What A Coincidence

The Gun Rights Policy Conference starts on Friday evening in Phoenix. It is certainly important that all the social media accounts of sponsor Second Amendment Foundation be up and running.

It is important but yet that hasn’t stopped some nameless gnome at Twitter from suspending their account.

Dan Zimmerman at TTAG broke the story earlier today. Dan quotes Alan Gottlieb as being shocked. Alan notes that their account has never been suspended and that the timing is ” interesting that it’s happened right before the Gun Rights Policy Conference this weekend.”

My talk on Sunday at GRPC is about how we are at the mercy of the big tech oligopolies. I didn’t expect Twitter to confirm it this soon in advance.

If you have a Twitter account, you might want to tweet @jack (Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO) asking him about it. I did.

Now this all could be just a big mistake and some anti-gun Twitter techie hacked the Second Amendment Foundation account. It could be. It could also be that @Jack who was one of the CEOs who signed the letter to Mitch McConnell demanding action on “gun violence” (sic) decided that pro-2A organizations didn’t need any extra publicity.

Easter Rising Plaque Added To Washington Monument

A plaque commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland will be unveiled today in Washington, DC. The plaque contains the wording of the Easter Rising Proclamation and will be placed in the Washington Monument.

This plaque, a gift from the President and people of Ireland, will join memorial plaques from all 50 states and 17 foreign countries that are in the Washington Monument.

(Irish) Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has travelled to the US for the unveiling.

“This plaque will now be visible to the public for the first time and honours the connection to George Washington and the fight for Independence.

“This rare honour celebrates the shared heritage of our two nations and reminds us of our precious friendship and ties,” Minister Moran said.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has worked with the US Department of the Interior and the US National Parks Service to help secure permission for the plaque. He will also attend the unveiling.

“I am delighted to have been invited to the Washington Monument to see the plaque unveiling. This is a great honour for Ireland and shows the strong and enduring friendship between Ireland and the United States,” Senator Daly said.

The Washington Monument has been closed to the public since 2016 for repairs and upgrades. It will be reopened in a ceremony tomorrow. Among the attendees will be First Lady Melania Trump as well as the two Irish officials.

Happy Birthday, US Air Force!

In one of those weirdly appropriate coincidences, today is both the birthday of the US Air Force and the Complementary Spouse. I say appropriate because the Complementary Spouse’s father was an Air Force captain serving as a weather officer when she was born.

The US Air Force was “born” on September 18, 1947 with the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947. This act was a major restructuring of the nation’s military post-WWII. It created the Department of Defense, established the Department of the Air Force as a sub-department, created the Central Intelligence Agency, and established the National Security Council. The Army Air Forces became the United States Air Force.

As a side note, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the last of the Doolittle Raiders, passed away this April. He had served as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the No. 1 B-25 bomber. He was 103.

So best wishes and a big thank you to all who served in the USAF on this the Air Force’s 72nd birthday.

Happy Constitution Day!

What do a guy who tried to incite an Indian war, a guy who died in a duel, and a guy who, reversing the normal course of things, retired to New York City have in common?

William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Hugh Williamson were the North Carolina signatories to the US Constitution on September 17, 1787. While not as famous as a Hamilton or a Madison or a Washington, you dance with who brought you. And these were the Tar Heels who brought us from the dysfunction of the Articles of Confederation to the enduring system we have today.

William Blount

Blount served in the Revolutionary War fighting in battles both in Pennsylvania and the South. After the war, he became active in North Carolina politics and was named a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He also had the distinction of being the first US Senator expelled from his position. Blount County, Tennessee is named after him.

In 1790, George Washington appointed him to be Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio River. Having concluded the Treaty of Holston, Blount declared that the capital of territory would be moved to Knoxville. In Knoxville, Blount built a mansion in 1792, which was called Blount Mansion. In modern times, this building still stands as a museum.

During his time in the Senate, Blount began to experience financial difficulties. He incited the Cherokee Indians and Creek to aid the British in order to conquer the Spanish territory of West Florida. However, his plan was discovered by President John Adams when he intercepted a letter detailing his devious plans. As a result, on July 7th, he was impeached by the House of Representatives. Finally, he was expelled from the Senate. There were certain limitations surrounding action that could be taken against members of Congress, and so Blount’s political career did not end. In 1798, Blount was elected to Tennessee State Senate. Two years later, he died at Knoxville on March 21st, 1800. He left a son named William Grainger Blount.

