Colorado Contradictions

“Boulder, Colorado.”

There, in two words, you have the opposites.

I think of Colorado as a “good place” for guns and shooting sports. Several Bullseye shooters – very good shooters I will add – live there and support local competitions. And some of these same folks travel down to Phoenix a couple of times per year for the big competitions we desert dwellers run when the weather is pleasant in Arizona and unpleasant elsewhere. (The Desert Mid-Winter competition for conventional pistol starts in a little more than a week, February 12-15, 2009. See this website for the details. And the International variant starts a day earlier, on the 11th.)

But my work has me in Boulder this week and, unlike the rest of the state, this pocket of liberalism seems completely divorced of gunnies.

As I travel around, I seek out the handgun fans. In my official role as company spokeman, however, I can’t include any overt mention of guns. But, in less official moments such as over lunch or while hiking up and down the halls on break, family life, lawn care and “what do you do for fun?” are all fair game.

So, over the course of a couple of hours, I can usually ferret out the shooters in the crowd. Invariably it seems, there are almost always a couple of closet-gunnies even in no-no places such as Chicago, Philadelphia and even Long Island.

But not so in Boulder Colorado. This week’s “batch” doesn’t seem to have anyone willing to step up to the bar, or firing line.

I can only conclude that, in my small sampling of the city’s residents, the Berkenstock-crowd has won and the guns are gone from the hands of legal owners.

So, I’ll do my job this week. I’ll teach class, give them the benefit of my experience, and show myself plain and simple as a straight-forward guy.

And they’ll know I shoot handguns at paper targets for fun and perhaps they’ll realize that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Hopefully they will think, “Ed does it and he seems normal enough.”

And perhaps they’ll remember one of my comments and continue, “And he knows a guy who will probably be on the US Olympic team in 2012 who will shoot in the Olympic competition in London England and, perhaps, bring home a gold medal for the sport.”

“Maybe,” they’ll think, “guns aren’t inherently evil. It’s what you do with them that matters.”

Sometimes little steps, subtle comments and small nudges work better than thundering and pounding.

For dinner tonight, I’m planning to go to a sushi bar downtown along the pedestrian mall – you can get a “sampler” of five Sakes from their 25 or so brands. And there’s a Berkenstock store a couple of doors down. Maybe I should treat myself to a pair and wear them back in Phoenix to the Desert Midwinter competition?


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