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Our Money: As Good As Anyone’s

Local businesses are apparently quite excited to have the NRA in town this coming weekend in St. Louis.

That event, which drew 64,562 in 2007, stands as the convention center’s second-biggest ever. The expectation is for more gun enthusiasts this time, in big part because of presidential politics.

Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all plan to pump their Second Amendment pedigrees during a forum Friday. Other speakers include NRA favorites Oliver North and Glenn Beck.

I’m guessing Santorum won’t be there now, but perhaps we will break some more records this year. My concern about topping the record would be gas prices being so high. But our people often surprise me.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing at Annual Meeting this year. I haven’t really thought that far ahead, and head is only a few days. Too much has been going on here to think much about it.

“With so many of our members within a four-hour drive, St. Louis is a target-rich environment for us,” Arulanandam said. “We had a very positive experience in St. Louis five years ago.”

St. Louis won that chance by default. The NRA had planned to meet that year in Columbus, Ohio, but the Columbus City Council voted to ban assault-type weapons. That’s also why it won’t patronize the home of the Cubs, the team the Cardinals are hosting this weekend at Busch Stadium.

I had forgotten about this. St. Louis was a last minute change of plans. It would be impossible to have the convention somewhere that banned “assault weapons” since the exhibit hall will be full of them. I’d like to make it a goal, in that case, to host the NRA Annual Meeting in Chicago. I want to hear Mayor Rahm say nice things about us because he wants our money, and there’s not anything he can do about our guns. It would be glorious. I’ll also make it a goal, before I shuffle off the old mortal coil, to attend an NRA Annual Meeting in New York City, because we’ve fixed enough laws to make it viable.

14 Responses to “Our Money: As Good As Anyone’s”

  1. wizardpc says:

    Hmmm….I wonder what the NRA is planning to do for their Nashville meeting, since firearms are generally banned from property owned by the Nashville city government.

    The convention center is currently being built, but the old convention center, the Hockey Arena, the Titans Stadium, and all parks are posted in accordance with TCA 39-17-1359. It’s a B misdemeanor to violate the signage.

    • Bitter says:

      Well, pretty clearly they wouldn’t have scheduled there if that’s still the case.

      That said, I do believe it’s the convention center under construction. It will be finished shortly before the convention there, I believe. The same thing happened with Phoenix. When they first announced Arizona, I thought that was such an unreasonable risk since construction delays always seem to happen. However, it was completed in time. The only logistical nightmare was that they only opened one entry down to the check-in location, and the line was obscenely long. However, if they learn and open both sides of the building that go down to the check-in area in the future, it will be great.

  2. Jacob says:

    Even if all NYC gun laws disappeared, it would cost 3x to host the annual meeting in the City as any place else in the country. They’d never do it based upon that alone.

  3. Sigivald says:

    “With so many of our members within a four-hour drive, St. Louis is a target-rich environment for us,”

    Eliminationist rhetoric!

  4. Bitter says:

    I have no idea what I’ll be doing at Annual Meeting this year.

    Fortunately, I have your schedule. What? You thought you’d be taking a relaxing trip? You’re funny. :)

  5. Bitter says:

    Actually commenting on the article now:

    Cabbie Ismail Ibrahim calls it “the greatest news.”

    Good. I hope there will actually be cabs available this year. In 2007, I seem to recall we had quite a bit of trouble trying to track down cabs. We called the companies and arranged pickups for the vast majority of them, and I did a car service for us from the airport.

    Russell, managing partner of the Dubliner at 1025 Washington Avenue, said NRA members kept the place hopping in 2007.

    How did we not find this place back then? Finding places to eat in St. Louis on Sunday night was not easy. Oh well, we’ve at least got drink plans there now for this year.

    If the NRA does beat its own attendance record, it has little chance of unseating the top draw at America’s Center. On Jan. 27, 1999, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the Dome before 104,000 people, some of whom watched via closed-circuit TV in the main exhibition hall.

    Can we beat the Pope? He is still the only guy, plus the Super Bowl, that cities have said we haven’t been able to beat. They are right that the odds are still in the Pope’s favor for keeping the title of biggest attraction there. As popular as the NRA convention is, I don’t think they can beat the Holy Dude from Rome.

    Across Washington Avenue at Stanley’s Cigar Bar and Lounge, there’s a posting of another sort: “Smoking allowed here.” That has attracted several events by NRA members.

    Too funny. I told Sebastian that if we wanted to be social, we should stop by. Our people are kind of predictable. :)

  6. Peter O says:

    Well, the Columbus ban was what got the state to pass preemption, so that problem isn’t really one anymore. We still have the problem of the people in charge, but There’s a big new Hotel going up by the Columbus Convention Center, and I’m sure they’d love to have it filled. Maybe eventually we’ll get someone better in charge, and they can finally come here.

    • FatWhiteMan says:

      Since the NRA cancelled Columbus because of the city AWB, then pushed and won preemption that destroyed the ban, we really need to have a convention there. Would have been nice to have it while Mayor Coleman was still there to rub it in his face but 2017 isn’t booked yet is it? Columbus resident (or near enough) Linda Walker is on the Board–maybe she could help.

      • Peter O says:

        He’s in his fourth term, and I don’t see anything stopping him from a fifth, so you are still able to get your wish. There’s no term limits, so nothing is stopping him.

        other than the AWB/MAIG issue, he’s not that bad for a big-city mayor, so that is always disappointing

  7. Thirdpower says:

    I’m going on the cheap. I’ll be staying at a relative’s house and taking the metro to avoid parking fees.

    Other than that, my plans are open.

    • FatWhiteMan says:

      I’m driving over to St. Louis (about 8 hour drive) and staying at a hotel about 10 miles away from the convention.

      I didn’t email Bitter about 2A Blog Bash this year but I wouldn’t mind meeting some of you for a cup of coffee or something.

  8. Ian Argent says:

    Man, I wish I could go.

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