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Malloy to NRA: Support Obamacare!

Governor Malloy of Connecticut is such a tool:

“There are those who will say this is not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem, and today I want to challenge that,” he said. “If it’s a mental-health problem, NRA, why aren’t you advocating for the ACA? Why aren’t you criticizing governors who will not allow Medicaid to be delivered to their citizens, with its mental-health component? NRA, if you’re serious about making America safer, you would join Connecticut, as we have had one of the most successful rollouts of the ACA, bringing mental-health treatment to tens of thousands of people who might not otherwise have it.”

NRA’s single issue only intersects mental health when it comes to prohibition for gun ownership. There are other groups out there that advocate for mental health generally, and that is not, nor should it be the National Rifle Association. Also, and Malloy knows this, the issue is adjudication which is almost always a state, rather than a federal matter, and this problem is not really one that can be solved at the federal level.

I’d love to be able to serve Malloy’s political career up on a platter at the next election, but I’m concerned that Connecticut has become one of those states where Democrats could hold rallies at the Capitol where they’d strangle live puppies and still would get re-elected.

David Keene on Smart Guns

David Keene recently appeared on Fox Business to discuss the topic of smart guns, and NRA’s opposition to Vivek Murthy’s nomination to the post of Surgeon General. Keene is a great spokesman for NRA and the issue, so I’m happy to see he’s still on the news circuit speaking on behalf of the organization. Obviously this was a friendly interview, but I’ve also seen Keene handle himself well in hostile interviews.

NRA Finally Getting Social Media?

I was interested to see NRA actually jumping in to an online comment thread and defending their record on certain issues when it was attacked. As short as a few years ago, NRA didn’t really have a very effective new media game, and one thing I always thought is that they needed to be more engaged with defending their record. There are always going to be haters, and haters gonna hate, but I think most people can be reasoned with. I am very pleased to see them jumping in here. The era of mass media isn’t over, but it’s getting there, and the more it gets there the more you depend on reaching individual people. That’s how you stay relevant.

NRA Board Elections

With about 3 weeks for ballots to be returned, we’re doing a bit of a late overview of who we’re voting for this year. Neither one of us is voting for more than 10 people. There’s no need to feel like you need to fill in 25 circles just because you can. Here are a few of the names who might otherwise be overlooked.

First up our ballots (which happen to be exactly the same, which isn’t normally the case – maybe because we’re both digital subscribers?) is William H Dailey. He’s chair of the Civil Rights Defense Fund which often funds cases that have the opportunity to set precedent. Even if the bigger court cases on carry are generating mixed results, the CRDF is often involved with cases that rarely make major headlines.

We also backed Dan Boren because he does show up to participate, and politically I think keeping moderate Democrats involved in the issue. Representing the Left Coast, we’re voting for Joel Friedman who we’ve mentioned before.

Coming back east, we also both voted for Patricia A Clark from Newtown, Connecticut. She’s very involved in the shooting sports side of the issue, and I think that’s particularly important in places like Connecticut right now. In the same column on our ballots, there’s Todd J Rathner from Arizona who is actively involved in state legislatures pushing bills for both gun and knife rights. At the very bottom of the column is Linda L Walker who has been very good at being accessible to many gun owners on the ground.

Finally, we both voted for Antonio Hernandez of Puerto Rico who currently serves as a non-board member on the Legal Affairs and Urban Affairs Committees and has pushed to promote a pro-gun culture there by establishing the first Friends dinner and getting the island’s state association authorization renewed. In addition, I also cast a vote for Allan D Cors for his work with the NRA Foundation, as well as his involvement with ILA. I’m a fan of board members who have been involved in multiple aspects of the organization.

As always, we’ll highlight the results of the votes at the Annual Meeting.

Opposing the Sandy Hook Riders

From March 8-11, 26 cyclists will pedal from Sandy Hook, Connecticut to Washington DC, and their route will take them through my county. There is a rally planned in Doylestown for this Sunday to protest. I gave some thought about whether or not I will attend, but I am of mixed feelings on the best way to deal with this situation, and I have some reservations about the organizers.

One the one hand, the Sandy Hook riders don’t seem to be getting much attention. They currently rank 5063 “likes” on Facebook, with 632 “talking about this.” Hardly a movement. They also aren’t really pulling down much news coverage, at least as of now. There does come a point where all you’re accomplishing by protesting is helping them make a story and get in the news, when they might otherwise be ignored.

On the other hand, I also think they shouldn’t ever be allowed to occupy the field without being opposed if our side still retains the energy for opposition. They should know they are wading into controversy, and that there are fellow citizens who oppose their political agenda. They shouldn’t be able to get away with making their positions look non-controversial, or trying to pass off an obvious political statement as a memorial ride.