Richard Dobbs Spaight

Spaight was born in New Bern, educated in Ireland, and was a graduate of the University of Glasgow. He served in the North Carolina General Assembly, served as governor of North Carolina, and was a member of the US House of Representatives as a Federalist. It was during his time as governor that both the sites of Raleigh for the capital and Chapel Hill for the University of North Carolina were selected.

His son, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., was elected as governor in 1835 making them the first father-son pair to be governor in North Carolina history.

As to the duel:

Later in 1798, Dobbs elected for a term lasting for two years to the House of Representatives in the United State. He served until 1801 when he became a Federalist following his perception towards states rights. He was associated with Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican Party. He died on September 6th 1802 after sustaining injuries in a duel that involved a federalist congressman, John Stanly. He was buried in New Bern where his home was situated.

Somewhat ironically, Stanly has a county named after him in North Carolina but neither Spaight, father or son, have anything named after them.

Hugh Williamson

Williamson was born in Pennsylvania, educated at the College of Philadelphia (later called University of Pennsylvania), and served as a clergyman in Connecticut. Running into difficulties due to a controversy over religious doctrine, he returned to school and obtained a degree in mathematics and later was educated in medicine in the Netherlands.

Williamson was a witness to the Boston Tea Party while in the city on business. As a result, he was forced to travel to England to testify. The experience led him to the cause of the patriots. He served during the Revolution as North Carolina’s Surgeon General and as an army doctor for patriot forces.

After the Revolutionary War, he became involved in politics and served in the North Carolina General Assembly, the Continental Congress, and the US House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson said of him and his service in the Constitutional Convention, “he was a useful member, of an acute mind, attentive to business, and of an high degree of erudition.”

Williamson retired to New York City after his second term in Congress. He died and was buried there in 1819. Williamson has a county in both Illinois and Tennessee named after him.

2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference

The 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference starts this Friday in Phoenix, Arizona. The event is jointly sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. This is the 34th annual event and may be the best attended yet. According to Alan Gottlieb, over 1,000 people have already pre-registered.

The 2019 GRPC is being held at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel located at 2620 W Dunlap Ave in Phoenix.

This will be the eighth GRPC that I’ve will have attended. Each and every one features a packed agenda. The speakers include both the well-known and the not-so-well known. Topics have ranged from what is going on in the states to international efforts at gun control.This year’s draft agenda has been released. I don’t remember the last time the agenda was so packed. Virtually every minute is filled on Saturday from 8am until 6pm. Then it starts back up again on Sunday at 8:50am and runs until 1pm.

I have been invited back for the fifth time to be a speaker on “Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights.” I feel kind of like Sally Field when she won the Oscar. I speak on Sunday.

11:45 a.m. Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights

Charlie Cook, YouTube host, Riding Shotgun with Charlie

Don Irvine, chair, Accuracy in Media

Paul Lathrop, Polite Society Podcast

John Richardson, blogger, Only Guns and Money Blog

Dean Weingarten, author and regular guest on Lock and Load Radio

Dan Zimmerman, TheTruthAboutGuns.com

There will be other events being held in conjunction with the Gun Rights Policy Conference.

On Thursday evening from 6-8pm, a fundraiser will be held for the DC Project at Pot of Gold Estate Liquidations & Auctions in Avondale, AZ.

Friday, from 8am until 5pm, the 3rd Annual AMM-Con (Alternative Mass Media Convention) Second Amendment Media Workshop will be held. It is sold out.

On Friday evening, a concealed carry fashion show will be put on at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel by Amanda Suffecool, Rob Campbell, and REALIZE Firearms Coalition. It will be held in conjunction with the opening reception.

Finally, at the conclusion of GRPC on Sunday, Forefront will provide a 90-minute training course for the LEARN/SAFER HOMES suicide prevention program. ” You will walk away from this practical and hands-on training feeling like you can play a proactive role in helping reduce and prevent firearms, drugs, and other methods of death by suicide.”

If you cannot attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference in person, you can still see and hear all the speakers. A livestream of the entire conference will be on Facebook on the SAF Page.

Be sure to like the page and turn on notifications so that you can get an alert the moment the conference starts. Here is the easiest way to do that:

Step 1: Click “Like”
Step 2: Click the bar that says “Following”
Step 3: Click “See First”
Step 4: Click “On (Highlight Posts)”

Artistic Inspiration

I never considered Robert Francis O’Rourke, the Hispanic cultural appropriator, to be particularly inspiring. Obviously, I was seriously mistaken.

The Hispanic cultural appropriator known as Beto inspires all sorts of artists.

Here is an example of how he has inspired street artists. The sample was provided by The Gun Writer.

He has also inspired those who work with metal. This particular piece of art will soon be available to the public from the Artist Known As PSA.

