Yada yada yada SHOT Show protester. “For attendees like Jon Wayne Taylor, who describes himself as an ‘old school gun nut,’ SHOT show isn’t political, it’s about business,” thedailybeast.com reports. “A place for the gun industry to show off the latest and greatest in firearms and accessories . . .
But Taylor – who owns his own Texas-based firearms parts company and writes about guns for The Truth About Guns—said even if lawmakers followed Goodman’s lead and passed a law that somehow regulated the ownership of guns or ammunition, it is unlikely enforcement would work.
“I’m not going to comply,” he said.
But TTAG’s resident war hero did agree to let The Beast’s Kevin Maurer follow him around SHOT. The result isn’t entirely horrible People Of The Gun-wise, considering the publication’s anti-gun animus.
Lean with a salt-n-pepper goatee, Taylor leads the way into the show with a green Yeti coffee cup in hand. He seems to know everyone, stopping to talk with passersby and reps at the booths.
Taylor comes to the SHOT show wearing two hats. He is looking for fabrication machines for his gun parts business and the latest news from the industry for his readers . . .
Taylor grew up around firearms in a small town of goat ranchers about 40 miles from Austin in central Texas.
“My family stored guns under my crib,” Taylor said.
By 6 years old, he was hunting. He has hundreds of guns—everything from black powder rifles to an AK-47 he made by hand and uses to hunt pigs on his ranch in Texas.
“I grew up knowing a gun was a powerful tool,” he said. “It was a means to not get bitten by a snake and maybe get a deer to eat.”
When he joined the Army after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he was already a good shot. He joked that the M-16 he qualified on was less powerful than some of the rifles he grew up shooting.
“It felt like a toy,” he said.
Taylor deployed for almost two years to Afghanistan where he worked as an adviser with Afghan forces.
Taylor shoots about 2,000 rounds a month. For him, it is a Zen moment. He meditates daily, but shooting is different.
“I want all my focus solely on the target until the bullet appears there,” Taylor said. “That is my goal. The bullet is a thought propelled.”
Taylor called the “angst” about guns in society “purely emotional.” He fights the angst by hosting a Sunday shoot at his range in Texas. It is open to the public and Taylor teaches marksmanship and gun safety. Most leave with less fear of guns, he said.
No JWT fans, Jon’s Sunday shoot isn’t “open to the public.” It’s by invitation only.
Should Jon have invited Mr. Maurer to join him on his SHOT Show rounds? Should he welcome Mr. Maurer on his ranch?
Before you answer, here’s the Beast writer’s final shot (not to mention his final SHOT):
When will the firearms industry address gun violence?
NOTE: The Daily Beast didn’t publish the picture at the top of this post. Left to right: Jon Wayne Taylor, Chris Heuss, Jeremy S.