Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Chris Knox. He wrote an article with his impressions of the Gun Rights Policy Conference that was held in Phoenix last weekend. Chris noted that majority of the speakers and virtually all the attendees were unpaid gun rights activists. They were from the actual grassroots and constitute the real gun lobby.

After discussing which organizations such as GOA, SAAMI, and NSSF had sent representatives to speak, Chris mentioned that the NRA had no official presence at the gathering unlike in the early years of the conference. He then said:

Those who think NRA is hard-line have never been to a GRPC.

I think he is right.

Listening to speakers from the various state-level gun rights organizations such as Grass Roots North Carolina, CalGuns, AZ Citizens Defense League, and many others, you got the sense that they were anxious to take Bloomberg and his paid evil minions head on. Moreover, they had no intention of giving any quarter in the battle for gun rights. The strategy is to meet force with force and to make any gains made by the gun prohibitionists so costly that “they think twice before ‘winning’ again.”

GRPC 2015: Using Media To Advance Gun Rights

I was honored to be asked to be on a panel at the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference. The topic of our panel was “Using Media to Advance Gun Rights.” Also on the panel were Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Herb Stupp of New York who had been part of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s cabinet, Cheryl Todd of GunTalk AZ, and Dave Workman.

Below is the text of my speech. I would welcome comments and criticism.

Hi. I’m John Richardson.

This morning I plan to tell you how I as a citizen journalist use the Internet to advance gun rights and how you can use it too. As the representative of New Media on this stage this morning, first let me tell you how I got started.

I had been a longtime reader of blogs. I finally decided in May 2010 that I could do just as well as anyone else and started my blog, “No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money.” The name was a play on the Warren Zevon song, “Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money”. I’m a – not a lawyer – hence the name.

I didn’t have many readers at first but I just kept plugging along. Then something happened that gave my blog a big boost: Alan Gura won the McDonald case and then using this ruling, the SAF and Grass Roots North Carolina sued North Carolina to overturn the ban on firearms during declared states of emergency.

I saw it as my mission to report on the details of this and the other McDonald follow-on cases. I worked hard to provide background information so that readers would have a really good understanding of the issues. I felt that if people who supported gun rights had better knowledge than that provided by the mainstream media then they could argue our side more persuasively.

Fast forward to today, 4200+ blog posts, 1.7 million visitors later, and there have been many more cases and a good number of wins. Somewhere along the way I added the role of podcaster to my efforts on behalf of the Second Amendment. I am now a co-host on The Polite Society Podcast which is livestreaming this conference.

My blog as well as the podcast does four things: it educates, it informs, it advocates, and it entertains. The first three help advance the cause of gun rights while the fourth is just because we all need to laugh a bit especially if it is at the expense of the gun prohibitionists!

Let me give you some examples.

Our podcast The Polite Society Podcast has a regular feature called Defensive Gun Uses. We compile instances of how a lawful gun owner has used a firearm to defend him or herself and their family. The examples we have often involve robbery or a home invasion. We look at what the person did right and what they did wrong. We don’t sugarcoat it as this is essential education on the rights and responsibilities of gun owners.

The best example of the blogosphere informing people that helped advance the cause of gun rights was the work that David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh, and Dave Workman did in exposing Operation Fast and Furious which started right here in Phoenix. It was bloggers that connected whistleblowers with Congressional investigators. It was bloggers that introduced the whistleblowers to Sharyl Attkisson so that she could air their stories on television. Many other bloggers including myself took the ball put into play by David, Mike, and Dave and ran with it. If the scandal – and it wasn’t some botched sting operation – gained legs, it was due to the efforts of New Media – not Old Media.

We in the New Media are open about our efforts to advocate on behalf of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Back in 2011, ATF was soliciting public comments on whether to implement a reporting requirement that would force border state FFLs to inform them when someone bought more than one semi-auto rifle within a five day period. The gun control lobby had a letter generator, we didn’t. With the assistance of one of my readers, we set up a letter generator with a pre-written letter. Our letter generator sent 3,203 letters to OMB opposing this power grab. ATF still implemented it but by God they couldn’t say there was no opposition!

I don’t think I need to give examples of how blogs entertain. There are just too many.

An old journalist once said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those that own one.” Well, as a blogger and podcaster I do own one. And thanks to the Internet so does everyone in this room.

When you post pictures of yourself taking a new shooter to the range on Facebook, you are advancing the cause. When you post a picture of a new gun you bought to Instagram, you are normalizing guns. When you tweet a link to an article that is pro-gun, you are spreading the message. Let’s not forget Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube. Posting pictures or videos of successful hunts, reloading benches, etc. help advance the gun culture.

If there is one message I want to leave you with this morning it is this: We are in a cultural war against strong, well-funded, top-down opponents. They have the mainstream media on their side. We have the grassroots. New Media gives us the tools to conduct our cultural guerrilla war, build our grassroots support, and spread our message of self-reliance, freedom, and gun rights.

Thank you for your time today.

The Polite Society Podcast livestreamed both days of the conference. I was able to excerpt my presentation. While the crowd on Sunday was not as large as that on Saturday, it was certainly more people than I had ever spoken to before. Click on the “Watch highlights” to see my portion of the presentation.

2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference

The 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference opens next weekend, September 25-27, in Phoenx. The free event is sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and has been for the past 30 years. You can still register to attend and I believe that they do allow in person registrations on Friday night and Saturday morning. The event is being held at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel.

My colleagues and I on the Polite Society Podcast will be livestreaming the event. We will also feature interviews with some of the presenters during conference breaks. You can watch the livestream either on our webpage or on our YouTube channel.

C-Span will be broadcasting the Sunday portion of the conference. I’m not sure which C-Span channel it will be on but I’m sure you can find it if you check their website later in the coming week.

The final agenda has been published and I have uploaded it to Google. A number of state level organizations will be participating including Grass Roots North Carolina, Georgia Carry, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the Illinois State Rifle Association, Florida Carry, and many more. Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed will be speaking on Saturday about the impact of 3-D printing on the future of gun control. This is just a taste of what is being presented at GRPC.

If you check the agenda for Sunday morning, there is a panel on Using Media to Advance Gun Rights. It will feature people like Dave Workman of Gun Week, Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, and someone else whose work you may have read a time or two.

If you can’t be there in person, I would encourage you to partake of our livestreaming of the event. It was a grassroots effort to put it together. I would thank the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Ammoland.com, and those who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign for their monetary support in making this a reality.

A Big Thank You To All Who Contributed

When I posted my plea for some help with The Polite Society Podcast’s GoFundMe campaign on Monday, we were short of our goal by $275.

Thanks to those who contributed as well as those who shared the post, we surpassed our goal by early Tuesday. The excess amount will be donated to the Second Amendment Foundation.

From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of all of us at The Polite Society Podcast I’d like to thank all who helped make this effort possible. Stay tuned for more details on how you can watch the live stream from the 2015 GRPC that you made possible.

A Little Help, Please

As many of you know, I’m also a co-host of The Polite Society Podcast. We have a project that needs your help. We, in conjunction with the New Jersey Second Amendment Society and Ammoland.com, are going to live stream the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference.

This is the annual event held by the Second Amendment Foundation which brings together speakers from around the country to discuss all aspects related to the advancement of Second Amendment rights. The event is free to attend.

However, you still have to get there. Last year, many people who would have attended couldn’t get there because a suicidal FAA employee disrupted air traffic around the country by cutting cables in a major radar facility outside Chicago. I know I got caught in that mess and couldn’t get to Chicago even after I drove to another airport.

Then there is the cost of getting to the conference. If you live in Phoenix, then you don’t have worry about it. In my case, I’m having to fly so have airfare and hotel expenses.

By live streaming the conference, we are bringing the conference to you in the comfort of your home. For free. No suicidal FAA employees disrupting your travel plans. No TSA “pat-downs” to raise your blood pressure.

As I said above, we need your help to bring it off. We have a budget of $1,250 to purchase the requisite equipment and cables. We have a GoFundMe page set up for donations. As of today, we have raised $975 of that total. That leaves another $275 that we need before the mid part of September.

If 55 people were to donate $5 each or about half the cost of a movie ticket, we’d hit our goal. If 35 people were to donate $8 each or about the cost of a six-pack of craft beer, we’d beat our goal by $5. You get the idea.

Again, the link to the GoFundMe page is here. Please donate what you can. Frankly, I’d rather see a lot of smaller donations than one or two big donations because that would more accurately reflect the grassroots that make up the gun rights movement.

The Polite Society Podcast Needs A Little Help

I noted a few days ago that the Polite Society Podcast in conjunction with Ammoland.com and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society will be live streaming the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference. In order to do so, Paul Lathrop will need to purchase some new audio and video equipment.

Paul has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary funds. The goal is a conservative $731 for the video camera, tripod, and additional audio equipment.

The live streaming project is being done with the explicit permission of the Second Amendment Society and will be using the official audio feed managed by Charles Heller.

Unlike the Demanding Mommies, we in the gun rights movement don’t have a Sugar Daddy like Mike Bloomberg so we need your help. If you can help out with a donation of any size, please go to the GoFundMe page Paul has set up.

The live stream project will allow everyone to be able to follow the conference as it happens even if they can’t afford to fly to Phoenix or there is another case of a suicidal pyromaniac taking down a FAA control center. I’ve made a donation and hope you will do so too.

GRPC – Next Year, Phoenix

The location for the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference has been announced and it is Phoenix, Arizona. The conference will be held the last weekend of September as usual.

Let’s assume you just can’t make it to the conference due to cost or work or, God forbid, another suicidal maniac screwing up the FAA’s air traffic control system. Thanks to the joint efforts of Ammoland.com, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and The Polite Society Podcast (of which I’m a co-host)  you can watch the entire conference live via streaming video.

Paul Lathrop, host of The Polite Society Podcast, announced the joint effort late last night on Facebook.

I am proud to announce that at the Gun Rights Policy Conference 2015 The Polite Society Podcast will partner with AmmoLand.com – Shooting Sports News & Business and NJ2AS News and Events to provide LIVE video streaming of the conference!

I want to thank Fredy Riehl of Ammoland, Frank Jack Fiamingo, president of NJ2AS, and Rob Morse each of whom helped hatch the plan. It is going to take quite a bit of planning to get it done the way that it should be done, but I am certain that it will be a fun time.

I think this is great news.

And in one of those weird coincidences, I’m leaving for a business conference in a few minutes in….Phoenix.