If you come across any more pieces of art inspired by Robert Francis, please put a link in the comments.

Quote Of The Day

We should all know what former Congresssman and current presidential candidate Robert Francis O’Rourke said by now. If you don’t, you can see it here.

Alan Gottlieb, wearing his Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms hat, had a good response to the mask coming off.

“Thanks to O’Rourke,” he noted, “Democrats have just graduated from being the ‘party of gun control’ to officially being the ‘party of gun confiscation,’ and nobody in the firearms community is going to forget that.

“From this moment forward,” he predicted, “when Democrats talk about ‘gun reform’ or ‘gun safety,’ the whole country will know they’re not just talking about gun control, they’re talking about taking firearms from law-abiding citizens who have committed no crime.

You can see Alan’s full release here.

Law Abiding?

A friend pointed out a Twitter post by a Nathan Rubin. His Twitter bio says he’s an “award winning” author and Democratic activist. His book, Boomers to Millennials: Moving America Forward, does have some awards but it doesn’t look like it sold too many copies. Amazon puts it in the top 1.9 million best sellers.

Here is what Rubin wrote on Twitter:

So unless I am a compliant sheep and turn in my ARs and AKs, I will be considered (by him) to be an irresponsible criminal. Hmm.

David Burkhead gave the best response to this nonsense on Facebook.

You can’t call yourself a law abiding American if you don’t return fugitive slaves to their owners. You can’t call yourself a law abiding Chinese if you don’t report any disagreement with Mao to the authorities. You can’t call yourself a law abiding German if you don’t report the presence of any hiding Jews.

See how that works?

The only one I’d add is that you couldn’t call yourself a law abiding Soviet citizen if you didn’t report someone criticizing the Communist Party to the KGB. In Stalin’s time, that was enough to either get you an ounce of lead along with an unmarked grave or a trip to the Gulag Archipelago.

I think that is the dream in the back of the minds of the authoritarian gun prohibitionists.

Further Proof That The Camera Market Is Declining

The Instapundit linked to a post on the OM Blog that digital camera sales are declining sharply. The reason, of course, is the rise of the smart phone and the improvement of its photo taking ability.

Camera sales are continuing to falling off a cliff. The latest data from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) shows them in a swoon befitting a Bollywood roadside Romeo. All four big camera brands — Sony, Fuji, Canon, and Nikon — are reposting rapid declines. And it is not just the point and shoot cameras whose sales are collapsing. We also see sales of higher-end DSLR cameras stall. And — wait for it — even mirrorless cameras, which were supposed to be a panacea for all that ails the camera business, are heading south.

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 100 that used 126 film and flash bulbs. I eventually moved up to 35mm with a used Canon Canonet QL 17 rangefinder which I picked up for $10 in an antique store. My first single lens reflex didn’t get purchased until I was well into college. It was a Canon AE-1 with your standard 55mm prime lens. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 at one of the camera stores in New York City.

The really cool kids had Nikons. They were way out of my price range especially since I was just an amateur. Nonetheless, I lusted after them.

Today the Complementary Spouse and I went to a church bazaar in Hendersonville. By the time we arrived, prices had been cut 50%.

The first thing I saw was this Nikomat EL priced for $2 meaning I paid one whole US dollar for it! The Nikomat was the Japanese market version of the Nikkormat. It has one minor dent on the viewfinder housing, some brassing of the body, and a little dust. It came with the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens.

On the same table I saw another Nikon for sale. It was the Nikon FM which also cost me $1. Given I had picked up my last Nikon for $35 at Goodwill, I think I did damn good getting not one but two classic Nikons for $2.

I think if you need any proof that the film camera market is dead this was it.

I do have a couple of digital DSLRs (Canon and Olympus) but like most people I use my cell phone for the quick shots. I could upgrade them but, like most rifles in terms of accuracy, they can do more than I am capable of doing. Adding insult to injury, I took the pictures of my new Nikons using my iPhone.

I’ll leave the final word to Om Malik from his OM Blog.

But mostly, our pictures — even the best ones — function as glorified postcards on Instagram, Facebook, or some other messaging app. No one on WhatsApp cares if you made a photo in 50 megapixels or 12 megapixels Just as, in the cloud, no one gives two hoots if your server is Sun, Dell or HP.

I have a five-year old camera, and I can’t conceive of a convincing reason to get a new one. The one I own was very good at the start of its life, it cost me a lot of money, and I suspect it has a long life ahead of it. And to be clear, I am extremely fond of my camera. I find absolutely no joy in the demise of the standalone camera.