Two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different. One person can look at one thing and see two totally different things. We’re talking the NRA convention and the works of M. C. Esher [not shown]. Of the two, the NRA convention is the more germane. Which why the TTAG team attended the Nashville get-together of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. We saw proud manufacturers and peaceful gun owners celebrating their gun rights. Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center probably didn’t attend the Convention. But that didn’t stop him from portraying NRAAM as a gathering of unregulated death merchants and their willing enablers. Check out his email blast below. Here’s hoping Josh’s vision becomes less Hieronymus Bosch and more Jean-Honoré Fragonard. If you know what I mean . . .
Yep, everyone is getting into the pistol caliber carbine game these days. Can’t blame them — the market seems pretty excited about the prospect of shelling out big bucks for the guns. The space is starting to get a little crowded, what with two MP5 importers, the SIG SAUER MPX, a 9mm AK rifle, and the CZ Scorpion already announced, but POF-USA thinks that they’ve got a winner in their PSG 9mm carbine, revealed at the NRA Annual Meetings . . .
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox delivered what was, far and away, one of the best speeches of the NRA Membership Meeting on Saturday. Granted, most of it was the usual political rhetoric one expects at these kinds of meetings, but it was well-delivered and he managed to avoid the sort of, uh, gaffes that others didn’t. The most interesting part of Cox’s speech came at the end, when he discussed the story of Josephine Byrd and Charles Boone, and their legal fight for the right to keep and bear arms . . .
Last week in Nashville, Jeb Bush dutifully appeared before the NRA faithful, sticking up for Florida’s stand your ground law (which he signed) and dinging President Obama for his resolute anti-2A stance. So…brownie points, no? The former Florida gov, widely seen as a middle-of-the-roader, got up there in front of a decidedly right-leaning crowd and presented his pro-gun bona fides. But maybe the (at best) polite response he got was due to those in the crowd who use the New York Times as something other than fish wrap. Because just the day before, the paper of record had reported that Mayor Mike had anointed Jeb as the only worthy GOP candidate . . .
Although the big political story this weekend was the (utterly unsurprising) announcement by Hillary Clinton that she is running for president in 2016, there was something else that may have slipped under the radar. Every significant announced (or potential) GOP candidate for president attended the convention except two: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Although Christie has made some headlines for pardoning Pennsylvanian Shaneen Allen who was caught up in the web of New Jersey’s asinine firearms laws . . .
My war was the Cold War. I spent a good chunk of my career helping to develop weapons to counter the communist threat. A portion of our intelligence effort was spent attempting to determine what was going on inside of the Soviet Union, who might succeed whom in the leadership, and what it might mean. The called it Kremlinology. Watching the NRA and trying to determine what is happening in its internal politics is much the same . . .
TTAG reader SS writes:
I have a question for the TTAG team about this year’s NRA convention: is this normally what the NRA convention is like? I ask because it seemed to me to be a feeling of community coming together, and I was not expecting that. I am still new to the gun world . . .
When I was over at the IWA show in Germany, something I noticed was that modular silencers were quite the thing. I thought we’d never see the likes in the USA due to the ATF and NFA getting in the way, but I may have spoken too soon. First the SilencerCo shotgun silencer sports removable sections to make your can as long or short as you need it that day, and now AAC has a modular .45 ACP pistol silencer that they are showing off with the same general idea. Instead of buying a long can and a short can to cover your various suppression needs, the Ti-Rant 45M can will cover all the bases.
Cobalt Kinetics is a company so new that their website doesn’t even work yet, but their rifles already look dead sexy. This is their entry level rifle: the BAMF. Not only does it feature a full-length aluminum free-floating handguard with a recessed muzzle, an appealing visual design, and enough rail space to make most people more than happy, but it also has something unique: not one but two forward assist buttons.
The surprise hit of the National Firearms Law Seminar (for me, anyway,) was the last presentation of the day by William J. Ryan, from the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Mr. Ryan’s speech came at the end of almost nine hours of lectures (including the luncheon speaker,) and I was internally debating whether or not I should bail out early to check out the outdoor concert and see if I could find a good pair of Lucchese roper boots from some of the nearby shops….but I am really glad I didn’t . . .
The biggest pain in the ass for pistol silencer owners is figuring out how to accurately shoot with the damned can attached. Most silencers obscure the sight picture for standard height sights, and the only options available are extended “silencer” sights (which look ridiculous) or a laser sight of some sort. That’s one of the reasons that my nightstand gun (a SIG SAUER Mk25 with AAC Ti-Rant 9mm can) has a set of Crimson Trace lasergrips, so I can actually figure out where I’m aiming. AAC thinks they’ve got a better solution: the Illusion silencer.
Here at the NRA Annual Meeting, the talk of the show is the semi-auto M249 from FNH USA. Everyone is talking about it, and three days later, the original story is still the most popular article on TTAG. Half a million people have seen it on Facebook, another 100,000 people have read the original article. And while there was some good information in that piece, some details were missing. I circled back to get the full details, and get my hands on the actual article.