A.K.A. Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot AAR
This year saw numerous firsts for me, with regard to the Northeast Bloggershoot. The most obvious, of course, is that I traveled a significantly greater distance this year than in years past. Rather than wake up early, hit the road and be there before start time, I started a day before the shoot and drove pretty much all day to get there. 11 ½ hours in my truck to come share in the shootie goodness, then about the same the day after the shoot (traffic was particularly bad this week).
Why would I do that, you ask?
These are my people. These are my chosen friends. These are my brothers and sisters of the gun. They are young, they are old. They are black, white, and many other colors in between. They are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheist, and agnostic. They are male, female, and combinations of the two. They are gay, straight, and bisexual. They are physically challenged, able-bodied, and varying stages in between.
Sounds a lot like America, doesn't it?
This group is more than just a collection of gunnies. They are people I am proud to call friends. Every single one of them I trust implicitly; I don't have to question if they'd have my back in a bad situation, I know that not only would they cover my six, but they'd do it without being asked. We are united not by a common race, nor religion, nor gender or other construct; rather by a common belief in self-determination, free will, freedom, and love of the tools that make all these things possible.
While we do love our shiny:
It's the people that make the blogshoots so great. We have just as much fun at dinner as we do at the shoot (and, generally, are about as loud). From one single common interest, kindred souls come together, enjoy each others' company, and, oh, send thousands of rounds downrange.
And that's another thing. The ordnance. This year was a serious arms race. It's interesting that suppressed firearms and full-auto weaponry have become commonplace (although quite welcome and enjoyed, of course); it's one meet out of the year where we all try to bring our favorites. There was a .50 BMG rifle, a Brown Bess musket, an MG43, and a short-barrel KSG shotgun (yes, they *do* exist!) just to name a few.
And again, it's worth noting that with dozens of people of varying backgrounds in firearms and their usage, there was only one very minor injury (one participant got a touch of slide bite). With .50 BMG power, belt-fed machine guns, hand cannons, and everything else that was there - hundreds of guns and thousands of rounds downrange, we had only the slightest of injuries to report. No blood in the streets nor gunfights over parking spaces.
Regarding the handcannon, one of the few things I wished I'd gotten a video of was Glenn B.'s son's girlfriend. She's this tiny slip of a thing, some young 20-something barely 100 pounds dripping wet, and someone handed her Libertyman's 8" barrel S&W 500 Magnum.
Which she proceeded to run *perfectly* through all five rounds, laughing all the while.
Here's the interesting thing, though. This year, I left most of the camera gear home. Rather than bring the DSLR and the Handycam, I went with the old Nikon point-and-shoot. And then proceeded to leave it in the bag in the back of the truck the entire time. I took perhaps six pictures and two videos with my phone, and was perfectly and completely happy making memories rather than photos. I'm good with that. The guns are great, don't get me wrong, but the time I would have been taking pictures and video was better spent catching up with my friends.
Was it worth the ~ 20 hours in a car, driving through some of the fiercest anti-gun states to get there? Heck yeah. I'll do it again next year gladly, although I might look into flying up to avoid the blood pressure-increasing drive...
The biggest hit, for me, was helping a friend introduce his son to handguns and his daughter to centerfire. I brought along some .22s, as I always do, and found that the Ruger 22/45 and the Bushmaster with .22 conversion are a HUUUUUGE hit with kids - and grownups as well. The Bushmaster ran hundreds of rounds through it, being handed off from kid to kid to kid (with a grownup or two in between), and was easily the most-shot gun I brought.
Anyways, to friends old and new, to everyone that made the trek out to play with us, and *especially* our supremely gracious host and hostess I say thank you. I had a wonderful time, as always; I think most everyone else did, as well. Given the reaction and pictures up on Facebook and around the web, I think our Seventh Annual Northeast Bloggershoot was one of the best yet!
Thanks again, everyone!
That is all.