Riding Shotgun With Charlie is a aims to entertain and educate people who are into firearms. However, not everything is firearm related. We may talk music or politics or whatever may come up during a conversation between the driver and the passenger.
RSWC #103 Alexander Roubian
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
New Jersey Second Amendment Society
Alexander and I first met at Gun Rights Policy Conference in 2016 in Tampa. After the conference, we both went with Mark Walters (RSWC #002 & #084) and Alan Gottlieb (RSWC #100) to a radio station to be on Armed American Radio. I’ve also been a fan of the Gun For Hire Radio Podcast, which has had Alexander on several times over the years. When I was heading to NJ to film some other shows, I reached out to Alexander and asked if he’d be up for filming a show.
Alexander had an unfortunate experience which led him to gun ownership. He grew up in a “gun agnostic” house, where guns weren’t really talked about. He was 20 feet away from a gang initiation which involved killing someone, he decided it was time to get a firearm. After seeing the ridiculousness of the process to get a NJ firearm permit, Alex reached out to Frank Fiamingo, founder of New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) and joined the group. Within 5 years of joining the group, Alexander became the president.
Every time I have a passenger from New Jersey in the shotgun seat, we end up talking about how absurd the laws are in that state. Alexander gets into how the New Jersey strict gun laws cause deaths like the woman who had a boyfriend who came out and said he was going to kill her. While he was waiting to get a firearm license, she was killed by him. Just like he said. If the state hadn’t dragged their feet for 43 from when she started the process, she may have been able to save her own life.
Some of the games they play in New Jersey are things like, having to apply but only on Mondays between 9am-11am, saying that you need a good reason that satisfies what the police want, and begging to get a license to possess a handgun. I believe many of the residents call the licensing process a ‘scheme’.
NJ2AS is also working with someone who doesn’t have any criminal violations or history, but they’re still being denied because the chief of police doesn't think it serves the “public interest”. This leads to only “the rich” who can hire an attorney to fight the case will be the only one who can afford to get a carry permit. This is what I call the “gun control loophole”. It’s any method that the anti-gun folks use to make it difficult for someone to get a firearm.
One of the things they have in New Jersey is a banned list of firearms. Massachusetts has something similar, we have a list of firearms we can get from dealers. We can possess those firearms, but we can’t get them through a dealer.
We get into how things work, or don’t work, in New Jersey. If you’re from “Free America”, you’ll be shocked. Alexander explains all the ways the state of New Jersey makes it hard for anyone who wants to get a firearm. Often people suggest leaving states like that. But we need to join NJ2AS to fight in these battleground states.
It is great to hear that the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearm Policy Coalition are teaming up with NJ2AS to work on cases so the citizens of the state can eventually have the Right to Keep and Bear. With people like Alexander fighting for Rights of gun owners in New Jersey, we need to keep supporting them. Many in New Jersey say “What happens in New Jersey, doesn’t stay in New Jersey!” So if you can, send NJ2AS a donation!
“So the natural progression to that was ‘I don’t want to be that guy. I need to learn how to protect myself and my loved ones’.”
“We have a lot of victories that nobody talks about because they look at New Jersey as a lost cause.”
“The fundamental meaning of the Second Amendment is to bear arms and we do not have the Right to concealed carry in New Jersey.”
RSWC #102 Alan Lau
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
ALau Firearm Training
Alan and I have been following each other on social media for a while. We were officially connected by Patrick Collins RSWC #91 & #99 Part 1. He thought Alan would be a great passenger for the show. And he was correct!
Alan grew up in Hong Kong and moved to the Boston area when he was 13. He had other family members living in the area, so Massachusetts is where they went. He’s got years of martial arts including Muay Tai and used to referee MMA in New Hampshire until Massachusetts became a sanctioned state to run matches.
Alan was a Democrat when he moved to the USA and stayed with the party for a while. During the Obama years is when Alan got into firearms thanks to a Groupon offer. He got his license and bought an overpriced rifle during the Obama administration. He joined a shooting club and started shooting but realized that being an instructor could help him get discounts on firearms.
After becoming an instructor, he would get friends and colleagues interested in taking classes. While he maintains a full time job, he teaches as a side hustle. During the early part of 2020 and the pandemic, he offered classes to survivors of domestic violence. He would get them in a class so they can get their License To Carry (LTC). He does as for some help via the Cash App (see the link below to donate to help support those clients.)
We drive from Lexington, MA, into Boston and we take the Harvard Bridge (the Mass Ave Bridge) across the Charles River. I do explain to him what a Smoot is since he’s never heard of it. I was a little off in my story. A Smoot is the height(length) of Oliver Smoot, an MIT student and not a professor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoot We do grab a selfie on the Boston side of the bridge.
