Riding Shotgun With Charlie, #172 Paul Markel Student of the Gun

U.S.A. — Paul Markel is someone I’ve heard on Armed American Radio several times. It’s always great to hear his stance on anything. He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t hold back. And you always know where he stands. A good friend said he would be at NRAAM in Indianapolis this year and at the GLOCK booth. So after an email and an introduction, he said he’d be up for doing the show. Special thanks to Rob & Amanda from Eye On The Target Radio for the use of their “stagecoach” to film the show.

We kicked off with Paul explaining that it wasn’t a job he was looking for, but a job he accepted was to be the Pimp Hand of America because “this country needs a slap.” And he’s just the man to do it.  Paul is very direct and to the point about his stance on topics du jour. Our first topic was the homeless folks on the way to his hotel in Indy.

During his youth, Paul spent time running around the yard with a rifle-shaped stick. That led to shooting single-shot BB guns with his grandfather with a tube of BBs from the local grocery store. Joining the military after his high school love didn’t work out; he enlisted as a Marine and spent time on the USS Forrestal. After jungle warfare training, they had to change to desert warfare training, and he was involved with Desert Storm Part 1.

Upon coming home, he needed to find a job. His family knew a police chief, and he went into the police academy but found out that 500 men like him were applying for three jobs. Back when he was 19, he tried to take an executive protection course. The job required experience, which he didn’t have at the time. But after the military, he found he was a good candidate for that line of work, which he did for 13 years.

With all this experience, Paul took a job as a military contractor and started teaching small arms and tactics. When the contract starts to wind down, the job looks less and less appealing. While in the Marine Corps, he was a rifle and pistol marksmanship coach and really enjoyed teaching classes. A mentor suggested the old adage about “publish or die,” and that led to Paul starting to write back in 1993 when he sold a couple of articles. He eventually started writing for Harris Publication and many other magazines.

Writing led to talking to a TV producer, and that’s how Student of the Gun (SOTG) TV started. Eventually, SOTG ended up on several different TV networks. Producing TV shows takes a lot of work. There are cameras, lighting, audio, and editing, and it’s all time-consuming.

What I really like about Paul is that he’s a very intellectual man. He’s very well-read. On the SOTG website, there’s a suggested reading list of several books and how & where to order them. We talk about 1984, The Rape of the Mind, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. He talks about how going to bodyguard school really helped him learning to pay attention which has also helped out with the things he studied and learned from the masters and the books mentioned. The job of the bodyguard is to make sure that nothing happens and nothing unexpected happens, which means you also need to know what is normal and what is out of place.

I’ve already started the SOTG book collection by buying Total Resistance by H. Von Dach. I also downloaded The Rape of the Mind in audiobook for some driving adventures coming up. I do like buying books, but I need to read some of them, too. Otherwise, it’s futile.

Favorite quotes:

  • “It’s the only job you can work and as the years go by, you get paid the same amount or less, for doing the more work.”
  • “A stepping stone in a profession is to be published.”
  • “You destroy the culture. You destroy the language. You destroy the people.”
  • “When everything is a Right, nothing is a Right.”
  • “I don’t know if I ever created anything but I sat at the feet of masters and I paid attention.”

About Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Riding Shotgun With Charlie isn’t about firearms. It is about having an intimate conversation with 2 people talking. You’re the fly on the rearview mirror. Many of the passengers are involved in the firearm community.

This is a more intimate conversation than a phone, radio, or Skype interview. You get to see the passengers. And you’ll see where the road and the conversation take you!


Riding Shotgun With Charlie