USCCA and West Bend WisconsinSteven Lieberman
Concealed Carry Expo
This last weekend I traveled to West Bend Wisconsin to attend the first USCCA Concealed Carry Expo.
One of the unique benefits of being a hunter is the opportunity to travel to exotic locations that not everyone else gets to see.
From being in the bush in Africa to small towns in New Mexico or Colorado I have been blessed with brief chances to leave suburbia and see how the rest of the world lives.
There has always been a commonality though in all of these travels:
The people who I met, who I went with, or who just happened to be there were all “gun people”.
I’m always a little bemused at the chicken and egg discussion that invariably comes from this… are “gun people” gregarious, honest and ruggedly individualistic because they are gun people? Or rather did they gravitate towards this sport as a natural extrapolation of their personality?
I frankly have always suspected the later.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)
In all of our CCW classes we always push the need for our newly minted concealed carriers to obtain specific ccw insurance. While we are not “affiliated” with USCCA both Sandy and I have individual plans from them, and as such we recommend them as a resource for CCW insurance.
I’m often asked what is the “best” insurance for CCW’s. Frankly I’m not entirely sure I know the answer to that. I’m assuming that quality of product can be derived from ease of use… and I hope and pray I… nor any of our clients ever have to “use” it.
Still… since we own policies, and send our clients to USCCA we felt it was important to attend their first Concealed Carry Expo. Since Sandy went to Nashville for the NRA convention I was “voluntold” that I would be going to Wisconsin.
For those of you who have never been to West Bend Wisconsin… and I’m assuming that is many of you… it is a beautiful farm oriented community about forty miles north of Milwaukee. It has also been the beneficiary of an influx of capital. The town “feels” new even the charming downtown has a “Universal Studios” manicured set appearance.
The people at the show… mostly midwesterners did not cause me to rethink my “gun people” stereotype.
Most of the attendees that I met were fascinated that I was from California. Far from believing that there were CCW holders in California, they were under the assumption that firearms were not allowed within the confines of the state at all.
I dispelled them of this notion explaining that most of the state can be divided into three categories: The conservative suburbs and rural areas where most of us are armed (at least in our homes), the regentrified cities and college towns where responsible gun ownership is considered tantamount to a terrorist activity, while at the same time participating in the narco culture as a recreational user (which actually does support terrorist activities ) is consider haute culture, and finally the criminals themselves that feed upon both groups, albeit the latter more successfully and with less terminal consequences.
All of these brothers and sisters in arms were genuine. They were welcoming, quizzical, “experts”…(as all gun people are)…and philosophical.
They were also not stereotypical.
The hoplophobs would have you believe that gun owners are only one remaining tooth away from requiring a completely liquid diet, and fanatically committed to disregarding all semblance of gun safety both on and off the range.
They also feel the need to wrap this around a sexist and racial stereotype as well. Minorities and women clearlyare not members of the gun community right?
Well.. not according to the almost in your facediversity on display at the show. Yep… there were women, minorities, varying ages, and sexual orientation. This last group has an amusing story behind it:
I was waiting in line to shoot a Roberts 1911 (They had a mobil shooting range on sight) and a same sex couple from Illinois were in line behind me. They were both in their 40’s, and struck up a conversation with me when they found out they I was from California. They were both concealed carry holders in their home state and both considered themselves to be “gay activists” as well as members of Pink Pistols.
They wanted to know why there was not a greater outcry in California among the gay and lesbian community for concealed carry.
While they had visited California before, they told me they preferred the more “progressive” midwest where gun rights were acknowledged as manifestation of individual liberty… not like California where citizens had allowed themselves to become subjects and willful slaves to collectivism.
God I love gun people!