The irony does not escape me.
I am at 35,000 feet, wedged between two people on my way to Milwaukee via a stop-over in Chicago. The flight departed at 6:45 this morning. I tried to sleep through take-off, but that was, as expected, an exercise in futility.
I am unarmed.
Well… that is probably a misnomer.
I have a hot cup of coffee on the flimsy seat tray, a handkerchief in my pocket (Thank you, Steve Tarani, for teaching me that one.), and, of course, “la plume de la justice” in my jacket pocket.
My choice of weapons, my 1911 and my P365, are not accessible. This is, as we say, a “non-permissive environment”.
Yet, I am traveling to what is perhaps the most permissive environment or, at the very least, one of the most supportive.
Each year the USCCA puts on a concealed carry convention. I went once quite a number of years ago, but really have not had any reason to go back since. That should not be read as a pejorative statement. The convention, even back then (and I am sure it has grown in the intervening years) was quite nice. The real reason I have not made the sojourn back to Milwaukee has had to do with the prioritization of time. That, and the big show that I never miss is SHOT, in Vegas. Because, well… given the option of Milwaukee or Vegas, I chose the latter.
This year, though, I sort of had to make the trip.
I was invited.
Many of you know back in March USCCA contacted me and asked me to do some videos for its YouTube Channel. I had just wrapped up another of my cases defending a USCCA member and they probably figured they could recoup some of the funds expended on me by using me as a free tracking head to make content.
Of course, I agreed.
Their theory was sound and, frankly, I figured we could get use out of each other. Their content up until now was largely Midwest-based attorneys talking about Midwest (and federal) law. California has quickly become one of their largest markets, and they thought it would be a good idea to make California-specific videos… and then categorize them on their YouTube Channel that way.
I figured it would be a good way to get free advertising for Artemis, and we have, in fact, defended a number of USCCA members; besides it was potentially a way to reach more of an audience.
Now… I should mention something about expectations:
This blog has a companion video called, “Coffee With Steven”. More people read the blog (thankfully) than watch the video… but typically I get between 300 to 400 views. I’ve always considered that somewhat successful.
The first USCCA video I did ended up with 175K views!
I usually do one a week, and the numbers range from 75K on the low side, to over half a million on the high side.
It’s official: I’m an “influencer”.
And what good are “influencers” if they don’t show up at a convention to do the obligatory speakers panel and cocktail reception?
I am somewhat amused by this whole “celebrity thing”, as is Sandy.
The other night we went to Dana Point Harbor for dinner. As we approached the restaurant, someone called out to me and introduced himself. He has been watching my videos and has just signed up for a CCW renewal class at the end of the month.
(OMG!!! We’ve “monetized” it!)
During dinner another diner approached Sandy and me and introduced himself. He asked if I was the guy in the YouTube videos. After we had ascertained he was indeed talking about the YouTube videos I have done for USCCA, he became elated and pumped my hand.
“Thank you for what you are doing for the Second Amendment community!”
“Well, thank you! Do you enjoy the videos?”
“Well, yeah… I mean I usually only watch the first two minutes. You should really make them shorter.”