Less Diverse Than The NRA Annual Meeting

The Complementary Spouse and I spent the weekend helping her brother and sister-in-law out at the Mother Earth News Fair. They had a booth as she is a consultant for Usborne children’s books.

Larry and I primarily helped with the set-up and take-down while the Complementary Spouse and Jan did all the selling of books. The Fair attracts a number of families who bring their children with them as well as a significant number of grandparents looking for educational books for their grandkids.

As I noted a couple of years ago, these events are not as granola as you might expect. For every one person wearing dreadlocks you saw probably 10-20 folks with gray hair. These events attract a lot of homesteaders, preppers, farmers, and everyday folks interested in self-reliance.

Larry and I attended workshops on sausage making, whole animal butchery, “wildcrafted” cocktails, and reusing wood pallets. I also attended a workshop on charcuterie while he went to the one on bastes, rubs, and marinades for BBQ. If we had the room, I might have attended others dealing making your own wood-fired pizza oven or on keeping goats.

I did come home with an autographed copy of The Wildcrafted Cocktail and a nice bushcrafter knife from L.T. Wright Knives.

One of the criticisms of the NRA – and it is fairly valid – is that they don’t attract enough minorities and women. That said, the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta featured a much more heterogeneous mix of people than this Mother Earth News Fair. I don’t know whether it was the location, the subject matter, or the decidedly rural flavor of the fair but the attendees were almost uniformly white.

So the next time someone says the NRA is only for old white guys, I’ll respond, “Have you been to the Mother Earth News Fair?” The sad part is that both events had things of interest to all people, of all colors, and in all walks of life.

2017 National Firearms Law Seminar

I spent yesterday Friday at the NRA’s National Firearms Law Seminar. The event came to order about 8:15am and didn’t stop except for lunch and short breaks until shortly after 5pm. I sat with Aaron Kendal, blogger and attorney, at the meeting. Other bloggers that I know who were there included Bitter and Sebastian of Shall Not Be Questioned, Robert Messenger of Great Satan, Inc., and Jaci J. of Team Gun Blogger.

The best thing about the seminar is the people you meet. For me the highlight was getting to meet and chat with Judge Richard Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He was appointed to the court in 2014 and then won a seat on it in 2016. Prior to joining the court, he had a significant appellate practice.

Of interest here, Judge Dietz argued Bruce Abramski’s case before the US Supreme Court. That was the case of the Virginia policeman who used his LEO discount to obtain a Glock for his uncle in Pennsylvania. Even though Abramski followed correct Federal procedure to transfer the firearm to his uncle including a NICS check, he was convicted of a straw purchase because he checked the yes box on the Form 4473 as the actual purchaser. The lower courts held that because Abramski’s uncle had given him the money to buy the handgun, he was not the actual purchaser. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision with Justice Kennedy being the swing vote upheld the lower courts.

Sebastian and Aaron did a great job live blogging the Firearms Law Seminar. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I think links to their posts are in order.

From Sebastian:

Panel One – Stephen Halbrook and Nelson Lund

Responsibility for Criminal Firearms Violence (and the PLCAA)

Non-Profit Law as It Relates to Gun Clubs

From Aaron:

Stephen Halbrook

Nelson Lund

James Vogts on the PLCAA

Massad Ayoob (!)

Morgan Shields on Tax Exemptions

Matthew Bergstrom on firearms law practices (I kinda zoned out on this one as I don’t practice law)

Chris Zeeland on firearms legislation

ATF Lawyer James Vann (who is actually a gunny)

Judge Dietz

(I wrote most of this blog post on Saturday morning but just didn’t have the time or energy to finish it until tonight…sorry).

Knife Check Offered By Knife Rights For NRA Leadership Forum

If you are attending the NRA Annual Meeting and plan on attending Friday’s Leadership Forum, you need to remember that Secret Service rules are in effect. In other words, you won’t be allowed to carry concealed nor will you be allowed to have a knife on your person because the President will be in the attendance.

Last year Knife Rights set up a knife check system and they will again be offering it. As a bonus, if you check your knife with them you could win a new custom knife.

From their newsletter:

Knife Rights FREE Knife Check at NRA for Trump Speech 

Knife Rights is pleased to be able to again provide a FREE Knife Check
to NRA Annual Meeting attendees who are going to hear President Trump
speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum next Friday in Atlanta.  Last year
we checked over 2,600 knives in Louisville when then-candidate Trump

Again this year, Hogue Knives has generously donated a very nice prize
that all those who check their knives will be eligible to win.  This
year it’s a Damascus X5 Flipper that has been custom ground by Allen
Elishewitz, valued at $500.  Attendees who bring their Knife Check Claim
Stub to the Knife Rights Booth #3717 will be entered to win.

Click here for more information on the NRA-ILA Freedom Forum or to get tickets. 

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge there won’t be any similar gun check system for those carrying concealed. Tom Lindsay at the Fill Yer Hands blog mentioned that Georgia Carry had considered it and then discarded the idea as too expensive and complicated.

Guess Who Will Be At The NRA Annual Meeting

That’s right, President Donald Trump. The NRA posted this on their official Instagram page yesterday.

Donald Trump becomes the first sitting president to address a NRA Annual Meeting since Ronald Reagan did it back in 1983.

From Bloomberg Politics:

“The NRA is honored to have the president address our annual meeting at the leadership forum,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA. “We’re excited to once again have a president who respects the Second Amendment.”

The NRA endorsed Trump’s bid for president last May, after the then-candidate addressed the group’s annual forum in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump pledged at the time to “save our Second Amendment” and appoint judges which would support expansive gun rights.

His return visit to speak to the group’s 2017 Leadership Forum in Atlanta is likely to appeal to Trump’s base at a time when he has received criticism for reversing himself on promises to his most ardent supporters. At the same time, Trump’s speech to the influential lobby could repel Democrats and moderates who have been chafing under his presidency and have blocked some of his proposals from advancing in Congress.

Speaking to the NRA might repel Democrats but there isn’t much Trump does that doesn’t repel liberal Democrats. However, I see Trump’s visit as part of a “thank-you tour” to those who supported in 2016 and whose support he continues to need.

Appointing Justice Gorsuch and signing the repeal of the anti-rights Social Security regulations were good first steps. Now we need to see movement on national reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act. More solid judicial appointments would not hurt either.