MILITIA FIELD DAY 2005
Matt was right. He said, "I don't see how this day could have been better. I really don't."
Overall, about 90 people showed up throughout the course of the day, to shoot some targets, eat some excellent militia grub, compete for an old bolt-action battle rifle, and shoot the marvelous .50 caliber rifle.
We hadn't done anything, really, as far as advertising, other than some flyers, e-mails, and whatever other internet plugs we could get in. Maybe if we are fiscally better off, we can do an ad or two somewhere next year, assuming everything is going along.
The weather, as you can see from the pictures, was perfect. Sunny and warm, t-shirt weather, it was wonderful.
The backstop and the rest of the range was in perfect condition, thanks to Cpl Punishment, Mad hatter and the rest of the crew from the April Engineering Event. Hats off to you guys, we heard a lot of positive feedback about how good the range looked.
The crowds started coming in soon after the festivities kicked off. We were thrilled to see the number of families and youngsters that showed up. Folks came in and thanks to our professional staff of range officers, everything went swimmingly well. Thumper had once again come up with an excellent target selection, including random terrorists, tax forms, zombies, and other fun things to blast at. It seems that the Osama-in-a-dress type of targets garnered the most attention, although a large purple dinosaur caught some serious lead as well. (I will NOT permit SpongeBob targets....)
Everyone seemed to enjoy this, and the normal militia crew of folks was all too happy to let other folks try out their weapons. This especially applied to the younger guests, who we enjoyed letting shoot whatever they wanted. This could be the next generation of militia people or gun activists or other type of Patriots, we need to take care of them, teach them well, and show them some kindness.
The shooters' ages ranged from as young as four or five, all the way up into the 80's. The range officers, especially Gerry Runkle, made a special effort to help the young ones shoot safely and effectively.
At one point, we closed the range to everyone except children, and let a group of them shoot some of our .22 rifles and even a pistol or two. This was well-supervised, with one range officer (and a parent or two) per young shooter. There are few things as satisfying as seeing a young boy or girl hit their first target. (Dad, look! I shot Barney!!!)
We had a small media presence, but it is possible that we were not "radical" or "extremist" enough to actually merit any coverage. That's either good or bad, depending upon how you want to look at it. We floored a member of a camera crew by having a vegetarian menu at our grill. (Why? Because we have a vegetarian member or two...that's why.) They asked everyone a lot of questions, and hopefully came away with the impression that we are just normal citizens like themselves. The crew from "Hour Detroit" magazine also spent some time at the range, and they shot the .50, so they must be pretty decent fellows...
Behind the 100 Yard Lounge, we had a small airsoft and bb gun range set up for the kids (both young and adult) to have fun with. This was even more fun and successful than we thought it was going to be, and some of the kids stayed there most of the day, blasting away with airsoft and bb guns. We might expand upon and improve this concept for future events.
The bowling pin shoot went well, with about a dozen entrants. The new pin tables were much more stable and level than in previous events. We have a tape of this event, from start to finish. You can watch Super Six win an old 8mm Turkish Mauser, when we get the tape edited. As usual, the larger caliber handguns (in this case, a .45 and even a .40) proved a bit more effective at knocking the pins off of the tables. This is something to keep in mind, if you want....
Following this, we migrated back to about 80 yards and cut loose with Mr. B's lovely .50 caliber. This is a single shot bolt gun with an excellent scope. (I should try to take a picture down the scope, that would be cool.) Quite frankly, this beast never fails to impress people who look at it, to say nothing of the folks with the gumption to ante up a buck or two and shoot it. It is of note that the cost of these rifles keeps dropping (nudge, nudge, hint, hint). It is also of note that these are now banned in the Socialist People's Republic of California. It seems that their Austrian-born Governor can happily make money from movies which feature these types of weapons, and much larger ones as well, but he won't do jack to stop them from being taken away from common folks like you and me.
And during all this, the 100 yard lounge was cranking out the burgers, dogs, beans, and some kind of spicy rice dish thing that was out of this world, several of the fellas were running their swap tables, with even a table staffed by folks who work at GI Surplus in Wayne. (This is SUCH a shameless plug...Our very own Super Six works there, and HE manned a gear swap table AND managed to win the Bowling Pin Shoot...) This is a good chance to pick up something you need to round out your Level 1 and 2 gear, or even pick up that extra cool thing that you didn't know you needed until you saw it.
After the big fifty, the range went hot for more open shooting. This is a good chance to try out your second or third string weapons, or to see what neat exotic thing your fellow militia buddies have brought out for you to gawk at.
One of the benefits of this type of event is the chance to get a look at some of the things you may have been considering for self defense or home protection. The compact Glock on the left is an excellent carry gun, while the magazine-fed shotgun, as on the right, can be a spectacular house gun. (The empty round in the UZI is serving as a bolt hold-open.)
We had guests from Indiana and Ohio at the event as well, and we appreciate that they came to shoot with and hang out with us. The ICVM guys looked sharp, with their .308 rifles. We hope to see them, and all of the rest of you, again soon.
Thanks to everyone who came and participated. A lot of folks put in a lot of work to make this a nice, fun event. Especially we would like to thank everyone who brought their children out. They are the future, and they are why we do this.
See you out there next time. Keep your bayonets sharp and your powder dry.
Young guys picking up some pointers from The Camp Commander himself, Mr. Frank Stasa.
This is why we come here... Will it work? Stay tuned...