How we got started...
In Cumberland County, TN a group of volunteers along with
citizens working with the Cumberland County Government Community Complex
decided they would work towards continuing a long term commitment, by providing
a free place for youth groups and organizations from the entire county to hold
their meetings and events every year.
When the Community Complex was first built the County commissioners made a
policy that it be rented to the public for shows weddings, family reunions,
etc… but it would be donated to any children’s organizations which needed
space. Herein lays the problem. In 1974 there weren’t as many kids’ organizations
as there are today. This 119 acre Community Complex located in Crossville, TN
consists of two large buildings, open air barns, an outdoor stadium with arena,
and the Obid River Park.
That space is
donated to youth organizations such as:
Little League Football and Youth Soccer; 4-H, FFA, and Horse Shows;
Cheerleading and Junior and Senior High School Barbeques; Christian Youth
Meetings and Boy and Girl Scouts; Hunter Education; Foster Children’s Groups;
just to name a few.
A few years ago the commissioners put their heads together
to look at ways to generate revenue to continue the donation policy. None of the commissioners wanted to change
the policy but they had to offset the losses to continue to keep the doors open
at this facility and still meet the demands of an ever growing youth participation at
the center. The idea of a Gun and Knife
Show was born, with the first show held at the Government Community Complex
The show is now a yearly event,
generating enough income to provide free use for youth groups for an entire year. Not only are the kids benefiting from the use
of the Complex, but a confiscated weapons auction is also held to benefit the
local Police and Sherriff’s Departments, providing more benefits to the
community as well.
Most gun shows are geared towards men; this
show is geared to family.
this the group of government and volunteers seek partnerships from the
community. These partnerships include: The Plateau Longbeards (chapter of the
National Wild Turkey Federation); Daisy Air-Guns who provide inflatable air-gun
ranges for the children to shoot in; local sportsmen provide an archery range
so the kids would have the opportunity to shoot a bow; bounce houses; birds of
prey exhibits; face painting and balloon characters; gun safety classes; just to
name a few of the events provided in past years. And
the number one key – all children’s events are supervised by qualified
personnel trained to teach kids safety and responsibility.
Adult Classes available at previous shows include: Gun safety classes for the adults along with
Concealed Carry Permit classes to fully qualify for obtaining a carry
permit. Various How To classes have also been
provided to acquaint attendees with other aspects of gun/knife safety and
operation, CPR, self-defense, and etc.
We don’t want to forget the enormous support provided by our
local law enforcement officers and medical personnel who donate their time to
provide security and health services during the entire event. We also have lots of support from local
businesses and citizens as well as the Friends of the NRA.
We are the only Gun and Knife Show in the state of Tennessee sponsored by a government agency that hosts a show to benefit the youth of the area and possibly the only one in the United States. We hope that other communities take on similar projects
with their Gun and Knife Shows.
This outreach will help to educate more
citizens of our gun rights in this nation and the continuous battle the NRA
fights with government regulations –good can be achieved if we work together to
make it happen.