My GRPC Presentation

Another Gun Rights Policy Conference is done and in the books. This year’s conference attendance set a record with over 1,100 attendees. Over 100,000 watched it live on Facebook where it was livestreamed. GRPC set another record with 91 speakers. I was one of the 91 and spoke on the panel that covered using new media to advance gun rights.

Below is my presentation as delivered. In a few days, there will be video up on YouTube of this and the rest of the presentations.

Good Afternoon!

I’m John Richardson of the blog No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money. I’m also a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

I had a rude awakening a month and a half ago. I woke to find that Google’s Blogger had taken my blog down and was threatening to delete it. I could not even access it to backup my nine and a half years of work. My blood ran cold at the thought of losing all that work.

I was erroneously accused of violating the terms of service for selling or facilitating the sale of a regulated item. I was put in the same category as drug dealers and other purveyors of prohibited or regulated items.

I immediately appealed and I got tremendous support from the gun rights community. Dave Workman wrote an article for Liberty Park Press. Tom Knighton covered it on People aimed tweets at Google and Blogger. There were posts about it on Facebook. Two days later, I got a email from Blogger saying, in essence, “Ooops. We made a mistake. You didn’t violate anything. So sorry.”

I tell you this story not to gain your sympathy. I tell it to show how we are at the mercy of big tech oligopolies. There have been plenty of stories about gun rights supporters being suspended or banned from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You know, like SAF. We have seen the demonetization of firearms-oriented YouTube videos. Thanks to leaks, we know that through the use of algorithms and key word lists there is a conscious effort to suppress our voices in advocacy of the Second Amendment, self-defense, and gun rights.

I got complacent and we as a community have gotten complacent. The social media giants made it so easy to be involved in social media that we forgot something. That something was that if you don’t control the means of getting the message out, it can be turned off at a whim and you are suppressed.

I decided never again. I bought my own domain name and thanks to my friend Bill Chachkes of Firearms Chat Podcast, I was hooked up with a 2A friendly host – Patriot Hosting.

We need to do three things if we want to continue getting the message out. First, we need to control our hosting and not be dependent upon companies that will sell us out in a heartbeat. Second, we need to explore going back to older technology that is beyond the control of the tech oligarchs. By this I mean firearms forums and perhaps even old fashioned bulletin board systems. I should clarify that I’m not advocating going back to 2400 baud modems to dial long distance to a favorite gun board. Finally, seek out and use newer alternatives like MeWe, Full 30, and Declan McCullagh’s “Talki. Ng”.

The late Professor Brian Patrick who spoke at GRPC a number of times called how we communicate the anti-media. He spoke and wrote about this extensively. Professor Patrick credited horizontal interpretive communities and how they communicated for the passage of shall issue carry laws in Florida and elsewhere. In non-social science speak, this means gun rights supporters and potential allies talked to one another, planned their strategies, and organized through the use of newsletters, forums and bulletin board systems outside the notice of the mass media. The key phrase here is that they talked to one another. Moreover, they talked to one another as equals. It was not top-down like our opponents.

You may never want to be a blogger, a podcaster, a YouTuber, or any other type of content creator. Nonetheless, you can help out those of us who are by providing us with leads, tips, and other information. Some of my best blog posts have come due to this. We are all in this together, we are a community, and we all can help one another protect, preserve, and enhance our Second Amendment rights.

I’m So Vain

I’m so vain.

Earlier today, I hit my one millionth visitor. I’m a little stunned and a lot gratified that so many people thought what I had to say was important enough that they paid this blog a visit. To everyone who has taken time to read this blog, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When I started this blog on May 19, 2010 after the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, I had absolutely no idea that it would grow as it has. I am the first to say that it would not have grown as it has if it wasn’t for both luck and for links, referrals, and advice from other bloggers. I want to give special thanks to Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned, Chance at SayUncle, Michael Bane, Gun Rights Examiners David Codrea and Kurt Hofmann, Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, Sean Sorrentino at A NC Gun Blog, Linoge at Walls of the City, and Thirdpower at Days of our Trailers. They linked to me early and often and I will always be appreciative of that. To them and to every other blogger, thanks!

Finally, the Complementary Spouse has provided me with encouragement from the start. She has been a sounding board, an editor, and a proofreader. She has heard me rant and rave about this politician and that gun control bill. Like all good women, she has listened patiently and kept me grounded. I will never be able to thank her enough.

I guess this leaves just one more thing to do to close out this post – and I’ll leave that to Carly.


It has been some time since I updated my blog roll and especially the gun blogs on it.

