Release 1.0: Atlanta, 24 October 1998

The second Geeks With Guns outing took place the last night of the 1998 Atlanta Linux Showcase. The chain of causation began with some slightly wigged-out speculation on the linux-kernel list about what might come down on us when Microsoft wakes up (the thread subject was "Arm the gnus!").

There came a point at which I offered to teach basic defensive pistol technique to anyone feeling really paranoid about the Borg from Redmond. This had two main effects: (a) it started a huge gun-control flamewar in which I carefully took no part, and (b) it prompted somebody to suggest that I run my tutorial at the soonest upcoming Linux conference, ALS.

I posted an announcement, and thus was ``Geeks With Guns: Release 1'' born, announced as an ALS Birds of a Feather session. The ALS guys (some of them gun fans themselves) swallowed hard and didn't mess with us, except for telling us not to bring firearms into the convention hall itself and requesting that the flyer describe the shenanigans as ``not an ALS-sponsored event''.

Once again, communications problems nearly screwed us over. But we managed to meet in the Day's Inn lobby, 1900 Saturday night, and found Georgia Range and Guns off I75 without difficulty.

Our cast this time included Rob Walker, Russ Nelson, Tom Turner, Bob Macmillan, myself, and Richard M. Stallman (Richard fulfilling our quota of at least one demigod per expedition). Richard was our star newbie this time -- he didn't quite match Dan Quinlan's bravura performance in Mountainview, but he was a pretty damn good shot for a first-timer.

Once again it was my .45 and a couple of rented nines. I had a strange accident early on when the barrel bushing popped out of my gun; this cut into my shooting time because it turned out my recoil spring cap had to be unjammed. All ended well, however.

Russ took pictures. Here's everybody but Russ on the firing line. And here's RMS demonstrating his new policy towards software hoarders. (Russ's own report has more pictures).

Afterwards, RMS steered us to a bar/restaurant called the Somber Reptile to meet some friends. There indeed proved to be a bunch of ALS people there; in fact, we basically had the place to ourselves.

There was live music (with a band that turned out to include a Linux hacker!). There were games of eight-ball, at which I was completely incompetent (note: Russ Nelson is a pool shark!). There was excellent Cajun food, including spicy-hot gumbo and po' boys. There was an archetypal sexy blonde biker-chick waitress with tattoos (she offered to show me her new ones if we come back next year...).

Once again, a good time was had by all.