Alan also shares his thoughts, feelings and opinions about all of the crimes against Asians. He points out that it’s been going on for years. He says that good people are good people no matter their race, gender, sexual preference, religion, whatever. And that the labeling that is done hurts the whole society. He gives some history about the cancel culture from Asia which has been going on for decades starting with General Mao and leaving people unsure of who they really are in the wake of trying to make everyone the same. He points out that with everything that is going on we are getting more divided. And that all the Asians are being lumped together as the Asian American/Pacific Islanders, even though they haven’t gotten along as societies and cultures.
We also re-live a bit of our college days. Both Alan and I went to college in Boston, right down the road from where each other lived, during different years, of course. And we drive down Boylston St in the Back Bay, passing where the Marathon bombers detonated their pressure cooker bomb, and over the Marathon finish line. Then we head to the Public Garden and grab a selfie by Cheers. We are in Boston!
We are both instructors in Massachusetts so we have plenty of stories about our gun laws. It’s good to keep in mind that the MA politicians want to export the silly MA gun laws we have. Things like magazine restrictions, so called assault weapon bans, and many other things.
“I make the students think. I make them evolve.”
“We want unity, but now we’re dividing the people.So which one is it?”
“We are a second class citizen already.”
“I want to be the asset, not the liability. I want the person next to me or around me just as good if not better than I am.”
ALau Firearms Training
ALau Firearms Training on Facebook
Cash App: @alautraining
RSWC #101 Hickok45
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Wilder things have happened. Snow in Tennessee isn’t something that happens often. Unless I’m driving down. Despite nearly every place being closed and many Tennesseans not having experience driving in the snow, I was able to meet Hickok45 for breakfast before we filmed the show! Whew!
We’ve all been watching Hickok45 for years and he’s the nicest man around. He’s been a school teacher for years, which we share in common. We drove by where he used to teach. He took a break from teaching and he had another career that he can’t talk about, unless he kills you, of course. Then he went back to teaching in the 1990’s.
He’s been a shooter since he was a young boy. He used to go shooting with his dad’s old .22 rifle and a pocket full of ammo and that’s when he got the shooting bug.
He started the YouTube channel back in 2007 when most people posted cat videos. He did a video shooting through his Honda Element’s open doors in the very early days. Then he moved to shooting watermelons and pumpkins. While teaching a lesson on “Shane”, Hickok45 made a video using a Colt Single Action for his students to show them the firearms of the old West. Hickok’s son, John, decided making shooting videos would be cool and it would give them something to do for fun.
The Hickok’s bought the land specifically for shooting in the backyard where they have their home range. When they started the YouTube channel, they had no idea what could become of this side hustle. They just used their guns and made some review videos. People watched them and kept subscribing so they kept making videos. They did learn to edit and work in video but their approach is very natural and not ‘5th Avenue slick’. Right how, his channel has 6 MILLION subscribers! Hickok45 and his son have turned this into a full time gig.
We drive from the Cracker Barrel in Nashville to Franklin and encounter some snow and some other drivers, even from New York, that can’t drive in the snow very well. We hopped out of the car in downtown Franklin for a selfie at a memorial THe Battle of Franklin. Hickok also brings up some of the formats of podcasters like Adam Carolla and Joe Rogan. He says you really get a feel for someone in those types of interviews. I was able to share my story and connection to Adam Carolla, as well.
We also share some stories about when ‘worlds collide’ and there was some crossover between teaching and making YouTube videos. After having sponsors seeking them out, they had to decide which fork in the road to take. On his last day of teaching, he presented awards at school, then headed to Philadelphia with John to give a speech.
Hickok45 also shares a story about meeting Massad Ayoob. He’s been a reader and followers of Mas for years. And he was a little nervous to meet Mas and say hello to him. But of course, Mas knew who he was. That helps Hickok keep things in perspective when he meets his fans.
Hickok45 doesn’t really do interviews. I’m honored that he took the time to hop in the stagecoach and come Riding Shotgun. We were able to navigate through the snow and get back to where we started.
“We mainly just brought the camera outside and filmed what we were already doing.”
“Everything is so scripted. You and I, we don’t know what we’re going to talk about.”
“We don’t have a lot of advice really. (for starting a YouTube channel). Do something you like.”
“Mainly, I’m a shooter. I really enjoy firearms.”
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RSWC #100 Alan Gottlieb
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Second Amendment Foundation
Alan Gottlieb is The MAN! At my first Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Tampa 2016, I approached Massad Ayoob to have him sign my copy of In The Gravest Extreme. I took a deep breath, asked Mas if he could come Riding Shotgun. Alan was right behind Mas. He said “Oh my gosh, Mas you’ve got to go Riding Shotgun With Charlie!” It was 2 years before we made it happen.