I have tried to add the bloggers I met in person at the NRA Annual Meeting and the Lucky Gunner Memorial Day Blog Shoot to the list. If I met you at either event and forgot to add you, just pop me an email and I’ll update it. I met so many bloggers at both events that I’m sure I’ve missed someone!

I have also deleted those blogs that seem either dead or very, very inactive. If I didn’t see a post since January or December, I dropped it.

I hope everyone has had a great Fourth.

Meeting Bloggers In Person

After I returned home from the NRA Annual Meeting, I received an email from Scott McCray. Scott is the blogger who puts out the blog MacBourne’s Musings. We had met in Pittsburgh at a couple of the blogger events.

However, neither of us realized at the time that we were both located in western North Carolina. It turns out that Scott works only about a 20 minute drive from where I live. Even better, I tend to go to where Scott is located at least once a week on business.

We had lunch this past week which was a lot of fun. Now we just need to go shooting after work. His favorite range is Moss Knob which is on Forest Service land. Here is Scott’s report on it.

I tend to go the the Cold Mountain Range run by the Wildlife Resource Commission which is closer to me. If the name Cold Mountain sounds familiar, it should. This is the same Cold Mountain that was featured in the book by Charles Frazier and the movie featuring Nicole Kidman and Renee Zollwegger.

It is really good to know that there are other gun bloggers located in these parts. I was beginning to think the nearest gun bloggers to me were in the Knoxville area like SayUncle and Linoge or the Raleigh area like Bob Owens (Confederate Yankee) or Sean Sorrentino.


A Massachusetts gun blogger, Travis Corcoran, has had his firearms license suspended over a blog post he made after the shooting of Gabriele Giffords. His blog, Dispatches from TJICistan, is down. Borepatch and JayG have much more on the story and you should read them.

To lose your Second Amendments rights because you used your First Amendment rights to write something insensitive – but not illegal – puts a damper on the exercise of both constitutional rights.

Stephens Media LLC, RightHaven LLC, and Bloggers

On Thursday of this week, Clayton Cramer, blogger, historian, software engineer, and gun rights activist,  announced that one of his blogs, The Armed Citizen, was being sued by RightHaven LLC for copyright infringement. In response, he closed down that blog and his personal blog.

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has covered this quite extensively. He has stories here, here, here,and here. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has put up stories about it as well. Copyright lawyer Ron Coleman has an interesting analysis on his blog Likelihood of Confusion. In the comments section are a few comments from Clayton Cramer with more details on the case.

Wired Magazine has an extensive story about RightHaven LLC and their “business” plan. In an interview with RightHaven’s CEO, Steve Gibson, his business plan is to buy the copyrights to newspaper content and then turn around and sue bloggers for copyright infringement. The article says that,

Gibson’s vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his client’s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement — to compel quick settlements. Since Righthaven’s formation in March, the company has filed at least 80 federal lawsuits against website operators and individual bloggers who’ve re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his first client.

Now he’s talking expansion. The Review-Journal’s publisher, Stephens Media in Las Vegas, runs over 70 other newspapers in nine states, and Gibson says he already has an agreement to expand his practice to cover those properties. (Stephens Media declined comment, and referred inquiries to Gibson.) Hundreds of lawsuits, he says, are already in the works by year’s end. “We perceive there to be millions, if not billions, of infringements out there,” he says.

There were many interesting comments to this article in Wired. One was from a former employee who said, “I used to work for this guy. In my opinion he is a legal opportunist and a sociopath. And also in my opinion all the comments prior to mine are accurate descriptions of his moral character, or lack thereof.” Another comment was from an attorney which I found very interesting.

Steve Gibson, according to another Las Vegas attorney, has been “working on” developing Righthaven for years. Why? As I understand it from those who practice in intellectual property because there’s an automatic attorney’s fee provision in the copyright statutes. So, Steve Gibson has become a “douchebag” and a pariah and a bottom feeder and a stain on the profession, but he will also become very wealthy for doing very little. There’s lots of other professions that should be culled because their members take care of themselves and their pocket books at the expense of the greater community. For what it’s worth, I also understand from intellectual property attorneys in Las Vegas that Steve Gibson was a total “douchebag” well before he concocted Righthaven. So, if you want to stop these “nuisance” law suits (and that is truly what they are), and keep the likes of Steve Gibson from lining their wallets, petition your federal delegation to update the copyright statutes to: 1) mandate a “take down” letter before any lawsuit can be filed, with penalties attached to plaintiffs who file before doing so; and 2) delete the automatic entitlement to attorney’s fees. In the meantime, quit cutting and pasting and you will prevent Steve Gibson from earning additional money to get rid of that second chin.

