ABOUT 20km south down the Dixie Highway in Louisville, Kentucky, lies the National Rifle Association’s greatest American treasure: the Knob Creek Gun Range. In April 2010 I travelled to Knob Creek in my beaten down 1995 Ford Aerostar in search of action, adventure and a few explosions. What I found there was an event so spectacular it needs to be seen to be believed. I was there for Knob Creek’s bi-annual Machine Gun Shoot, speculated to be the biggest shoot in the world.
Before pulling into Stites Station Road – the final leg of my 1200km journey – I passed by the Rivergirls Lounge on the Ohio River. The ladies were out front smoking, looking bored with no work. When the Machine Gun shoot is on, the small town of Orell empties since everyone is at Knob Creek for the shoot. Any man with balls had left the strip joint to go let off a few rounds of a different kind.
This celebration of second amendment rights made other shoot offs look like pistol-whipping wimps. This event had more ammunition and ordinance going down range than three battalions of Taliban in Afghanistan. There was also a Vietnam War-era Huey circling the tourists overhead.
Arms dealers were out in force too, selling their wears which ranged from high calibre sniper rifles to Russian grenade launchers. Kentucky is a conservative, Christian state and as I learned from my experience in the US – the one thing conservative Christians love more than Jesus is their guns.
The trip was a mind-blowing experience, which led me to fully appreciate – and be scared of – American liberties.