That's the summary assessment of many attending the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show here in Harry Reid's Nevada. Note to editors and broadcast producers: The SHOT Show isn't a gun show. Nobody here can buy or sell a single firearm. There are guns here -- and tents, boats, clothing, boots, camping gear, all-terrain vehicles, SUVs, bows, arrows, fishing tackle and all manner of police and equipment -- even high-tech wheelchairs for outdoor activities. The SHOT Show isn't open to the public -- only to representatives of the industries above, professional outfitters, law enforcement officials and military suppliers and contractors.
My first SHOT Show, in 1992, was as the manufacturer of specialty armor and ballistic protective equipment for law enforcement and our military. This year, I came to represent the Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee of the National Rifle Association. Freedom Alliance sent our outreach coordinator to explore additional outdoor activities to help America's military heroes recover from the wounds of war.
Trade shows are really nothing more than an opportunity for members of an affinity group to meet and exchange ideas on new products and services, challenges facing their industry, and what works and what doesn't to stay in business. There are more than 90,000 trade and professional associations in the U.S., and nearly all of them have gatherings with ample opportunities for fruitful conversations among like-minded people seeking solutions to common challenges. The nearly 36,000 people attending this year's SHOT Show are no different.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.