In Phoenix 2019 at GRPC, I was hanging out with a few people at the social hour and Alan came up to our group and congratulated me on the Blogger of the Year. And he asked when HE was going to come Riding Shotgun. We made it happen in Bellevue, WA, at the Second Amendment Foundation headquarters last month. He may have let me conduct the interview in his car, his 7th Corvette!
Alan grew up in New York City then joined the Army. Earning a degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, he became interested in fighting for individual rights, and the 2A which is most under attack. He got involved with the Young Americans for Freedom and was sent to Seattle to cover a 13 state region for the Student Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In 1972, way before the NRA-ILA, he had the idea to change it to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRBKA). Within 2 years ,the CCRBKA was bigger than its predecessor, and then he started the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The CCRBKA donations are not tax deductible as they’re involved with lobbying, but the SAF is non-partisan and donations are deductible. Both offices of the SAF & CCRBKA are located at Liberty Park in Bellevue.
We talk about how things have been changing and the SAF is reaching out to the new gun owners with TV ads. Alan shares how he’s able to get commercials for SAF on some of the networks that are against the 2A. It’s very important to get the new gun owners involved and learning how the anti-gun crowd is going after our Rights and our firearms. Brad Parscale, who worked for the Trump campaign, is now working for SAF and helping the foundation grow.
We also cover how just being public and open about firearms makes us a target for the anti-gun folks. Alan shares some stories about threats he’s gotten and how he passes them on to the local authorities. Some of the threats are ‘downright scary’. He isn’t the only one who gets these threats either.
We also cover that often the people fighting for our rights don’t get enough time to get out and do some shooting on our own. One of Alan’s favorite shotguns was a shotgun owned by Neal Knox. His favorite type of shooting is trap and skeet, which he would love to do more often but he’s very busy fighting for our rights to shoot.
He’s traveling all over the United States and the world talking about gun rights. He said that when people in other countries talk about gun rights, they call it “Second Amendment” rights, which is a wonderful hat tip to our Constitution and Founding Fathers. What I really got from my time with Alan is that the shoes he wears in the 2A community are HUGE! When he does finally decide to retire, we are going to need about 4 or 5 people just to keep up with everything Alan does.
“Donations can be tax deductible and you can write part of this off on your taxes and make the government pay part of the freight, since they were attacking our rights to begin with.”
“We buy those spots (remnant time) so we’re not feeding the enemy.”
“Our outreach is tripled already this year.”
“The more public you are in the media with this, the more you get picked on. The more threats you get.”
“In Europe, they always refer to gun rights as “‘Second Amendment’.''
“Internationally, gun righ
RSWC #099 Florida Carry Review Part 2
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
#099 Part 2
Florida Carry Speaker Event Review Part 2
Stephen Shives, Runaway Campers
Kristin Franke, Packin’ Neat
Kevin & Sarah Sona, Florida Carry
While I was at the Florida Carry Speaker Event on March 20, I filmed a few shows. This is part 2 of Episode 099. I grabbed a few more folks and put them in the car for a review of the event. If you missed the Clown Car video, you can watch it here. https://youtu.be/d2rR1PtolyQ
Kevin Sona of Florida Carry organized the Speaker Event. It’s the 4th Annual event and it's been growing every year. It started off with a few speakers and about 50 people. This year, the numbers were low due to the ‘virus’, but there were speakers and visitors from Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, Texas, California, and Virginia. It has been the first time for many to get together since the Florida Carry event last year, which was just before the beginning of the virus.
This year, Kevin had some issues getting a place to host the event due to the virus, but Runaway Campers stepped up. Stephen Shives is the owner of Runaway Campers. His people cleaned out the finishing shop to set up a space for the event. The store has a pavilion space where they hosted a rally for their customers, but they ended up selling that space and buying a new one, where the speaker event was held.
Kristin Franke, owner of Packin’ Neat, was a vendor at the event. She was selling her products and was able to hop in the stagecoach with us. She started her business and making products due to a lack of options for carry methods for folks in the Florida and other warmer areas. The Packin’ Neat products are like small ‘go bags’ you can put in your purse. Not only does it come with a holster for your firearm, you can transfer it to another purse or bag as well. It can be used in briefcases as well.
Stephen tells us, and even shared the audio from, an irate customer who was less than thrilled to hear that Runaway Campers was hosting the Florida Carry event. You’ll hear that phone call here.
We also have a good discussion that the folks in the firearm community are very giving, very caring, and just all around good people. That really has been a theme to RSWC since I started the show. After the event, many of us went back to the campgrounds where many of the speakers and attendees spent the weekend. We had a wonderful evening of some deep fried turkey and a campfire with much more conversation and networking.
Kudos to Kevin for organizing the event. And even more kudos to Stephen for hosting the event and taking some heat for it.
Stephen Shives: “I like people to know what we stand for, what we believe.”
Stephen Shives: “We’re all in this together. We’re living it, We’re loving it. We’re not out to get anybody.”
Kristin Franke: “Everybody (in the gun industry) is very caring.”
Kevin Sona: “A highlight was the diversity panel. Gun rights just aren’t just for bald, fat, white guys.”
Kevin Sona; “It doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t have the same beliefs as me, as I do, doesn’t have a right to protect themselves against someone who’s going to do something evil to them.”
Live Feed from the Florida Carry Speaker Event
Polite Society Podcast Friday Night Interviews
Second Amendment Foundation
Katz & Phillips, P.A.
RSWC #099 Florida Carry Review Part 1
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
#099 Part 1
Florida Carry Speaker Event Review Part 1
I love my gig! I really do!
Kevin Sona (RSWC #043) has been organizing a camping event for Florida Carry since 2018. In Florida, its legal to open carrying while you’re doing the “...ing” activities: camping, hunting, fishing. Therefore, anyone camping can open carry while they’re there. Past speakers are a who’s who of the 2A community. Massad Ayoob, Rick Ector, Rob Morse, Rob Pincus, to name just a few.
This year, the event was held at Runaway Campers in Summerfield, FL, on March 19 & 20. The camping part was both nights, but the Speaker Event was only on Saturday. This was the first time many of the 2A activists, authors, and speakers have gotten together since the Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation in Phoenix, September 2019.
The line up for 2021 included Cheryl Todd from Gun Freedom Radio & AZFirearms, Rick Ector from Legally Armed In Detroit, Erich Pratt from Gun Owners of America, Dan Wos author of Good Gun Bad Guy, Craig DeLuz from The Gunshine State, Amy Dillon of Shooting Industry Magazine, and Patrick Collins firearm instructor. Amanda Suffecool of Eye On The Target and REALIZE Firearm Awareness did one of her world famous concealed carry fashion shows. The event was emceed by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Deputy Director of New Media and the Polite Society Podcast founder and host, Paul Lathrop.
After the event was over, I was able to round a few of the speakers, all who have been in the passenger’s seat of the stagecoach, for a whiz bang round of RSWC. The game plan was to get as many people in the car as we could. Then put Amy Dillon across everyone’s lap who was in the back seat.
We had: John Petrolino, author and writer for Ammoland, JM4 Tactical, & Bearing Arms. Patrick Collins, Cheryl & Danny Todd, & Amy Dillon. We just wanted to do a wrap up and review of the event, and what were some good takeaways as well. Everyone got a chance to share what they enjoyed about it. A big one for me is the fellowship that we get when we all get together. These events really are like family reunions. And I know everyone says that. It’s the closest way to describe it. We all see each other online and interact on several podcasts and in writing, but there’s nothing better than getting together in person and sharing handshakes and hugs.
Cheryl & Danny, Amy, and myself have been to several GRPC’s and The DC Project events. Patrick has been to GRPC and Rick Ector’s Women event. It was John Petrolino’s first time meeting ‘his people’ as he was able to sneak away from other commitments in the Orlando area. It was wonderful to see everyone.
Next week, there will be an RSWC #099 Part 2 with some of the others who were at the event. I’m excited to say many of the folks and a couple new passengers made a fun video to kick off this episode. You can find it on YouTube here. https://youtu.be/d2rR1PtolyQ
Cheryl Todd: “I got to moderate a panel and that is one of my most favorite things to do. You can do rapid fire questions. And we did a diversity panel.”
Danny Todd: “What kind of an event can you go to and leave with two woman on your lap?”
Amy Dillon: “Probably the most personal speech I ever made. But I think its important to share vulnerability.”
Patrick Collins: “My goal is to teach in all 50 states, which there’s not a lot of instructors have done that before.”
John Petrolino: “Hopefully, in 5 years we’ll be writing about none of this stuff and we’ll be writing about freedom!”
Cheryl & Danny Todd
Gun Freedom Radio
Legacy Defense Consulting
What a concept!!!
I really love this concept and this Podcast!! In these interviews you learn history - not just pertaining to the Second Amendment - around the country, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be entertained. Also you’ll hear about Second Amendment events, activism and opportunities you (may not have been) aware of!
I’ve found other Second Amendment friends from this Podcast!
Charlie lets the guests talk.. and he has interesting guests.
Love listening to these...while I drive of course!