I’m afraid. Afraid we’re losing the battle for gun rights. Bit by bit. State by state. A bite here. A chew there. Sometimes a nut case with a gun.

It’s a terrible shame because I’m just back from SHOT Show, the biggest gun show in the world, and attendance was whopping. But beneath the frenetic bubble of glad-handing and back-slapping, and out of reach of clever new products, I sensed unease. I don’t know if it was just me or an accurate read of the state of our industry.

SHOT Show Has Changed Over the Years

I’ve attended these international business shows since 1984 when one could actually walk the aisles, talk and study product without feeling crushed. I remember when archery started its own dynamic event after being denied a separate section. And I remember when the FBI raided the show, arresting 20 Smith & Wesson executives, and when paintball had its own room. I also recall the year law enforcement and military vendors were admitted. There have been SHOT Shows in Orlando, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas, but never have I felt the crush of this year’s crowd.

Buzz Behind the Glitz

Despite the phenomenal crowd this year,  I sensed anxiety below the surface. Of course, SHOT is a sales-and-promotional hoopla, but beyond the juiced-up marketing atmosphere, people were quietly discussing the future. Beneath the trade-show glitz was a drizzle of concern because ultra-left-wing Democrats, having seized control of the House of Representatives and the media, are rushing forward to dismantle the Bill of Rights. Here’s what I heard:

  • That New York, Remington’s original home, is marching toward authoritarianism behind billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who funds hundreds of anti-gun, anti-free-choice campaigns.
  • Over on the left coast, Oregon wants to limit ammo possession, and Washington aims to seize semi-autos.
  • And everywhere, the navel-gazing media fear to stand up for strong borders, a vibrant entrepreneurial society and the rule of law.

History Repeating?

I’m not sure we can prevent an ultimate socialist tsunami. Italy could not defend its fragile democracy and collapsed into fascism. Russia? Essentially the same. I don’t know how long we can preserve Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of the Press and our Second Amendment rights, but this is the greatest nation the world has ever seen and it’s worth fighting for. And that, I believe, was the consensus from the SHOT Show floor.