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Rick Santorum at Altoona Gun Show

Posted: December 13, 2015 | By: Logan Kentner Tagged: From the Campaign Trail

Since Iowa is a state with relatively high gun ownership, it is no surprise that gun shows are regular around the state. My grandfather informed me of a gun show that would be hosted in Altoona a few weeks back. Around the same time, I heard Sen. Rick Santorum would be attending as well.  Since the love for guns and politics is something we share together, I planned on attending in order to report back to my grandfather.

As I ventured in, I was wondering around and looking at the fine array of firearms on display. I asked several people if they knew when Santorum would be arriving. After receiving several “Who?” comments, I finally had someone inform me that he hadn’t showed up but would be soon. As I walked up and down the aisle, I was beginning to think the senator was going to be a no-show.  However, like in the 2012 Iowa caucuses, Santorum showed up out of nowhere.  He arrived very casually with only a group of four or five staffers. I have never seen a presidential candidate so relatable.  

Gun show held in Altoona

Sen. Rick Santorum attended a gun show held in Altoona on Dec. 6. Photo by Logan Kentner.

I stood back and watched him approach and meet the vendors, most of which were Iowans. Although the attendance at the gun show was not large on this Sunday afternoon, there were around 100 vendors. Santorum only spent around 15 minutes at the event, but these little events are what helped propel him to win the Iowa caucuses in 2012. On his way out, I was able to get a picture with him and discuss a few policies before he was on to his next event. 

Before I left, I went to the Iowa Firearms Coalition. They were one of the main sponsors for the event to see what they thought of Santorum. The guy running the booth said Santorum had been to several of their other shows. He said Santorum was just trying to meet as many people who were very likely to caucus for him as he could. Santorum has been in the state of Iowa more than any other presidential candidate in the race. Retail politics is exactly what Iowans want when selecting the caucus winner. I have heard more behind the scenes talk about the same thing being possible again this year. However, I don’t see it very likely that Iowa gives him another chance.  

IMG_1204Kentner is a sophomore studying politics and business. He enjoys quality time on his Harley Davidson exploring rural Iowa. Follow him on Twitter.