Pittsburgh 2011 vs. Charlotte 2010. What a Difference a Year Makes.

Well, we’re at it again at the NRA show. And it’s about everything you’d expect – more exhibits, more speeches, more rallying the troops against those who would take away our 2nd Amendment rights. But there’s one big difference between this year and last. THIS year, you can actually carry at the NRA show. Whaaa?

Turns out that the NRA picks their convention locations years in advance. And it is not at all unusual for a major event that brings this many people to a city. Frankly, there are not that many cities that have the infrastructure to handle this kind of thing, and (as you might expect) there’s a lot of competition for the event.

Mind you, I wouldn’t expect to see the NRA hangin’ out at the Moscone Center any time soon, but past the obvious “we wouldn’t go there/have them here on a bet” cities, the competition is fierce. The NRA likes to mix it up, in a different city each year. They figure (rightly, I think) that it’s better to give NRA members a chance to have the event in their backyard (or near enough to commute) rather than hit the same locations year after year. Fair enough.

But you have to admit, there’s a certain amount of irony found in last year’s Soireé, Southern Style, when you could see guns as far as the eye could see (sans firing pins, natch), but nary a concealed weapon on the premises (unless you count the rent-a-cops, local PO-lice, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera). I felt like it was “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” last year, and I wondered why. Turns out Charlotte has an ordinance banning firearms inside their Convention Center.

Pennsyvania (which is, at last count a purple state, and thus up for grabs in 2012) is not so-inclined to ban bang sticks, so “carry ’em if you got ’em” is the rule of the day. Cool. (Of course, it would have been even cooler, had I gotten that memo before I left home. But still.)

It really matters little if anybody avails themselves of their right to carry. (Well, right up until you NEED a gun, like if some whack job decides to shoot the place up.) It’s more important that the bad guys realize that the Lawrence Convention Center is not a “gun free zone” (a.k.a.: “target-rich environment”), as it’s less likely that we’ll see the same kind of tragedy we saw writ large at Virginia Tech.

Therein lies the irony. If you HAVE a gun, you’ll most likely never NEED a gun. But if you don’t have one (or the ability to carry one) when you DO need one, you are S.O.L.

What I’ve never gotten is why this logic is so foreign to those on the other side of this issue. I mean, don’t these guys buy insurance for their home? Their car? Their health? Its the same principle. And they don’t seem to think that being prepared for a worst-case scenario justifies owning/carrying a gun. Bizarre.

Statistically, only something like 2% of those who could legally carry in the USA have a concealed handgun permit. And of those who have a permit, a minority of those carry on a regular basis. Why? Dunno. But it seems to me as if the wrath of the Brady Bunch, Bloomberg’s buddies, et all, is somewhat misdirected.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to target those that use guns for violence than for protection? Wouldn’t it serve the public better to lobby for better enforcement of existing laws? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after the bad guys, and leave the good guys alone?

At least at the NRA show, they get it. You won’t hear a discouraging word about guns at the NRA confab. And in a way, that’s kind of comforting.



  1. avatar John Fritz says:

    Pennsylvania is a relatively gun-friendly state. Unless you’re in Philly.

  2. avatar Magoo says:

    Hope nobody NDs and sets off 9000 rounds of sympathetic fire.

    1. avatar Rob Morse says:

      Magoo, while your comment is clever, your comment also shows that you’ve never been to an NRA event of any size. I hope you go. You might learn something about the people of the NRA.

  3. avatar Magoo says:

    Brad sez: “What I’ve never gotten is why this logic is so foreign to those on the other side of this issue. I mean, don’t these guys buy insurance for their home? Their car? Their health? Its the same principle. And they don’t seem to think that being prepared for a worst-case scenario justifies owning/carrying a gun. Bizarre.”

    I don’t carry a first-aid kit or a defibrillator with me everywhere I go, either, but they would probably be handier a firearm.* Some other stuff I don’t carry on my person: spelunking equipment, tire plugging kit, plumber’s helper. Sure, they could come in handy, but you can’t take everything.

    How obvious is this? You guys carry guns mainly because you like guns, not because you really need guns. I like guns, too. Just not that much. Some people do need to carry: diamond wholesalers, meth dealers, and so on. But not me. If I got to thinking I needed to carry a gun, I would reexamine my lifestyle.

    *I was thinking about that this morning at the local Panera when I looked around and took in the median age of the clientele. By the way, did you guys know that the Wi-Fi at Panera has TTAG blocked due to content? I thought that was amusing.

    1. avatar Brad Kozak says:

      It doesn’t take much to have your site blocked, based on the filtering of many Net Nanny programs. ANY kind of “salty” language will do it. So will anatomical references. Both of which TTAG has used in the past (f0r effect). Fortunes of war.

    2. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      “If I got to thinking I needed to carry a gun, I would reexamine my lifestyle.”

      Were the students at Virginia Tech leading a dangerous lifestyle? How about the people attending the Giffords meeting at a grocery store parking lot on a a Saturday in Tucson?

      As RF has written a number of times, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of trouble (don’t use drugs, don’t live with or associate with people who do, etc.) but no one can know if or when they’ll be the victim of a violent crime, no matter how conventional a lifestyle they may have. Some of us just choose to protect ourselves. Some (a lot) of you choose to vilify us for it.

