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.