by Kevin Michalowski
The Nov. 5, 2012, edition is my final issue as senior editor of Gun Digest the Magazine. It also marks the end of nearly 15 years here at the offices of Gun Digest. I have taken the job of executive editor at Concealed Carry Magazine, combining my love of guns and self-defense.
Yep, I started here back in December of 1997 as a book editor trying to keep Patrick Sweeney from splitting his infinitives. I also, apparently ineffectively, began lecturing M.D. Johnson about throwing in one more comma. Back then I was a fresh-faced newspaper columnist who realized my right-wing mindset would never serve me well in the newsroom of a metropolitan daily.
So I got out before I sold out. Instead, I opted for life in Iola, Wisconsin, and what a life it has been.
Thanks to this job and this place my two sons have grown up surrounded by firearms and the gun industry. They are both avid shooters and enjoy hunting and time outdoors. I could not be prouder.
Professionally, I used this time to fulfill as many goals as I could, and to learn all aspects of the publishing industry. I’ve authored a couple books, met some great people and, for the most part, I’ve gotten to do everything I really love doing. A friend of mine recently told me, “Kevin, you have scratched your name in the earth. People know who you are.”
I don’t know about that. I’m just a guy who likes talking about guns. I try to learn what I can and pass that information to people who care. What writer could ask for anything more?
What I will miss most is the reader mail. When I left the newspaper business with a handful of awards and great memories, I carried with me a file of fan letters. Mostly they were folks carrying on about memories I stirred up with my columns.
Here at Gun Digest, letters have run the gamut from the good to the bad to the ugly. The ones I’ve saved reside in the “The Loon File.” I will cherish it forever.
Inside “The Loon File,” all the problems of modern life are solved, I think. It contains everything from conspiracy theories to direct threats against my life.
One reader demanded I send him a duck. Another reader, hoping to order guns, figured he would need to include fingerprints and DNA! Eww!
I received a résumé from an inmate at a federal correctional facility, an “arrest warrant” for Barack Obama and countless attacks on my character, career choice and national heritage.
I couldn’t make this stuff up and it provides countless hours of entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing from readers, but to make “The Loon File” you needed to be really special.
Finally, before I ride off into the sunset, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the readers of this publication for allowing me to keep this job. I also thank the writers who have taught me something with every column and feature story submitted. Each of you has expanded my knowledge. Again, who could ask for more?
It’s been fun.