Sec. Zinke Is Coming To Asheville (Updated)

I saw this moments ago in The Outdoor Wire. Too bad I won’t be able to attend. I’m guessing Mr. Zinke will be talking about arrests for bear poaching. That is what it usually is.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will host a press conference in Asheville, North Carolina, on Thursday, September 27th to announce the results of a major joint law enforcement operation. Secretary Zinke will be joined by Federal, Tribal, State and local partners. This will be the Secretary’s third trip to the Asheville region since taking office.


WHO:
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
Federal, Tribal, State, and local partners


WHAT:
A press conference to announce the results of a major law enforcement operation in Indian Country


WHEN:
Thursday, September 27, 2018
9:30 A.M.


WHERE:
Veach Baley Federal Building, 151 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC

UPDATE: Well it wasn’t bear parts but drugs including opoids, Fentenyl, marijuana, meth, and pills. A task force of Federal, state, and tribal officials broke up a number of drug distribution networks on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, NC. That is the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

From what I’ve been told by a former student, teens are targeted by drug dealers at age 15-16. They want to get them dependent so that they can get their major payout from the trust funds enrolled members receive at age 18. The amount that an 18 year old will receive before taxes is (or was) in the $160,000 range.

The full details on the arrests is found in this news release from the Department of the Interior.

Volunteers Needed For Asheville Gun Show

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out an alert this morning saying they need volunteers for the Asheville Gun Show this weekend at the WNC Ag Center. I have volunteered to work on Saturday morning. I try to work the GRNC booth for as many gun shows as I can.

ASHEVILLE GUN SHOW
NEEDS
VOLUNTEERS!


Volunteers are needed
to help man the GRNC table at the upcoming MK Shows, in Fletcher, on March 11th and 12th,
2017. The show will be held at the WNC Agricultural Center, located at 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd., Fletcher, NC
28732
.

Help defend Second Amendment freedom and join GRNC in expanding North Carolina gun
rights!

Potential Volunteers
should contact John Hammond by email at johndhammond@msn.com or by phone at 828-699-3117.

I’d love to see some new people volunteering to help. I’ve made some great friends over the years working the booth and have met a lot of nice people at the gun shows.

This is your chance to help out the Second Amendment in North Carolina. While we have a solid pro-gun Republican majority in both houses of the General Assembly, they still have let us down on things like the pistol purchase permit system. When you also factor in that North Carolina has both a governor and attorney general who are not exactly gun friendly, the work that GRNC does in Raleigh becomes critical. We need both members and volunteers if we are to make headway.

Some Of My Fellow Deplorables

Donald Trump is speaking in Asheville this evening.

I happened to be at my nearby Lowe’s Home Center which overlooks the Asheville Regional Airport when I noticed a number of people on one end of the parking lot. It turns out they were hoping to see Trump’s plane land. After I finished my shopping I joined them.

There were young deplorables there.

There were old deplorables there.

There were even some of my fellow middle aged deplorables there.

These pictures don’t capture the total number of people that had been there. I’d estimate it was over 50 during the course of an hour. Unfortunately, Trump arrived earlier than expected and most people missed seeing him arrive including me.

I did get to watch Trump’s speech over Livestream. He was introduced by former NYC Mayor Rudy Guilani. He started by having an assortment of folks on stage speak which included both whites and blacks.

The elderly black couple who had a “huge” number of combined years in education said it would be hard for them to be racist and sexist. It was kinda funny. Hillary is going to regret her description of a segment of Trump voters are both “deplorable” and “irredeemable”. They are already coming back to haunt her.

My, How Times Have Changed!

The Complementary Spouse and I were enjoying our morning coffee while reading the  weekend Wall Street Journal. She came across an article about the term “grand slam” and how it migrated from the card game bridge to general usage to baseball to other sports. As she was reading it she came across the following paragraph which caused us both to laugh about how times have changed.

The rapid popularity of bridge brought its lingo into common use by the turn of the 20th century, and “grand slam” gained a more general meaning of “a great success.” When Asheville, N.C., easily passed a Prohibition referendum in October 1907, the Winston-Salem Journal referred to it as “the grand slam made by the prohibitionists.”

 What makes this so funny to us now is that Asheville won the title “Beer City USA” in 2010 and 2011. It tied with Portland, Oregon for the title in 2009 and with Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2012. In a poll put on by USA Today and 10Best, it came in as number three on the list of Ten Best Beer Towns. The fourth annual Asheville Beer Week just ended two weeks ago. It is said that beer rivals the Biltmore House as a draw for tourist to the area.

