Massachusetts – -(AmmoLand.com)- Back in 2016 Charlie Cook had an idea that was born from a Toastmasters’ assignment. The crux of the project was to learn to work on video and how it offers effective communications. He worked through the assignments and then took the ball and ran with it. What came next was the idea of doing a show talking to folks in the firearm community with the guests/passengers in the shotgun seat.
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
What is Riding Shotgun With Charlie (RSWC)? The show is a long-form video podcast that host, Charlie Cook, films in his car. Each episode features someone notable in the 2nd Amendment world or persons that are freedom-oriented. From the show’s original introduction:
Riding shotgun refers to the practice of sitting next to the driver in a moving vehicle. The term riding shotgun came around after the time of the stagecoach when someone used to sit next to the driver holding shotgun in case they ran into bandits….My name is Charlie Cook and I drive a lot. I like to talk to people while I’m driving. So, I interview people in my car while I’m driving.
From an often aired radio commercial, Cook further expands on his goal and what the show is all about:
Conversations in the car about gun safety, freedoms, and even a few laughs. Imagine you’re in the back seat listening to an intimate chat with me and my passengers as we drive all around the country.
The RSWC show does exactly that, gives viewers and listeners the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes and an unscripted look into what makes his guests tick. When talking about the concept, Cook would often refer to how it seems people are much more apt to open up when they are just driving in a car headed to a destination. Think about some memorable conversations you may have had in your life while with someone in a car…that is what the show is about.
Right out of the gate, Charlie became a success. His project which started with humble roots quickly gained him the attention of some of the biggest names in the 2nd Amendment community. RSWC scored interviews early with legends such as the Reverend Kenn Blanchard, Master Firearms Trainer Anthony Colandro, and Mark Walters from Armed American Radio. With his continued success, Cook was able to snag more big names like Amanda Suffecool & Rob Campbell, Rob Pincus, Yehuda Remer, Shaneen Allen, Amy Dillon, Paul Lathrop, Dereck LeBlanc, Dianna Muller, Rick Ector, and many others. Each and every show is a peek at some of the magic behind the curtains.
In celebrating the 100th episode, Cook made his way out to Bellevue, Washington, and had a chance to interview Alan Gottlieb, the founder and Executive Vice President of The Second Amendment Foundation. Gottlieb, a leader, and champion of 2nd Amendment rights took on the role of warding off bandits, while Cook took the reins of the stagecoach. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is no stranger to the stagecoach, as past episodes have had Massad Ayoob, the current President of the SAF, and Paul Lathrop, the Deputy Director of New Media for the SAF, both as guests. This great opportunity to hear from Gottlieb was more than the normal commentary on litigation and current events, it gives us, the viewers a chance to learn more about the man behind the bowtie.
Cook broke the ice talking about driving Gottlieb’s Corvette, and then the interview went into full swing. In talking about what got Mr. Gottlieb interested in “gun stuff” (as we tend to call it) he stated he grew up in New York City where “no one grows up learning to shoot or having a gun”, and his first exposure to firearms was while serving in the Army (thank you Mr. Gottlieb for your service). Gottlieb talks about the early formation of the idea of The Second Amendment Foundation and how in 1972 there really was no group advocating for the civil right. While the NRA was in formation, they had not entered onto the scene yet concerning rights preservation/lobbying to the extent they are known now. Cook and Gottlieb discuss the relationships between The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms. This was a good look into how the organizations both have a pivotal role to play. Another fun fact gleaned from the interview is that Gottlieb’s background is in “big weapons”, having studied nuclear engineering.
When I reached out to Cook about the monumental 100th episode he had this to say:
I would have never believed that RSWC would be more than something I did for a short time. It’s given me the chance to work, travel, and meet many folks who I’ve had lots of respect for and be able to call them friends.
While 100 episodes may not seem like a lot to some content creators, however, this is a situation where it should be celebrated. Between production value, getting quality guests, guests being in person for filming, and the multitude of locations Cook has traveled to in order to pull off the show, viewers are treated to a show like none other out there on 2nd Amendment issues. With the goal to increase the number of guests on the show and his reach, Cook recently decided to change his biweekly show release schedule to a weekly show.
Be sure to check out the Riding Shotgun With Charlie youtube page as well as his home page for some cool RSWC gear. As Cook turns a leaf in the pages of RSWC history books, he looks forward to new guests, new locations, and new friends. If you’re interested in becoming a corporate sponsor of Riding Shotgun With Charlie, be sure to reach out to him! It’s his goal to “get the stagecoach across America!”
Cook’s final message, “I’m trying to bring fun-ownership to gun ownership! He he!”
The 100th episode with Alan Gottlieb is a must-watch show and can be viewed in full: Embedded at top of the article.
Here is the complete manifest of the Riding Shotgun With Charlie guests as of May 2021:
|Marcus Allen Weldon||Leyla Pirnie||Klint Macro|
|Mark Walters||Dan Wos||Brian Harris|
|Anthony Colandro||Tony Simon||Daniel Easterday|
|Rev Kenn Blanchard||Rob Morse||Mike Ox|
|Kirk Whatley||Kevin Sona||John Costa|
|Dennis McCudry||Michael Taylor||Mike Hughes|
|Peter Johnson||Steve Jenkins||Britt Lentz|
|Lee Michaels||Massad Ayoob||Brooke Cheney|
|Rob Campbell||Gianno Russo||Lauren Nelson|
|Amanda Suffecool||Steve Merrette||Dawn Hillyer|
|Steve Moysey||Lauren Hartnett||LaKasha Robbins|
|Shaneen Allen||David Rosenthal||Ronnie Siegel|
|Yehuda Remer||Mary Schuster-Callison||Robyn Sandoval|
|Gary Daugherty||Jared Yanis||Aaargo Jay|
|Jeff Zimba||Tatiana Whitlock||Stephanie Schafer|
|Erin Palette||Chris Doherty||Boge Quinn|
|Adda May Dillon||Shakey Dave Smith||Brad Premo|
|Paul Lathrop||Kerry Slone||Claude Werner|
|Pierre Salomon||Kelly Pidgeon||Beth Alcazar|
|Doug Danger||Susan Hansen||Stephen Willeford|
|Brian Aitken||Lori Blackwell||Brian Hill|
|DeeDee Edmondson||Chris Dover||Shelley Hill|
|Mike Follo||Dianna Muller||Teddy Daniels|
|James Kaleda||Cheryl Todd||Patrick Collins|
|Michael de Bethencourt||Danny Todd||Sarah Albrecht|
|Jay MaMahon||Gina Roberts||John Petrolino|
|Bob Steadman||Lara Smith||Gabby Cannons|
|Jon Green||Rob Pincus||Judi Wells|
|Tammy Mihm||Kevin Dixie||Theresa Inacker|
|Rick Ector||John Richardson||Kim Petters|
|Derek LeBlanc||Andrew Gottlieb||Dan Grdovic|
|Andee Reardon||Tomasz Stepien||Stephen Shives|
|Holly Sullivan||Michael Sodini||Kristin Franke|
|Rhonda Ezell||Mark Shean||Alan Gottlieb|
|Greg Hopkins||Matt Mallory|
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .