Finally! An Official Notice Of NRA Meeting

We finally have official confirmation that the Meeting of Members and the NRA Board of Directors Meeting will be held in Springfield, Missouri over Labor Day Weekend.

From the NRA Blog:

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association is pleased to announce that the 149th Annual Meeting of Members, previously schedule for Saturday, April 18, 2020 in Nashville, TN, has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 5, at the Springfield Expo Center located at 635 E. Saint Louis Street, Springfield, Missouri.​

The Meeting with take place in Halls A/B/C of the Expo Center and commence at 9:00am Central Time. All members are invited to attend.

The news had leaked out a week ago thanks to a posting by the NRA Whittington Center.

Now that it is official, it is time to start planning your trip to beautiful southwest Missouri. Airfare is still relatively cheap, hotel rooms are quite reasonable, and Interstate 44 goes right through Springfield. The city is about a three hour drive from both Tulsa, Oklahoma and Kansas City and about 3 1/2 hours from Saint Louis.

“Embark Upon The Great Crusade”

Embarking upon a great crusade is how Ike described what the soldiers, sailors, and airmen were about to do on June 5-6, 1944.

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Ike released this statement at 9am British Double Summer Time which would make it 3am in New York and Washington, DC.

At noon, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced to the House of Commons that the invasion of Normandy was well underway and that the Allied Forces had captured Rome on June 4th.

I have also to announce to the House that during the night and the early hours of this morning the first of the series of landings in force upon the European Continent has taken place. In this case the liberating assault fell upon the coast of France. An immense armada of upwards of 4,000 ships, together with several thousand smaller craft, crossed the Channel. Massed airborne landings have been successfully effected behind the enemy lines, and landings on the beaches are proceeding at various points at the present time. The fire of the shore batteries has been largely quelled. The obstacles that were constructed in the sea have not proved so difficult as was apprehended. The Anglo-American Allies are sustained by about 11,000 firstline aircraft, which can be drawn upon as may be needed for the purposes of the battle. I cannot, of course, commit myself to any particular details. Reports are coming in in rapid succession. So far the Commanders who are engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan. And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place. It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.

By 6pm local time, all five invasion beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword – had beachheads established and troops were starting to move inland.

By 9pm local time, ground troops were starting to link up with paratroopers and glider troops from the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, the British 6th Airborne Division, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, and other smaller units. At the same time, the first reinforcements are starting to arrive from England.

The invasion of France was not without cost. The number of first day casualties is estimated at around 10,000. It has been a challenge to get a precise figure. Many units didn’t file their “morning reports” until days later. Fighting to get off the beach and move inland was of greater importance as one might imagine.

The number of killed in action had previously been put at about 2,500. However, research by the US National D-Day Historical Foundation has provided a much higher and more accurate total.

The number of people killed in the fighting is not known exactly. Accurate record keeping was very difficult under the circumstances. Books often give a figure of 2,500 Allied dead for D-Day. However, research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation  has uncovered a more accurate figure of 4,414 Allied personnel killed on D-Day. These include 2,501 from the USA, 1,449 British dead, 391 Canadians and 73 from other Allied countries. Total German losses on D-Day (not just deaths, but also wounded and prisoners of war) are estimated as being between 4,000 and 9,000. Over 100,000 Allied and German troops were killed during the whole of the Battle of Normandy, as well as around 20,000 French civilians, many as a result of Allied bombing.

I look back on D-Day 76 years after the fact and am still amazed how such an operation could not only be organized but succeed. There was no computers, there was no Internet, and operations research was done using slide rules. My graduate degree is in project management and this was the project of all projects.

Florida Supreme Court Says No To AWB Ballot Item

Ban Assault Weapons NOW or BAWN sought to have an assault weapons ban inserted into Article 1, Section 8, Right to Bear Arms, of the Florida Constitution. They did this with a so-called citizens initiative petition which would have put the constitutional change on the ballot.

BAWN, who characterized themselves as a “bipartisan, grassroots movement”, was spawned after the murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Their leadership includes such luminaries as Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), David “Camera” Hogg, and Fred Guttenberg. It is considered “bipartisan” because it has a couple of former Republican office holders on its committee. Partner organizations include Brady Campaign (now Brady United), the Newtown Alliance, and March for our Lives.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R-FL) sought an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court as to the validity of the constitutional initiative. Today the Florida Supreme Court issued their advisory opinion.

They concluded that the proposed initiative should not be placed on the ballot in a Per Curiam decision. It was a four to one decision with one justice not participating.

The court’s review was limited to two issues: did the proposed amendement satisfy the single-subject requirement and whether the ballot title and summary satisfy the requirements of the Florida statutes. They don’t address the merit or wisdom of the proposed initiative.

The court addressed the latter issue and found that the ballot summary mislead voters as to the exemption contained in the ballot summary in the next to last sentence. That sentence read, “Exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date.”

Here, the ballot summary fails to satisfy the requirements of section
101.161(1) and is affirmatively misleading because the meaning of the text of the ballot summary does not accurately describe the meaning of the Initiative’s text regarding the exemption.

Specifically, the next to last sentence of the ballot summary informs voters
that the Initiative “[e]xempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date” (emphasis added), when in fact the Initiative does no such thing. Contrary to the ballot summary, the Initiative’s text exempts only “the person’s,” meaning the current owner’s, possession of that assault weapon.

They go on to add:

While the ballot summary purports to exempt registered assault
weapons lawfully possessed prior to the Initiative’s effective date, the Initiative does not categorically exempt the assault weapon, only the current owner’s possession of that assault weapon. The ballot summary is therefore affirmatively misleading.

Since they found the ballot summary “affirmatively misleading”, it didn’t comply with Section 101.161(1) of the Florida Statutes and thus cannot be on the ballot.

Attorney General Moody had attacked the initiative from the very beginning. She continued her attack by calling it “deceitful and misleading”. Moody said the ban, if approved, would have banned “virtually every self-loading long gun.”

She was right. It would have banned everything from Glenfield tube-fed .22 rifles to every AR and AK. Moreover, it would have made possession by unregistered people a third-degree felony.

Congratulations to Attorney General Moody and to the NRA and NSSF who filed as “interested parties” on the win.

One must wonder how long it will take before BAWN and their partners are back seeking signatures on an amended petition. I would hope that all the new gun owners who might have supported this in the past have now come to their senses and will reject any new such petition.

The full Per Curiam opinion can be found here.

A Curfew Comes To The Mountains

The City of Asheville (NC) declared a city-wide state of emergency and an 8pm to 6am curfew beginning tonight.

Requires individual to remain at home with the exception of medical emergencies and acquiring goods or services that are necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves or their families;

Does not apply to medical professionals, public safety workers, medical or healthcare workers, military personnel, public transportation personnel, public utilities personnel, and media;

Restricts travel within the city limits of Asheville;

Violators will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor.

This comes after two evenings of protests that went from peaceful to not-peaceful.

From the Citizen-Times:

The first night of demonstrations in Asheville May 31 caused the shutdown of interstate traffic, but were less violent and destructive than many other protests happening around the nation that have included the shooting of officers and at least one death.

On Monday night, Asheville protesters did not march but the intensity ramped up with guns brandished and fired and more property damage near the city center….

But after hours of peaceful protest, the night ended in a series of tear gas canisters and eventually gunfire. 

You can see things start to deteriorate in this video from local TV station WLOS. We were watching parts of it live last night and I thought reporter Caitlyn Penter was going to suffer whiplash the way her head was swiveling back and forth.

You can see some of the damage to downtown Asheville in the next video taken a couple of hours ago. As the reporter notes, much of the damage was sustained by home-grown businesses just starting to get back on their feet after the stay-at-home orders were eased.

All I can say is that I’m glad I live miles away from downtown Asheville and live outside the city limits. And as always, we keep our doors locked as a matter of course.

Radical Thought Of The Day

Lawrence Person at his BattleSwarm Blog had some thoughts on the current spate of rioting in cities across the United States. The one that stood out to me was this:

Here’s a radical thought: What if the backers and antifa and #BlackLivesMatter want Trump to win? The insane wing couldn’t get Bernie Sanders the nomination, and they can’t control the Democratic Party if Biden wins and leaves the Clinton hacks in charge of the gravy train for the next 4-8 years. As in the 1960s, looting and rioting boost the chances of law and order candidates, which is clearly Donald Trump this year. They need Trump to win again to completely take over the Party for the radical left.

That is a radical thought that just could be correct. I have yet to come across anyone – right, left, or center – who thought kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was anything other than unconscionable.

What if the radical elements seeking control of the Democrat Party from the Clintonistas are creating their own “Reichstag fire” moment to destroy the Clinton wing of the party. I’m sure that they would be willing to endure another four years of Donald Trump if it meant control of the party.

Weirder things have happened in history.

2020 NRA Meeting Of Members

The NRA Meeting of Members is an organizational requirement and was to have been held in Nashville in April. Like so many meeting during the pandemic, it had to be postponed. It appears that it is now scheduled for Saturday, September 5th, in Springfield, Missouri.

There has been no official announcement but an announcement from the NRA Whittington Center regarding their Board of Trustees Fall Meeting spilled the beans.

This is Labor Day Weekend so one might hope that it would drive attendance. The NRA Board Fall Meeting will be on Labor Day itself.

There is no word on where exactly the meeting will be held but it appears that Springfield has plenty of meeting facilities. It is also home to the NRA Sporting Arms Museum at the “mother church” of Bass Pro Shops.

So if you want to get your kicks on Route 66, Springfield is the place to be this coming Labor Day weekend. As a bonus, the hotels appear to be quite reasonable.