(This has turned into a live blog post – at least as long as I have power. I wasn’t fully charged this morning, unfortunately.)
Chris Cox is making great jokes about the media’s lack of understanding of the issue during the opening of the Leadership Forum. He’s talking about the “media” in general, but bloggers should know that Chris is not clueless about blogs, and he knows the value of new media. In the meetings where he has a bit more time to “explain” it to other folks, he recognizes the role the blogosphere plays in raising the profile of gun issues and building community within the movement.
I’ve got video of a special guest who sang the national anthem. You might know her father – Scott Brown. I’ll upload it when I have easier access to power. The press area is so big that I don’t think we can fit in many places in this arena. There are 10 cameras here, and I’m assuming that includes at least one pool camera that will serve multiple networks. There are also several print folks here, at least based on the notebooks.
Wayne is doing a very interesting introduction right now. He’s asking law enforcement, fire fighters, veterans, educators, health care workers, trade workers, and then stay at home moms to stand up to illustrate that NRA is made up of “real people.” The crowd goes nuts for the stay at home moms and veterans especially. “See us for who we really are, and see if you can finally tell it straight.” -Wayne LaPierre
This makes me very paranoid about using this tactic in my presentation on Saturday. Eek. Hope they are still ready to get on their feet tomorrow!
The Governor of North Carolina was scheduled, but she had to send a video message. She’s emphasizing hunting and sportsmen’s activities. She’s asking people to come back, but the local media is not so welcoming. I’m also hearing many folks boo her name – I guess Democrats here in North Carolina have a fight set out for them later this year.
Haley Barbour is up, and Chris mentioned that Mississippi didn’t go the way of New Orleans. Instead, “You loot, we shoot” signs went up. Barbour joked the message was, if you shoot looters, we don’t prosecute. Man, this guy is so seriously Southern. He’s talking about friends with full autos – now that’s not a conversation you can have with a politician often! Now Barbour has switched to a message about limited government and elections.
The arena staff are screaming “Popcorn” as they walk the aisles. I admit, I’m so hungry. But, they should be told that this is not the kind of event where you actually scream out what you have. The Time Warner arena does have some beautiful HD screens. We’re actually not that far away, but I prefer the screens.
John Thune is up. He mentioned that the crowd heard from Chuck Cunningham, but I think 99% of people are confused. Chuck heads up federal affairs, and he doesn’t speak at events like this. But unless you know quite a bit about their operations, you wouldn’t know who on earth he was talking about. Thune is now emphasizing his concealed carry amendment & the vote, but now it’s a switch to the Courts. He says that nominees must be specifically questioned about their Second Amendment positions.
Now we’re into hunting stories. Apparently, Thune is a grouse hunter. He shot his first grouse with a single shot .410. Just in case you were curious. He says he’s taken his daughters to the range & out hunting. That’s a nice message to hear.
We’re now on to Heath Shuler, one of those evil right wing Democrats the local paper was condemning. He’s telling stories about how he grew up. I actually feel sorry for sincerely pro-gun Democrats. They cannot defend their leadership who constantly put them in bad positions. Apparently, today is his son’s 9th birthday. They hunt together, apparently wild hogs. He bought his son his own AR-15. He believes he may be the member of Congress who buys the most ammunition. That would be an interesting debate to have. Great photo op for the cause, that’s for sure.
According to Schuler, he dropped legislation on Wednesday about Eddie Eagle. I’ll be honest, I’ve been cut off from news since Tuesday. He says there are more than 105 co-sponsors, and he expects more than 200 by the end of this week.
Larry Potterfield of Midway is speaking now. He’s modifying Paul Revere’s call to “the Liberals are coming!” The crowd goes nuts. He’s got on his gold jacket – recognition that he has donated or pledged more than $1 million over their lifetimes. The way that the Advancement Office has stepped up and engaged wealthier people who are pro-gun, but maybe didn’t do anything about it, is really commendable. It means that the outreach programs will be fully funded for years.
Wow. Midway’s Round Up program has now raise $5.2 million. And with that, I need to switch to video & Twitter.