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I’m not a very good public speaker. I tend to get a little . . . carried away. “You need to smile,” a random audience member told me after my tub-thumping speech on “Breaking the Establishment Media’s Stranglehold.” “You look so sad and angry,” she added. To which I replied “I AM sad and angry.” Hey, they spelled my name wrong. And I’m not that sad. As I told the conferees, there is no establishment media stranglehold. At best it’s an increasingly ineffective chokehold that looks more and more like a pro wrestling move every day. I’m glad to be doing what I can to nurture America’s resurgent gun culture. Even if it means . . .

Watching a beautiful woman in high heels shoot a rhinoceros. It was so wrong on so many levels—including the fact that I was gob-smacked while standing next to her loving husband (not shown). Even stranger: I had almost as much lust in my heart for the Laser Shot simulator.

Let’s face it: the Second Amendment Foundation’s 2012 Gun Rights Policy Conference was way short on guns and babes. Or anyone under 55. Or people of color. But there were notable exceptions.

Last night, I made some major inroads on a bottle of Stoli with an African American gun rights advocate at the Hyatt bar. Michael Moore set me straight on Chicagoland’s seemingly interminable march towards concealed carry. “It’s gonna happen,” he insisted. “We have right on our side.”

Also in attendance: Bobbie K. Ross. The African-American lawyer is inflicting her Valley Girl inflections on the American Bar Association’s Second Amendment Civil Rights Litigation Subcommittee. Which didn’t exist until she made it so.

It may be time for me to rethink my prejudice against pro-2A OFWGs. Especially after one of speakers asked “How many of you are at your first Gun Rights Policy Conference?” About three-quarters of the attendees raised their hands—despite obvious signs of arthritis.

Unless the 10-minute speaker’s rule is a new development, we can rule out the theory that the newbies replaced folks who died of boredom. So what we have here is a genuine gun rights movement, populated by passionate people who have plenty of time on their hands. And a few miles under their (straining) belt.

I reckon things are changing. Check out the camera crews above, complete with a YFWG and diversity. They were trawling for sound bites from George Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara, whose speech was to the mainstream media’s twenty-second attention span what the Titanic was to maritime safety.

Never mind, ’cause TTAG already tagged and bagged him in the hallways. See what I mean about mainstream media’s stranglehold? We’re harder, better, stronger, faster. Or is that stronger, better, faster?

Definitely faster. And we can report O’Mara’s rant on about Stand Your Ground technicalities (and refusal to say anything about George’s case) from a “proper” gun rights perspective. Oh, here’s the thing about that: O’Mara is not a gun rights guy.

“It may not please you but the Second Amendment has already been amended,” O’Mara opined. “We have the right to keep and bear arms reasonably . . . It’s reasonable to create laws that keep guns away from felons and kids.”

No. No it’s not. A point I made during my rant. As well as highlighting the fact that we, Americans seeking to fully restore our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, now have the motive, means and opportunity to counter arguments against our position. We can be heard.

And it’s true: we’re winning, In the courts, in the media and, slowly but surely, in the culture. Not to mention the fourth floor of the Orlando Airport Hyatt Hotel. Which serves food so good it could hold my attention even if Elene Symeonides was sitting across the room. In theory. Anyway . . .

I won’t go into all the details, but Project Appleseed emerged triumphant in their fight to display an actual honest-to-God rifle in a room overlooking the TSA’s 4th amendment defilement. How great is that? FWIW, it makes me happy.


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  1. Points that I’ve been trying to make since finding ttag. OFWG’s can’t carry the whole load. We need people of different races and genders and faiths and those without faith to win this war.

    Weneed these people preaching our cause and voting. Anybody that says they support gun rights and doesn’t vote is a burden, not an asset.

    As an x military man and a retired government employee we need to work at finding common ground amongst ourselves to support our common cause of pushing our gun rights and our constitutional rights.

  2. I’ve never seen a group more diverse than gun owners at a common event. Your best chances of seeing a young man, and older man, a black guy, and a white woman all in the same place doing the same thing isn’t a nightclub but a handgun training class.Want to meet a hot girl who’s not superficial? Stay out of the bar, go to the shooting range.

    Diversity isn’t the problem. We all have the same need to defend ourselves.

    The core problem facing expansion of the 2nd Amendment is EXPOSURE.

    The Mainstream Media is the gatekeeper to the hearts and minds of the masses. If MSNBC says the sky is black millions will trust it over their own eyesight . As such,so long as the folks controlling mass conventional media outlets are on the Leftist Agenda’s idealogical and fiscal payroll, the gun rights movement shall forever remain a shadow movement.

    Solving this problem requires a pile of cash-which means we need to find the wealthiest guys and gals we know, and take them to the range. Once the money starts flowing to our cause, we can afford to collectively start our own honest media outlets and support pro-RKBA political campaigns. We’ll also be able to defend people in court from BS laws and political entities with points to make like New York City and so forth.

    With a genuine and neutral press outlet which reports the bad and the good about gun ownership , the effect on the masses in Chicago, New York City, and other anti-gun places will be akin to Free America Radio in East Germany during the cold war. “How is it that people in state X carry guns without incident but tens die every week here” the average Joe on Michigan Avenue will wonder. It won’t be an overnight process to be sure,yet honest media exposure is a good reason why Sig pistols don’t have “Made in W. Germany” rollmarks anymore!

  3. It is a little heartening that gun rights seem to be gaining ground, true, but…it only takes one slip for it all to come crashing down. Because as we all know, in modern America, rights are dependent on the MSM-generated public opinion.