Now that we know who is RightHaven LLC and their business model, just who is Stephens Media LLC? According to Wikipedia, the company started in Ft. Smith, Arkansas as Donrey Media Group. Upon the death in 1993 of its founder Donald Reynolds, Donrey was sold to the Stephens family of Arkansas. The Stephens are best known for their privately held investment bank and wealth manager, Stephens, Inc. In terms of wealth, the Stephens family is ranked second in Arkansas only to the Walton clan. Not only are the Stephens wealthy, they are well connected to both Democrats and Republicans. They had connections to both Bill Clinton and the Bush family. Now that is connected.

The newspapers owned by Stephens Media LLC are listed below by state. As the Wired article notes, many of these papers will be using the “services” of RightHaven LLC. As for me, I plan to never link to any of these papers. The only paper they own in North Carolina just happens to be the newspaper from the town where I was born. The only regret that I have is that I will be missing out on some of the columns by Vin Suprynowicz. Oh, well, 


  •      Booneville Democrat – Booneville, AR
  •      Cabot Star-Herald – Cabot, AR
    •            Cabot Weekly
  •      Carlisle Independent – Carlisle, AR
  •      Charleston Express – Charleston, AR
  •      Fayetteville Free Weekly – Fayetteville, AR
  •      Greenwood Democrat – Greenwood, AR
  •      Hot Springs Village Voice – Hot Springs Village, AR
  •      Jacksonville Patriot – Jacksonville, AR
  •      Lonoke Democrat – Lonoke, AR
  •      Morning News of Northwest Arkansas – Springdale, AR
  •      Paris Express – Paris, AR
  •      Pine Bluff Commercial – Pine Bluff, AR
    •           The Market Place
    •           The White Hall Progress
  •      Press Argus Courier – Van Buren, AR
    •            Alma Journal
  •      Sherwood Voice – Sherwood, AR
  •      Southwest Times Record – Fort Smith, AR
  •      The Maumelle Monitor – Maumelle, AR
  •      The Times – North Little Rock, AR
  •      Van Buren County Democrat – Clinton AR
  •      Washington County Newspapers
    •            The Lincoln Leader
    •           The Prairie Grove Enterprise
    •            The Farmington Post


  •      808 Classifieds – Hilo, HI
  •      Big Island Weekly – Hilo, HI
  •      Hawaii Tribune-Herald – Hilo, HI
  •      North Hawaii News – Waimea, HI
  •      West Hawaii Today – Kailua-Kona, HI
    •            North Hawaii News
    •            Big Island, HI
    •            Westside Weekly


  •      McDonald County Newspapers
    •            The Anderson Graphic The Goodman News-Dispatch
    •            The McDonald County News-Gazette
    •            The McDonald County Press
    •            The Southwest City Republic
    •            El Tiempo


  •      Ely Times – Ely, NV
  •      Eureka Sentinel – Eureka, NV
  •      Las Vegas Review-Journal – Las Vegas, NV
    •            View Neighborhood Newspapers
    •            El Tiempo
    •            Las Vegas CityLife
    •            Las Vegas Business Press
    •            Rebel Nation
    •            New Homes Guide
    •            Luxury Las Vegas
    •            Southern Nevada Home And Garden Magazine
    •            Nifty Nickel
    •            Neighborhood Shopper
    •            Jobs Today Weekly
  •      Pahrump Valley Times – Pahrump, NV
  •      Tonopah Times-Bonanza – Tonopah, NV

North Carolina

  •      Courier-Tribune – Asheboro, NC


  •      Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – Bartlesville, OK
  •      Pawhuska Journal-Capital – Pawhuska, OK


  •      The Daily Herald – Columbia, TN
    •            The Advertiser News Of Spring Hill And Thompson’s Station
    •            Franklin Life
    •            Brentwood Life


  •      Anna-Melissa Tribune – Anna, TX
  •      Herald Democrat – Sherman, TX
    •            Grayson County Shopper
  •      Lake Texoma Life – Van Alstyne, TX
  •      Prosper Press – Prosper, TX
  •      Van Alstyne Leader – Van Alstyne, TX


  •      The Daily World – Aberdeen, WA
    •            The North Coast News
    •            The South Beach Bulletin
    •            East County News
  •      The Montesano Vidette – Montesano, WA

UPDATE: I found this article today about RightHaven suing someone for using material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal in which the article was based on his own research. Jeez!

Copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven has filed some questionable lawsuits in the past, but really outdid itself in a case against Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.

That lawsuit, one of several filed on Friday, alleges that Curtis infringed copyright by reposting an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Problem is, that article was itself based on an annual survey conducted by Curtis of ticket prices for entertainment shows.