Sorry for the lack of posts this morning, folks. We spent our morning preparing for and afternoon attending the Constitution Day Fair at Bucks County Community College. They invited us to set up a table as NRA volunteers, alongside many other groups such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Lower Bucks Young Democrats, Bucks County Republican Party, Libertarian Party, Young Americans for Liberty, NORML, and even Occupy Wall Street. (I know I missed a couple of groups, but that just shows the range of organizations invited.)
Not that many people came by the fair, but a few folks came in to check everything out. Interestingly, any group that was either right-of-center or focused on talking about the Constitution had candy to give away. The Democrats and groups that one would normally consider left-of-center didn’t want to share candy with attendees.
We did speak with a guy who said he was writing an article for the school paper. He was mostly interested in confirming what he had heard that NRA endorses both Democrats and Republicans. We talked a bit about that history, and he took notes on the fact that NRA sends questionnaires to new candidates and grades incumbents based on voting records and questionnaires.
Ironically, our visit from a guy who said, “I support the Second Amendment, but…” was actually a Republican. He wants to ban semi-automatics. I assumed he was confused, but he did comprehend that they only fired once with each pull of the trigger. We didn’t pursue the discussion too much beyond that because I don’t know how far you can bring a person who wants a Second Amendment that allows banning guns people actually own. To make it even weirder, he said his dad is an NRA member. While this guy did know that one round is fired with each pull of the trigger, he was convinced that he could do some kind of spray shooting without aiming and hit moving targets even if he didn’t really know much about shooting guns. I guess it just goes to show you that you need to make sure you kids really understand how firearms work.
We also had a visit from a woman who wanted to know where she could get shooting lessons because she views learning the basic handling of firearms to be a safety issue – just like learning how to swim or any other personal safety concern. We, along with one of the Young Americans for Liberty guys, gave her several recommendations.
Perhaps some of the most interesting conversations overheard during the event when our table didn’t have visitors came from the Democratic representatives. Apparently, George Bush is running for President this year. Oh, wait, he’s not? You would not have known that to listen to their pitch. At this point, I wonder if some future history books will actually have mistakes listing either the election of 2008 or 2012 as Obama versus Bush.
As you can see in the pictures, we gave out Twizzlers. Given the pretty sparse crowd of visitors, they were actually pretty popular. College students love candy, and at less than $8 for 180 Twizzlers, it was a cheap and easy way to get people over to the table. A few of the students even picked up the bumper stickers.
We had several students and a couple of the staff come up just to thank us for coming out and representing the Second Amendment at an event like that. In fact, they now have interest in doing more events that feature policy debates and representatives of different sides of political issues.
While this event wasn’t huge for getting lots of new volunteers signed up, it was absolutely useful in reminding folks that the “gun lobby” is people. It’s 4 million NRA members who care about our rights. It’s even college students today who wanted to talk guns, but are still saving up for an NRA Life membership. We are real, and we do vote. We’re not representatives of some gun company as the anti-gun groups want to argue. We’re just average folks who care about Constitutional rights.