Asheville and adjoining towns are home to at least 28 breweries including the East Coast locations of Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oscar Blues. Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are ranked at number three and four respectively on the Brewers Association list of Top 50 Craft Breweries. We also have two hard cider makers and four craft distilleries in the area. Our local community college even offers an associates degree program in brewing, distillation, and fermentation which has competitive entrance requirements.

The city fathers buried in Riverside Cemetery might be rolling in their graves but the rest of us are enjoying Asheville’s new grand slam just fine.

And Now You Know The Rest Of The Story

The late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey used to have a feature called, “The Rest of the Story”. He’d end the feature with the tagline, “And now you know the rest of the story.” I saw the tweet below from Shannon Watts of Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors yesterday. Just like Al Sharpton demands “Justice!”, Shannon demands “Gunsense!”.

This is not just some Walmart store. This is my Walmart store. The one that is a five minute or less drive from my house. The one at which I buy ammo if it is in stock. In other words, I know the store and I know the gun counter. Both ammo and firearms are kept in a locked case and only certain employees have the key.

The story as reported involved the theft of an AR-15 and 150 rounds of ammunition from the locked case on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The thief purportedly shoved the rifle down his pants and just walked out.

And now for the rest of the story.

Donald Alan Skelton, 33, was arrested on Thursday as he went back to the same Walmart. According to records from the NC Department of Public Safety, Skelton was released from prison in February. His criminal record goes back to at least 2008 and includes convictions for felony breaking and entering and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

For this theft, Skelton was charged with larceny of a firearm, misdemeanor larceny, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is being held in the Buncombe County Detention Center under an $11,000 bond.

Watts got 28 retweets and 7 favorites from this tweet. How the theft of a firearm by a convicted felon relates to “gunsense” and the call for universal background checks is beyond me.

A Visit To A Post-Newtown Gun Show

I had seen reports of record attendance at other gun shows but today I saw for myself. I attended the Asheville Gun and Knife Show held at the WNC Agriculture Center. I was struck by three things at the show: the crowds, the prices, and the level of commitment to fight for gun rights.

First, the crowds. I arrived at the Ag Center just a few minutes after 8am. I was at the show to volunteer at the Grass Roots North Carolina booth. Having volunteered for their booth at the previous gun show, I was shocked at the crowds and by how early people had started lining up. One person told me he got on line at 5:30 this morning after he got off of work!

The picture below is the line-up to get in just before the 9am opening. The line stretched down one lane, across to another, and then up again. When I left at 12:30pm, there was still a decent sized line to get into the gun show!

To put this into more perspective, here is a satellite map of the Ag Center with the red line representing the line to enter at 9am. The small red circle represents the entrance to the Davis Event Center. The building is 300 x 150 feet and has 45,000 square feet of exhibition space.

As you might well imagine, it got crowded inside. At first, it was just the outside perimeter but as time passed every row was filled with people 3 to 4 abreast. You couldn’t zip up and down the rows checking out stuff at your leisure. You pretty much either stopped or moved with the crowd. You can see in the picture below what I’m talking about. I wish I had an overhead picture to show just how crowded it was.

There are probably a number of reasons for the record attendance. First, with all the calls from politicians and the media for greater gun control there is the urge to buy it while you still can. Second, you have people like Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell who are calling for gun shows to be banned in Asheville. While the Ag Center is not city-owned, Bothwell claims the land underneath is owned by the City of Asheville. Unfortunately for him, Session Law 2012-121 (HB 552) forced the City to cede title to the land underneath the Ag Center as well as remove any part of it from being within the city limits. Finally, it was the first gun show of the year and it was nice day.

Bob Owens asked me by Twitter whether they had any “fighting guns” left as he had reported none were available in his town. See Bob’s excellent post on the subject, “Something funny happened on the way to tyrrany.” He would be happy to know that you could find a number of AR-15s, some AKs, and a few odds and ends of other stuff. I noticed a handful of people selling their own ARs as well as stuff like FALs and Mini-14s.

As I said above, you could find AR-15s and AK-47s as well as magazines for them. However, the prices have sky-rocketed due to supply and demand. Plain jane AR-15s were selling for $1,500 and up. If you wanted an AR with all the bells and whistles (optics, rails, laser, bipod, etc.),  one dealer had them for $2,900. AKs had similar price jumps. I saw an AMD-65 which I had just purchased in September new selling for $439 selling for $1,000 used.

Magazine prices were outrageous. Used GI 30-round magazines were selling for $30. Strangely enough, they were selling new ones for the same price. The same dealer had Magpul PMAGs for $40 which were selling a month ago for $12.95. I did see Bulgarian AK-47 magazines for $30. It wasn’t just the dealers who were marking up prices on magazines. I did see one guy go by offering to sell Glock 17 and 22 magazines for $90 for two.

