"We're doing this just like we were having a church picnic," said Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church, describing what he calls, an "open carry celebration."It's an interesting way to promote awareness of the "gun culture" among those who may not realize that it exists. When I went to Boomershoot this year, I took along a new shooter with me -- someone who had shot before, occasionally, but not in a long time and not for fun. One of the things they expressed to me about the process of getting a rifle set up for Boomershoot was that, once you started talking about guns, it was as if everyone around you suddenly clicked a box in their head that said "It's ok to talk about guns around this person", and suddenly there are a lot of people showing interest.
"We believe in the right to bear arms and we're promoting responsible gun ownership and safety with gun handling," he said. "You can bring your firearm, but it has to be unloaded and in a safe secure receptacle."