Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Auto Show, Oklahoma style

I guess I missed it, but here's a report from those lucky enough to get there last summer (h/t CSotD).

Because when the new models come out, ya gotta see 'em at the Auto Show. Not interested in cars? That's OK. OK, as in Oklahoma, where Auto Show means Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show. Yes, it's the machine gun jamboree in rural Wyandotte, OK. And attendance doubled over last year. We're safer than ever!
On Saturday, more than 200 avid machine gun enthusiasts from around the nation gathered for the fourth annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show -- and brought with them a full arsenal of fully-automatic weapons. Featuring everything from mini-guns to MG-42s to AR-50s to Quad 50s, the auto shoot drew crowds of nearly 1,500 spectators who, setting up lawn chairs in the shade, sat back and watched the bullets fly.

Positioned under a long line of tents atop a ridge, the shooters fired down into an assortment of targets including cars, trucks, buses, washing machines and even a small airplane. Explosions resounded throughout the hills as hot lead tore through car metal and set off "fuel bombs" that were placed in some of the vehicles.

"It just keeps getting better and better every year," smiled Mike Friend, owner of "The Firing Line" and co-organizer of the event. "People that own stuff like this need a place to shoot and we feel like we've got a good, safe place for them to do that." (from the Neosho Daily News [Oklahoma] via the approving nutcases at Freerepublic)
This is a real family event, and what promotes Family Values more than a high caliber father - son machine gun fest:
Noting the proportionately good number of kids scattered throughout both the crowd of spectators and exhibitors doing the shooting, [co-roganizer DeWayne] Convirs was pleased.

"We need all the young people who participate in this because one day they'll have to vote on it," he expressed through a loud speaker to the gathered mass of onlookers.

Privately to the Daily News Convirs stated that "Oklahoma is one of the few states that allows full auto shooting."

Perhaps for that reason the two-day event draws so many licensed shooters from throughout the country to the small northeast corner of Oklahoma.

Paul Ware drove up from Ft. Worth, Texas, with his 11-year-old son Austin to participate in the shoot on Father's Day weekend.

"We have a blast out here," Ware proclaimed, as Austin fired off a thunderous .50 caliber nearby. "This is Austin's and I's [sic] Father's Day trip. How can you go wrong -- shooting machine guns for Father's Day?" [my emphasis]

For his part, Austin couldn't have wished for a better outing with his dad as evidenced by the excited smile on his face.

"I enjoy shooting," Austin stated matter-of-factly.

Giving it a minute's contemplation, he said his favorite weapon to fire was the AKSU-74 because "I hold down on the trigger until it's out. That's pretty cool."

Kim Cousino of Toledo, Ohio, said that her 6-year-old daughter, Alyssa, begged to come when she found out her parents were coming to the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot.

"We thought maybe we would take her next year but she wanted to go so badly we just said 'OK'," Cousino related. "It's really a lot of fun."

Alyssa herself appeared to be enjoying the time immensely seated near her father behind a mounted .308 Browning 1919 as it rapidly spit out hot rounds.
How can you go wrong on Father's Day, indeed. Let me see if I can think of some ways.