Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Eye On The Target Radio
You have absolutely no idea when or where you’re going to meet your next best friend. I replied to a Facebook post about a radio show wanting to talk to instructors from every state. I replied because it was 2015 and I was teaching NRA courses in Massachusetts. I made two great friends during that show but I didn’t know it.
In 2016, I was at the Gun Rights Policy Conference and I ran into Amanda Suffecool. She’s Rob Campbell’s sister. They were the radio show hosts I talked to. We became fast friends. The following February I went to Cleveland to emcee a concealed carry fashion show with Amanda for Realize FAC, their non-profit to help educate people about firearms. After the fashion show then a Friends of the NRA dinner, we raced to the local radio station to do Eye On The Target Radio. We’ve raced all around the country, SHOT Show, NRA AM, GPRC, Florida Cary events, and the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival.
Rob is a very relaxed guy. He’s been called “Rob Dude” for sometime. His father was a collector of Ruger .357s. They have been going to SHOT Show for about 20 years. Rob and Amanda have owned a gun store and they spend time buying and selling some collectibles. Campbell has an extensive knowledge of firearm history and origins. They’ve got a segment on the history of guns on their show. Amanda just gives him a topic and he’s off.
Like many folks, Campbell has a day job that keeps him busy. But since EOTT has gone from a station in Akron OH, to a nationally syndicated show on the Salem Network, he hasn’t really changed. He loves all the events they go to but he’s the catalyst that pushes Amanda. He says he’s along for the ride and would be OK if they weren’t going everywhere. But I think he secretly enjoys it.
We talk about how he does some training with friends. Most of it is defensive training. They like pushing a firearm’s limit to see how much abuse it can take. He’s at the range weekly trying new things and shooting different guns.
Having a radio show gives you some credibility. One day; Rob got a call from a local sheriff and the Ohio Attorney General. They inquired about a blind man who wanted a carry permit. Campbell said he would train him and pass on his knowledge and skill information because the blind man also needs to be able to defend himself. When they asked if Campbell would give him a carry permit, he said it’s not up to him. Because the man would have to apply, then be denied, then sue the state over his rights. Then they would have to determine how blind was too blind.
Campbell really is a walking encyclopedia of firearm knowledge and history. At some events, he brings his Blue Book of Gun Values and helps evaluate guns for people. He has a story about a man who had a gun and didn’t know what he had. Rob told him to have someone else evaluate it and it ended up being worth thousands of dollars.
He’s also told Amanda to go buy a particular gun because he knows it’s worth more than the store is asking. Another time at an auction, someone got into a bidding war. The other person knew that if Campbell kept bidding, it had to have a high value. Turns out it was just going to be a parts gun for another one he was building.
Rob is a great guy to hang out with and tell stories with. And I’m not necessarily talking about the tinfoil hat theories or what happened to Epstein.
“I’ve been a student of the gun since I was a little kid.”
“If you got a shotgun, you can find somebody that will buy it.”
“I never paid too much for a gun, I just bought it too early.”
“Shooting is a memory game: you gotta remember what you did last time you hit the bull’s eye.”
“You think the West Coast is anti-gun, but they like Rob & Amanda’s radio show.”
“It’s not about the gun, it’s all in the mechanics of keeping your eye open.”
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