid to use and know the gun well.
"About a year or two of college." is my answer. The dad looks at me somewhat confused. I simply smile and say , "That's a Ceaesar Guerini Maxum Sporting Model that has been "fitted" (meaning: custom built) to the club member. So that's somewhere around $15,000 in shotgun your son is holding."
All the blood drained from dad's face. I'm not sure whether it was because the Father/Son bird hunt dream ended, or he suddenly had visions of his 10 year old son dropping or otherwise "breaking" a $15,000 shotgun, or both.
But that's what "Gun People" are like. If you're out on a range, they will simply offer to let you shoot their guns. They are polite and courteous. They smile and enjoy themselves while shooting and want you to enjoy yourself as well. They are friendly and personable and fun to be around.
So getting to spend the weekend with the people whose blogs I read on daily basis, plus pioneers of the internet 2nd Amendment movement, like Oleg Volk, made me as giddy as a a teenage girl. And I'm not the only one to feel that way. But it was really great to meet, talk with, and share a meal with the likes of Tam and Kenn Blanchard, along with everyone else there.
However, the nicest people were our hosts. LuckyGunner.com They went well out of their way to make sure that we had a good time. Especially their Marketing Director Angela DeGloma. Now, I normally think that marketing people are as about as useful as a kickstand on a tank. But she setup and organized this past weekend's festivities. And did a magnificent job. It was the first and only time in my life I have ever given someone with "Marketing" in their title a standing ovation. She earned it. And LuckyGunner.com has earned my business.