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SHOT Show 2012: Load and make ready!

At the moment this column appears on PoliceOne, I’m participating in “Media Day,” which takes place the day prior to the official start to SHOT Show. A host of travel-related issues have previously precluded me from doing Media Day, so this will be a first for me. I’m told by a good friend that it’s “like Disneyland for shooting enthusiasts.” I’ve never been to Disneyland either, so that description is only somewhat helpful to me. But I love being among shooters, so I love the prospect of Media Day (and SHOT in general). I recently wrote a haiku about it.

Load and make ready!
Okay now, the line is hot!
You may fire at will!

I’ll shoot a bunch of guns I’ve never before laid a hand on, have one-on-one conversations with truly elite manufacturers whose weapons we’re reviewing, and test out ammo from some of the top makers in the industry. All this takes place alongside a cadre of the best firearms writers on the planet. Oh, and I’m told there may also be some exotic food for lunch. Yeah, I’m amped.

Miles to Go Before No Sleep
As excited as I am about it, I must admit that I have some mixed feelings about SHOT. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see friends I’ve made from companies like Aimpoint, ASP, Meggitt Training Systems, Smith & Wesson, Lenco, FNH USA, 5.11 Tactical, Revision, TASER International, Trijicon, and VirTra Systems. I’m also looking forward to making new contacts and seeing vendors and products (to whom, or to which, respectively) I’ve up to now had little-to-no exposure. I’ll specifically look for the folks from Browe, LaserLyte, Setpoint, Windham Weaponry, and many, many more.

I’m even looking forward to being back in Las Vegas — for about 24 hours. Problem is, I’ll be in Vegas for a wee bit longer than a single day. And therein, lays the rub.

I love my peace and quiet. I love my sleep. During SHOT, I’ll have precious little peace, quiet, or sleep. For those who’ve never been, SHOT Show consists of very long days (made even longer by the very long nights), spent walking miles and miles and miles atop rented rugs. I’ve even written a haiku about that, too.

Trade Show Bedouin...
Stained carpet instead of sand...
I, too, walk the floor!

Woe is me, I know. I get to shoot other people’s ammo, check out the newest weapons systems, training equipment, body armor, ammunition, and all manner of apparel and accessories. Then there are those other, unforeseen and unforeseeable surprises which await me in Las Vegas.

Yeah, woe is me.

I, Too, Stand Practically Still
Just about every event at which we have a PoliceOne booth, I typically spend scarcely 45 minutes (total!) standing around at the abovementioned booth ...and there’s a strategy behind that. I’ve found that a better use of my time has been to hit as many of the OTHER booths as is possible. I’ve been compared to a coyote, scurrying from one place to the next, looking for whatever scraps (in this case, savory story scraps!) may be available. I move fast, I cover a lot of ground, and I get a lot of information. But there’s a downside to that strategy. It is, of course, that the people who come by the PoliceOne booth with the expressed purpose of meeting me have a very slim chance of actually catching me there.

Well, at SHOT Show 2012, things are going to be a little bit different. If you’re attending SHOT and for one reason or another want to meet me (gads, I cannot for a moment fathom why, but I must surmise by the stack of business cards left for me during IACP 2011, there is some degree of demand), I will be at the PoliceOne booth (#8510) from 1500 to 1730 on Wednesday, January 18th.

So, come see me.

Even if you couldn’t care less about meeting little old me in person — which I have to believe would be the vast majority of our booth visitors — stop by to check out the PoliceOne Academy, or learn some new things about the Street Survival Seminar. You’ll probably get a P1 T-shirt — I’m told that if you’re spotted in a P1 T-shirt on the show floor, you could win some sort of cool new video camera. I dunno. I’m not eligible to win, so I pretty much tuned out during that part of the meeting.

Fitts’ Law Meets Shock and Awe
During SHOT Show 2012, I’ll have a handful of PoliceOne Contributors helping me report on as many newsworthy products and services as we can reasonably cover. If you’re a vendor / exhibitor and want one of us to come see you, please just send me an email containing the following information:

Your Name
Your Company
Your Product
Your Booth #
Your Phone #

I’ll manage / triage all such requests to the best of my ability, having already told “my people” that I’ll be “air traffic control for content” for the duration — in addition, of course, to authoring my own coverage of the event.

I’ve come to decide that the basic premise for our show coverage can be termed “Fitts’ Law Meets Shock and Awe” — as in: we aim to achieve a perfect balance between speed and accuracy, all while overwhelming PoliceOne Members with dizzying volumes of articles and photos.

I Like Ike
So, that’s the plan. That said, one of my favorite quotes is from Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“I’ve always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Vegas has an interesting effect on even the best-laid plans, but as I sit here at SFO, awaiting my Vegas-bound flight and finishing this column, at least I know the planning phase is done.

See you Sin City!

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