    I have to ask…I got into the gun rights scene, and guns in general, quite some time after the AWB expired. I didn’t even know it ever existed; as a NJ kid, why would I even know? But finally learning about it a year or so ago, I was floored, downright shocked, that it was ever allowed to become law to begin with. How was that possible?

    Seeing such blatant ravages of the Constitution like the AWB and Obamacare come and go with nothing more than pissy rants leads me to believe that Americans will never do more than whine and complain when it comes to taking their country back, or even defending what remains of the Constitution. And don’t think the government doesn’t know it.

    • While we’re winning some, we’re also stuck with tons of bad laws from the past. Sections of the NFA need to be repealed bit by bit and until I start seeing the active repeal of anti-gun laws I won’t hold my breath about the future of our gun rights.

      Death by a thousand cuts is still very much possible.

  4. Here’s an idea: recognize that you can find folks who are pro-2A across the political spectrum, and build common cause with everyone who supports gun rights. I am a socially liberal gun owner who, coincidentally, has introduced dozens of other socially liberal Californians to the pleasures of shooting sports. Want to make big strides in the OFWG/diversity problem? Try separating the question of gun rights support from reflexive liberal/conservative stereotyping.

    Every time a contributor snarls about the outrages of Obamacare, or what President Obama is secretly planning to do in his second term, or how all the liberals are to blame for everything, it makes it that much harder for folks like me to feel like part of the gun rights community. Try substituting a racial slur for the word “liberal” and you’ll see how incredibly poisonous these attitudes can be.

    I think the Democrats learned some stinging lessons from the AWB: don’t mess with gun rights or you’ll get voted out of power, and that such window-dressing laws have no practical effect on crime anyway. I view that as a good thing, and it would be great if we could work together to sustain that momentum instead of demonizing everyone who supports President Obama.

    • AlphaGeek,

      At least when I “snarl” about Obamacare, its not about the program, its about what it represents, which is big government intruding further and further into citizens lives. Big government which likes to impose laws which restrict the freedoms of its citizens. Freedoms like owning a gun. Any step to advance the control the government holds over the people is a step in the wrong direction IMHO.

      As far as talking about how Dems have “learned their lesson” about gun rights? Unfortunately, no, most of them havent. And since Obama would not be up for re-election, whats to stop him from pushing through an executive order like he’s so fond of? My point is, by and large the majority of Dems dont care about individual rights, so its hard for me to distinguish between seemingly contradictory statements from a Dem saying they believe in individual gun rights, while at the same time advocating the removal of other rights.

      I said all that to say, yes, gun owners should be welcoming to everyone. But, gun owners should also be wary of who they trust, since many times you wont spot the wolf in sheeps clothing until its too late.

    • AlphaGeek,

      I welcome socially liberal folks into the 2A movement. But you have to recognize something. This isn’t about guns or GUN rights. It’s about gun RIGHTS. It’s about rights for me, not guns.

      Look at what’s happening to the First and Fourth Amendments in recent days. We now have the government of the United States condemning private citizens for making a crappy movie. And no-knock raids that would have the Founders rotating in their graves.

      I welcome liberals into the gun rights movement because it will be the first step into the general rights movement. But you guys need to think long and hard about rights in general along with just “shooting sports”. Supporting the 2A but also banning soft drinks isn’t any sort of reassurance to those of us who think that rights mean rights against government interference, rather than a “right” to free contraceptives.

      Hope you understand that point of view, and hope you and other socially liberal folks come to really embrace true rights.

    • Answer me this:

      Has a socially liberal Supreme Court justice EVER voted to protect the 2nd Amendment?

      How do you think Kagan and Sotomayor would have voted on Heller?

      How do you think Kagan would have voted on McDonald?

      Statism is evil.

  5. there is no establishment media stranglehold.

    I think there is, but even if I’m wrong, it’s clear that there is a steady drip–drip–drip of poison coming out of our media capitols, and it has a terrible effect.

  6. The “media stranglehold” on gun ownership manifests itself as much in how gun related news is presented as in what the content of the stories is. It always looks and sounds to me like the News Reader and News Reporter deliberately project an attitude that conveys strong anti-gun bias, rather than objective, “straight” news reporting. I see this behavior in both Local and National TV News reporting. It’s subtle, but it’s there.

    • My impression is that local news reflects its demographic. LArge urban areas, anti-gun. Smaller and more rural communities, neutral or pro-gun. Just look at the sources for our weekly dose of DGUs–all local stories you will not see on the national news.

      • @ Mark N.. That is a good point and I agree with your comment. I live in the L.A. Metropolitan Area and neglected to check my own bias-o-meter for undue influence exerted by our local TV News reporting.

  7. Wait, we get so much on TTAG on what an imperfect vessel the NRA is and yet RF admits to being a prejudicial – against OFWGs and hankering for diversity as if that were an intrinsic unalloyed good – semi-dysfunctional, often disagreeable (hi Mom!) man. ?? How about we celebrate diversity and give huzzahs to venerable 2A advocates from RF to…wait for it…the NRA?!?!?!

  8. I can tell you what your problem is right now, Robert. You need to hold these meetings in a place out West where people still actually believe in the Second Ammendment. Somewhere like Boise, ID or Salt Lake City, UT. You would fill those seats with young people who firmly believe in the cause and would be more than happy to bring a few friends. Hell, even Las Vegas would give you more variety than you would get in Florida!


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