I just returned from Las Vegas after being there for the past week attending the annual Shot Show with Joe Wurzelbacher and some other very close friends of mine. Every manufacture that has some connection to the shooting industry was there. However, this year’s show had a different feel. Everywhere you turned there were manufactures (many of whom are based in the US and employ some of the finest craftsmen in the world) whose livelihoods will be decided by a government that cannot even pass a balanced budget (or a budget at all). And one cannot forget our President who, like many politicians, will use any child as a prop to further an agenda.
These manufactures are in a difficult situation. They cannot hire more employees to meet the unprecedented demand if they will only have to lay them off less than a year later due to the passage of some crippling gun control legislation. They also cannot buy more machines if in less than a year they will have to be mothballed. All the manufactures I spoke with at Shot Show sang a similar song when asked, “When can I get this gun?” The answer, “We don’t know,” or “it will be at least be a year, if ever.” One manufacturer I met with said his most popular handgun was backordered over 30,000 units. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see all the latest guns and their innovative designs, but it is hard to get excited about something you may never get to own. If I wanted to do that I could have just saved my feet a beating from walking the convention floors and head over to the local Ferrari dealer.
Despite all of this, or maybe because of all this, I have been reawakened to an industry I had almost forgotten about, knives. Almost all of us carry one, or use one on any given day (even if it is only at dinner time). Joe introduced me to world renowned knife maker Ken Onion and I had the privilege to view some of his latest designs. They are fully functional works of art. If you have ever tried to make a good knife from scratch (and I have) you can easily respect a well-made blade and its’ maker. There are cheap knives out there and they have their place, if you ever need a tent stake. There are also knives that cost so much that you’ll never use them. However, there are a many knives available in the $50-$200 range that could very well save your life one day, or at least open a difficult box.
It is ironic that the first article I write for Black Swamp Gun Corner ends up being on knives, but that was the first weapon I, like many of us, ever owned as a child. I was taught valuable lessons from every branch I whittled and every accidental cut I inflicted on myself. I learned very quickly to respect a tool that had the power to take a life with the flick of a wrist. Guns must have their place in our society if we are to remain free men and women, but despite what our President said during the Presidential debates of 2012, our military’s rifles still have bayonet lugs on them for a reason. Knives are here to stay, I think, and one would be wise to learn to use and respect the blade.
Mr. Ags writes for Joe for America and welcomes your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
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