As our man Kozak prowls the aisles of the NRA GunCon for actuality, searching for a bullet manufacturer who will become TTAG’s official supplier (BRAD), we’re keeping our editorial ear to the ground to see how the mainstream media is reporting the ballistic confab. CNN [above] is playing the Ted Nugent card—which is like talking to a professional eater about the quality of Nathan’s hot dogs.. Not that Ted Turner’s old mob can hear The Motor City Madman; they’re too busy whistling “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad NRA?” The Charlotte Observer can’t go there: the convention’s 70k+ visitors are dumping millions of bucks into the local economy at a time when all local economies really need millions of bucks. A feeding hand bite would not be right. But columnist Tommy Tomlinson does what he can to tear that playhouse down . . .

He starts with a meme TTAG launched with its review of the Calico Light Weapon Systems M-900: lust.

These men, and a few women, carry on a romance with guns. They’re smitten with the power in their hands, with the beauty of the craftsmanship, with the confidence it takes to control an object created to be lethal. They’re in love with cold steel and rifle cracks and the smell of powder. It’s a love looked down upon in many places. But not here. Here there are antique pistols in velvet cases, and catalogs of semi-automatics posed like supermodels. And even as the halls fill up, if you listen closely, you can hear the shooting.

Smells like . . . victory. Sounds like . . . money. But calling NRA members pervs isn’t enough, really . . .

But does anyone not wearing a tin hat really think President Obama – or anybody else – is about to ban guns in this country? Set aside for a second that it’s politically impossible; as a practical matter, it would work about as well as Prohibition. If the NRA spent its energy on responsible gun ownership and the enforcement of current gun laws – ideas it already holds – most Americans could get behind that. But as long as the NRA self-identifies with fear, and stokes it with the Fox News Hour, they’re bringing in loads of money, but they’re pushing a large and sensible part of America away

Is the NRA afraid to stop using fear to sell its services? The man may have a point. For now, excuse me. I’ve got to a Benelli whose action needs pumping.

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