The former host of “Dirty Jobs,” Mike Rowe, posted a response on Facebook to a woman that was upset that he would be speaking at the 2017 SHOT Show, an annual tradeshow for the shooting, hunting, and firearms industry, in Las Vegas.
On Sunday, he shared a post from “Marla W,” who said she was disappointed he would “risk [his] good name associating with a bunch of gun nuts.”
“There are already too many guns in this country and too much faux patriotism surrounding the Second Amendment,” she added.
Rowe responded by saying that he would be there for several reasons and the reason he would be making an appearance is because he will be speaking about ways to “close America’s skills gap.”
He responded to the woman’s “gun nuts” claim by telling a story about a team-building exercise for his MikeRoweWORKS Foundation with US Navy SEALs. The team, made up of mostly millennials, went skydiving and took part in a small arms training session.
“Some of my people had never held a gun before, much less fired one,” Rowe wrote. “So there was some … trepidation. But after an hour of intense instruction, everyone got comfortable with the Glock 9mm. Then the AR-15. Then a variety of sniper rifles. We all got to shoot an M-1 from WWII, a Steyr from Austria, the Scar Heavy … even a Barrett 50 caliber. Fifty yards, a hundred yards, then two hundred yards. Their progress was impressive. Their enthusiasm was infectious. At 400 yards, my office manager was hitting a target the size of a pie plate. Unbelievable.”
“Afterwards, we ate ribs and drank beer in a local bar with our instructors,” he added. “We also listened to war stories from Ramadi and Fallujah and a few places I hadn’t heard of, from people who wrote the book on teamwork. Fascinating. Eye-opening. Humbling.”
Mike Rowe said that he wished he could tell her about the stories that the SEALs told him, but for a variety of reasons, he couldn’t.
“What I can tell do is tell you how remarkable it is to see people who have never even held a gun go from uncomfortable, to tentative, to comfortable, to very comfortable, to empowered,” Rowe said. “One day Marla, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to experience something similar, and listen to the stories of people who use guns to protect us.”
Mike Rowe finished by extending an invitation to Marla to be his guest at SHOT Show or to otherwise “stomp off in a cloud of righteous indignation.”