Not all prices were outrageous. I picked up two boxes of Hornady 6.8 SPC ammo for $20 each. Wolf primers were selling for $20 a box. Hunting stuff seemed price like it had been in the past. In terms of private sales,  I spoke with a young man selling his FN-FAL for $900 with scope and bipod which I found to be reasonable. If I didn’t have an FN-FAL and had an extra $900 hanging around, I would have bought it. Another guy had a pre-ban HK-91A1 for $3,500. While that may sound outrageous, it was the going rate before all the assault weapon (sic) ban talk started.

As I wrote earlier, I was volunteering for the Grass Roots North Carolina booth as I had at the last gun show. The difference was amazing even though the previous one had been just before the election. We signed up at least 10 new members by noon as compared to none the last time I was there. Secondly, people were very happy to sign GRNC’s petition to the North Carolina congressional delegation telling them they didn’t want any new gun control. We had 300 printed up and I’d estimate we had close to 250 signed by the time I left at noon. Those signing the petition were young and old, men and women, white and non-white. I spoke with people with nose rings and old men with canes. They were all similarly committed in their opposition to any new gun control.

Speaking with the people who stopped by the booth, I could tell they were ready to fight. I doubt any of them would voluntarily surrender their guns, magazines, or ammunition. Moreover, speaking with a former Force Recon Marine, he said he didn’t know any of his former colleagues who would enforce an order to confiscate firearms. He said they would rightfully consider it an unlawful order.

It was a good gun show except for the high prices on some things. However, I understand the laws of supply and demand. Moreover, the dealers selling now will have a hard time replenishing their stock for the next show. There will be a gun show in Waynesville at the end of the month. I may try to make that one just for comparison’s sake.

UPDATE: The gun show was covered by the local media.

Below is the video report from WSPA of Spartanburg, SC on the Asheville Gun and Knife Show. There were a lot of visitors from the Upstate of South Carolina at the show.

Reporters from the Asheville Citizen-Times also covered the show. Below is a video that they shot at the show which gives a good idea of how crowded it was. I love the comments by Phil Flack of PF Custom Guns regarding the so-called “gun show loophole.” You can read more of the story here which, unfortunately, goes overboard on “fairness” by soliciting comments from the gun prohibitionists.

HuffPo Isn’t Totally Worthless

While I may think that Arianna Huffington is a parasite whose political leanings change with the wind and that her Huffington Post is usually full of tripe, it does have its uses. For example, in a story about a local Tea Party group, I found out that they are having a machine gun social.

I have shot at Bear Arms a number of times and it is a really nice range. Moreover, the prices for shooting the MP5 are cheaper than a lot of places that I’ve been. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend it as I’ll be at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando on that day.

It is instructive to read the comments. For people who profess peace and love and gun control, they are amazingly violent in their thoughts and rhetoric.

From Sushigirl:

Oh how quaint. I have an idea, blindfold all of them and let them shoot away.
Actually I don’t mean that, I don’t want anyone to be hurt. But how stupid can these people be. Disgusting.

From FredSanders who has 1910 fans which must mean he comments a lot:

I hope they all blow themselves away defending each other from each other.

 From Cacey with the tagline “ignore rudeness, honor discussion”:

How boring is Asheville if this is the best fund raiser they came up with. A boring event for obviously boorish people.

You get the idea. I’m glad Cacey thinks Asheville is boring because it will mean one less tourist clogging the streets with their Obama bumpersticker-covered Priuses.

Counter-Revolutionaries

The Asheville area of Western North Carolina is a retirement mecca, a haven for hippies and other counter culture sorts, and a vacation destination for the Obamas.The Chamber of Commerce ran an ad campaign for years called Asheville: Altitude Affects Attitude.

The car of choice in Asheville for both hippies and registered nurses seems to be either the Subaru Outback Wagon or the Subaru Forester. It is often joked that there is a requirement to have at least one of the family cars be a Subaru if you live in Asheville

Bumpersticks are big in Asheville. One of the more popular bumpersticks in town is “Asheville Where Weird Is Normal”. Vying for popularity is “Coexist” where the letters are religious symbols for the major religions as seen below on a Subaru Forester.

About a year ago, SayUncle had a post about how Coexist bugged him. He linked to an alternative Coexist for gunnies composed of gun manufacturer’s logos.

I thought it was cool and showed it to the Complementary Spouse. Now she is a crafty one and can make something out of nothing in a heartbeat. So she took the picture, blew it up, printed it out on a color laser printer, and then laminated it. Instant bumpersticker! And given the politics of Asheville, a counter-revolutionary one at that.

We love tweaking the noses of the liberals and gun banners. The best thing about it – they don’t even realize it most of the time. She has explained the symbols to her more conservative co-workers who have to be somewhat closeted about their politics and they just smile.