So I’m torn on whether a counter-protest is even the right tactic at all, but if protesting is the right thing, the deciding factor turns on what is the best protesting tactic. In my opinion passive opposition is the way to go here. I don’t think passive opposition is always the correct tactic, but I think it is in this particular circumstance it is. The group organizing this protest is Concerned Gun Owners of PA (formerly Concerned Gun Owners of Bucks County) who are not known for using passive tactics. They are better known for armed demonstration combined with aggressive, in-your-face tactics.

CGOBC sprung up right after Sandy Hook, and I attended several of their meetings and rallies. We attended a few meetings with some of their leaders. The group ended up splitting into two organizations last year, largely due to disagreement about tactics. I soured on CGOBC after the mother’s day rally, especially when they started to generate negative headlines having one of their leaders photographed screaming in the face of a little old lady. When you’re in a position of strength, as we are now, I think it’s best to behave as if you’re in a position of strength. Passive protest is the right tactic in this circumstance. Just be seen, and have someone ready to speak to the media when they come around. Don’t let the headline become armed protesters show up to intimidate a memorial ride. Unfortunately, CGOPA hasn’t shown (to me, at least) that they are good at using wise tactics.

Charlton Heston Gets a Stamp

In April, the USPS will release a stamp honoring former NRA president Charlton Heston. I initially found the news at Daily Caller, but they simply said the stamp would be released sometime in the year 2014. A look at the USPS website says that the release event is scheduled for a day to be determined in April.

If USPS is really interested in making some money, they would do it before the NRA meetings start on April 25 so that it’s a nifty little fact that stands a chance of getting mentioned to 70,000+ people who are more likely to have an interest in this particular actor.

Since it will be a standard First Class Forever stamp, it’s entirely possible that any mail sent in the next few years from our house may honor Mr. Heston. Think they’ll do a custom one of Charlton Heston in a Santa hat or holding some mistletoe for my Christmas cards? (h/t NYSRPA)

Liberal Gun Club in the News Again

A 1200 person gun club probably wouldn’t be a big news item if it weren’t for the fact that the club were made up of gun-loving progressives who had a few bad things to say about the NRA. In that case, the press is all over it. I wrote about this group a few weeks ago, when The Blaze first did an article about them. I do think this group is serious and not a false-flag front for interests that are pushing for more gun control.

It’s a difficult issue, because I can understand how they might be turned off by the gun rights being branded politically as a right-of-center belief, and a lot of gun rights groups don’t really do a whole lot to try to dissuade people from that viewpoint, and a few actively use gun rights as a lever for other right-wing causes.

But it is a fact that NRA endorses far more Republicans than Democrats because far more Republicans are better on the gun issue. I still challenge the Liberal Gun Club to outline a viable political strategy for starting a pro-Second Amendment insurgency from within the Democratic Party, which is where they could be the most useful. If being part of the Liberal Gun Club means loving your guns, but continuing to vote for the very people that vote for gun control because they are a-okay on other issues, you’re just window dressing. More importantly, your window dressing for those very people who defile the Second Amendment, because you’re advertising that you love guns and are fine with their policies. Do you love your guns enough to vote your gun rights? That’s the question they should answer.

Harrisburg Sportsmen’s Show Success by the Numbers

The local tourism authorities were quick to promote the success of NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show by the numbers that could be tallied.

Unfortunately, a hard attendance number is apparently impossible to say with accuracy because the barcode scanners used to track ticket holders actually entering the show had technical problems early in the show.

However, using other measures they regularly track for events at the venue, they were able to get an idea of how well it did.

  • 42,784 cars were parked on site and in off site parking lots designated for the show.
  • Using the same formula for approximate number of people in a car that they used with previous attendance, this means 23% increase in attendance in 2014 vs 2012 under Reed.
  • Nearly 4,800 NRA memberships sold on site.
  • 10,033 more room-nights were sold in 2014 vs 2012 under Reed’s management, and this is with fewer junky vendors coming into town to sell their wares & stay in the region.
  • $35 million in direct spending by attendees & vendors using conservative calculations that only 10% of attendees were staying the night in the area.

Also in their report include facts like many more hotels were willing to participate in the room block programs than under the old show and that the new mayor was actually a gracious host to NRA and met with them several times during the final planning stages.

More Magazine Circulation News

I’ve covered the positive news about gun magazines here before, but this is quite a shocker. American Rifleman is now in the top 25 of publications in the US, and it knocked Maxim out of the list of top magazines.

Video Day: Charlton Heston at the 1998 NRA Annual Meeting

This was held in Philadelphia. I can’t imagine NRA hosting an Annual Meeting in Philadelphia today. I did not go, because I wasn’t into guns back then, but I thought it was interesting that it got Ed Rendell to say something nice about the NRA. I was surprised this video was out there:

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