Sebastian live blogged the morning session of the NRA Board of Directors meeting, and made a brief mention about a special guest who addressed the board & members. I told him later that I was really amazed that I didn’t tear up listening to Tucson shooting survivor George Morris speak. To know that his support for freedom remains strong is absolutely inspiring.
According to news reports, George Morris met his wife Dorothy at a high school dance where she took the initiative at the end of the night and asked him to call her. They celebrated 54 years of marriage, and their 55th anniversary is next week.
Friends told the press that George still referred to Dorothy as his “sweetheart,” a fact that I can absolutely say is true after listening to him speak. During the shooting, he tried to shield her from the gunman and ended up shot twice himself. According to a friend who spoke with the media, he was placed in intensive care, had one bullet in his right leg, and suffered a broken rib and punctured lung from the other. He was in the hospital for 11 days recovering.
During his address to the board, he referred to the “NRA family,” and he made it clear that he recognizes it was not a gun that killed his wife. It was a “vicious young man” who should not have been on the streets. George said that standing up for what his rights & freedom was something his wife would support without question. He and his wife were at the event even though they were both Republicans because they were simply engaged in their community and with their elected officials. It’s incredible to hear about someone whose dedication to civic participation and protecting our rights remains so strong even after such a terrible tragedy. And I’m very happy to know that he does with the sound knowledge that his wife absolutely supports him in such an endeavor.
One of the best parts about Annual Meeting, for me anyway, is to meet these types of people. It’s so moving to know that there’s someone else out there whose shared values with their spouse can remain so strong even through the toughest times. I know that if in a similar position with Sebastian, it would absolutely be the same for us. It’s very refreshing to know that there’s someone else out there who feels as strongly about liberty. To have the opportunity to learn more about that person, it’s very touching and even inspires some watery eyes.
Back from Annual Meeting, and I’m exhausted. We will return to our normally scheduled blogging tomorrow. Not much else to report on the Board meeting. We decided to leave when they broke for lunch. Most of what goes on after lunch will put you to sleep if you’ve been sleeping well, let alone if you’re really tired.
Sitting in the peanut gallery for the NRA Board Meeting. NRA people are among the best people to be around celebrating something like Osama Bin Laden meeting an untimely demise at the business end of an American rifle. I was in the hotel bar when it happened.
Watching R. Lee Ermy be sworn in as a new Board Member as I’m typing this. I’m not against celebrity board members who can bring something to the table, and who at least try to show up for board meetings. The fact that Ermey is here is a good sign.
I’m told there will be an interesting speaker at this meeting. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: George Morris lost his wife in the Tucson mass shooting, and is addressing the NRA Board.
“I will be your spokesman, as my wife would wish, to be your spokesman, to tell everyone that it wasn’t a gun that killed my wife.”
“I will be your spokesperson in protecting the Second Amendment going forward.”
UPDATE: Major Land is giving his report. The store set a new record $449,947 of merchandise. That’s 8% more than last year. Membership sold $558,711 worth of memberships or upgrades. We did not set a record this year, but came close. This year 71,139 members attended Annual Meeting. That’s only 989 people short of the record in Charlotte.
Remember folks, NRA are just shills for the gun industry.
UPDATE: David Keene is now NRA president. James Porter is now First Vice President.
UPDATE: Removed previous update. There was a misunderstanding on my part.
Still trying to work out the news reports here on Osama Bin Laden’s death. But I think President Obama deserves just credit for this moment. He did not pull out. He did not surrender. The firefight seems to have been deep into Pakistan, which I think is not to be dismissed.
The lesson here is that if you fuck with us, we will hunt you down, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. This is a great day for all Americans.
Sorry for the lack of updates on the NRA Annual Meeting. This has been one of the busier meetings for us, and I’ve probably spent a grand total of five minutes wandering around the exhibit hall until this afternoon. I’ve been going around with Dan Pehrson of PAFOA doing some relationship building.
Yesterday Dan and I were lucky enough to score an invite to a reception that had a high likelihood of featuring a number of lawmakers. We were pleased to be able to spend some time talking to PA Senator Richard Alloway about Castle Doctrine, along with NRA’s Pennsylvania Liaison John Hohenwarter. I think we should have Castle Doctrine soon, and Alloway has been a real leader on this issue for us in the Senate.
Spent a good deal of time talking to NRA’s Illinois lobbyist Todd Vandermyde. For those of you who haven’t ever met Todd, he’s a fun guy to talk to, and has a through knowledge of how to play this game. Illinois gun owners are lucky to have him. I told Todd I keep expecting to wake up, and talk bout the crazy dream I had where we were actually getting close to passing concealed carry in Illinois. This is something I would have said had a snowflake’s chance in hell a few years ago.
This morning we had nice breakfast session with Tom King, President of the NY State Rifle and Pistol association, and David Keene, who tomorrow will become the next NRA President. Jim Porter, who also stopped by briefly, will become First Vice President, next in line for President. Keene was also ACU Chairman, and took a lot of heat from conservative groups for including GOProud at CPAC. I think that was a smart move, and given that Keene is keen on using his term as President to recruit younger members, and women members, into NRA, I think he brings a lot to the table in that regard.