    3. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

      I’m going to my local Panera today, and before I place my order I’m going to see if TTAG is blocked. If I’m not able to connect to the TTAG, I’ll be sure to let the manager know why I’m leaving without placing an order and that I’ll never return. I’ll also tell my friends about their commie tactics.

  4. avatar Aaron Jossie says:

    “Statistically, only something like 2% of those who could legally carry in the USA have a concealed handgun permit. And of those who have a permit, a minority of those carry on a regular basis. Why? Dunno.”

    Statistically, I’m one of those who has the permit but rarely carries because of the amount of time I spend in a “gun-free” zone. As most college campuses are “gun-free,” I am consigned to leave the piece at home (because I choose to follow the letter of the law in that regard). Can I put myself into a “Virtual Carrier” category? One who would carry were the circumstances otherwise? Regardless, it doesn’t help me not having my gun with me, but at least it makes me feel a little better about being one of those statistics. I’ll count you as one of those Virtual Carriers while you’re at the convention, Brad.

    Excited about future updates and posts…

  5. avatar Martin Albright says:

    And of those who have a permit, a minority of those carry on a regular basis. Why? Dunno.

    I do. It’s because carrying is a PITA.

    I can’t carry at work (even in my car) and since most of the time when I leave the house it’s to go to work, that eliminates a lot of carry opportunities.

    And frankly, most of the places I go are pretty safe, so carrying is simply not worth it. I’m not going to strap on my Glock to go to Home Depot to get some paint. Others might, that’s their choice. I don’t carry a GPS unit or a fire extinguisher when I go on a car trip across town, even though there are forseeable circumstances that might require either one.

    Carrying a gun is no different from any other safety or security practice. It’s not the be all/ end all solution to potential safety issues, it is simply one tool in the toolbox, niether better nor worse than any other tool. Unless you just think it’s “cool” to carry a gun (and I got over that a long time ago), the choice of whether or not to go armed ought to be made on the basis of an objective risk analysis: What is the risk of taking the proposed action vs what is the risk of not taking the proposed action? What is the benefit of carrying vs. the benefit of not carrying?

    Most of the time, the benefits of not carrying a gun outweigh the benefits of carrying one, so I don’t carry. Sometimes, the equation tilts in a different direction and I carry. The CCW permit simply adds another tool to my tool box, it doesn’t transform me into Rambo, Chuck Norris or Jack Webb.

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      That sounds entirely sensible. Who are you and how did you get in here?

  6. avatar Todd AF Vet says:

    Sort of related to the post, does anyone know where the 2012 NRA’s show will be? Recently, I just renewed my membership after not being a member for 15 years. and if I can plan ahead. I would like to attend next year’s convention. But I cannot find any thing on the NRA website stating where . Next years convention is. Thanks ahead of time for any help and if you think this post is in or you can delete it. Good luck at the show.

    1. avatar Redneck Hillbilly says:

      The 2012 gathering is scheduled to be in St Louis again. But do not plan on carrying inside the convention hall unless the law is changed.

      1. avatar Todd AF Vet says:

        Thanks, do you know the dates yet?

  7. avatar taurus609 says:

    For those of you who take the stand, I don’t carry when I go to Home Depot, or I don’t frequent those places that deem it a necessity to carry. Do you wear your seat belt all the time or just when you’re taking a long trip, and how do you know it (an accident) wont happen on the shorter trip compared to the long excursion, or do you turn off your smoke detectors when you’re at home, because you would be able to smell the smoke before the alarm went off? Why would carrying be any different! In St Louis about three weeks ago, an elderly (72 year old) Viet-namese immigrant was beaten to death and his 59 year old female companion was severely beaten by four teenagers, two men, two women. When they caught one of the perps (COWARDS), he told the cops it was a game they play, targeting at random, elderly, vulnerable people to attack. So these two people, who had just gone to the grocery store, like they had done countless times before, in their own neighbor hood, were senselessly attacked for fun and games. And that is why I carry everyday, and will never consider it a burden to do so!

  8. avatar Rich says:

    The lifetime odds of being a dying of a violent crime is slightly more than dying in a motor vehicle accident per the CDC. Thus if you need a seatbelt you therefore need a firearm the best protection for a violent crime. Do you only wear a seatbelt when you think your going to be in an accident? The truth is you never know when your going to be in an accident so you wear the seatbelt all the time. Same with a firearm. You never know when you will need it ahead of time. Show us where violent crime never happens and I will not take my frearm. You can’t show me. Mass shootings occur in so called Gun Free Zones where yep you find mass shootings. Schools, Universities, Post offices, etc. Gun free Zones are a killers dream. They increase violent crime since perps love defensless victims. Yep liberals and gun banners want to create more gun free zones thus increasing the killing. Do you only have a smoke detector when you think you may have a fire. You see the twisted logic of anti-gunners. They have no logic. Gun Control does not work. Look at any country that has banned guns per Mexico or England and look what happens to defensless residents. They are at the mercy of violent crime and it always increases aftr banning guns. Yep Always.

  9. avatar Todd AF Vet says:

    You forget, the gun control nuts see the world though rose colored glasses. They think that if they can just out law guns the violence will disappear from the world and we will all sit around the camp fire and sing songs. I, a middle of the road realist, belive in the old boy scout axiom, always be prepared. This goes for seat belts and the like. My 2 cents.

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