Lobby Day Crowd Estimates

First off a disclaimer. I was not at the VCDL Lobby Day in Richmond on Monday. I was in Las Vegas at Industry Day at the Range. Secondly, I am not an expert on crowd estimation.

Numerous media reports have said the attendance at Lobby Day was 22,000. They break it down to 7,000 within the fence and the remainder outside.

From VCDL Facebook Page

I spoke to both friends of mine that attended and Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon who have described the size of the crowd. On that estimate of 22,000, I am raising the BS flag.

Gutowski described to me some of the crowds in the side streets. One street was filled sidewalk to sidewalk for three blocks deep. Another 2-3 side streets had were packed similarly 1-2 blocks deep.

From VCDL Facebook Page

Officials in the Northam administration and their allies in the media would like you to believe the crowd really wasn’t as big as it actually was. If you throw out an exact number like 22,000, it sounds authoritative and the gullible media will go with it.

This is the converse of when the Demanding Moms and other gun control groups have events. There they stage photos to make the crowd look larger than it really is. The prime example is the NRA Annual Meeting that was held a few years ago in Nashville. The late Bob Owens called them out on it. They said 500 attended which the media reported and Bob showed how they staged the photo which actually had about 150 people in it.

From VCDL Facebook Page

I think when all is said and done, the crowd of gun rights supporters attending Lobby Day on Monday probably was double the official figure and approached 50,000. Whether Democrat legislators in Virginia will take notice and temper their plans is the real question.

Somehow I doubt it.

Bob’s Obituary

Bob Owens’ obituary has been published. Over and above his friends in the gun culture, he leaves behind a wife, two daughters, and his parents. In other words, he left behind a lot of folks who loved him.

Fuquay-Varina – Robert “Bob” Eugene Owens, 46, passed away on Monday, May 8, 2017. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Bob is survived by his wife of 18 years, Christine Zamzow Owens; daughters, Maya Owens and Kate Owens of the home; parents, Eugene Alan and Nancy Barbee Owens of Greenville, NC; brothers, Richard Glenn Owens and wife, Farrah of Winterville, NC and Sean Christopher Owens and wife, Laura of Winterville, NC; father-in-law, Carl Zamzow, III and wife, Regina of Fuquay-Varina, NC; brother-in-law, Carl Zamzow, IV and wife, Kelly of Cary, NC; sister-in-law, Anitra DeRosa and husband, Scott of Fuquay-Varina, NC; eight nieces and nephews.

The Bob Owens Family and College Fund has been set up on GoFundMe. It has raised a little over $27,000 in the last two days. The goal is an ambitious $250,000 and it is going to take a lot more donations to hit the goal. I have donated. If you liked and respected Bob’s work. I’d encourage you to do the same.

It Isn’t Just CSGV Who Are Ghouls

I would like to say that the only ones posting negative things about Bob Owens and how he died at his own hand were the gun prohibitionists. Don’t get me wrong, CSGV and their followers are spewing their nonsense as Miguel makes clear. However, I can’t say that.

A splinter group called California Right to Carry which advocates for open carry posted a nasty and vicious take on Bob’s suicide.

The ignorance and viciousness shown in this post just disgusts me. That’s all that needs to be said.

The position of the Catholic Church that the author posits is one from another time. Actually, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, while acknowledging that suicide is contrary to the love of self and to the love of God, states that allowances are made for “psychological disturbances” and “anguish”. Moreover, it goes on to state that we should not “despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. the Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.” (Sections 2280 through 2283)

In Memory Of A Friend Who Died Today

I had a friend who posted a somewhat strange message on Facebook earlier today. I saw it at the time and just thought it a bit unusual. Within the last hour I found out that he had taken his own life sometime after that post. All I can feel is immense sadness that he felt this was the only way out of whatever was plaguing his soul.

What came to mind when I found out was this excerpt from John Donne’s Meditation XVII.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

I am diminished.

UPDATE: The friend in question was Bob Owens who was the editor of BearingArms.com. He was found dead shortly after he posted the Facebook message I referred to above. I didn’t want mention his name before it really became public knowledge.

I was a longtime reader of Bob’s from his Confederate Yankee blog days and was excited for him when he was named editor of BearingArms.com. I first met Bob at the Lucky Gunner Bloggershoot in 2011 and would always see him at the NRA Annual Meeting. I spoke to him a few times over the weekend at the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta and he seemed like the Bob I had known for years. Reading what others have written and especially that of Jenn Jacques, I get the impression that whatever was plaguing Bob’s soul was well hidden.

Pray for Bob’s family and especially for his wife and daughters. They will need all of God’s love to get through this tragic period.

Andrew Branca has mentioned setting up a college fund for Bob’s daughters. When I know more about that, I will post about it.

If you feel that suicide is the only way out, reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Alternatively, email or message me. I’m not a trained psychologist but I am a good listener.

UPDATE II: A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Bob’s widow and daughters.

Tweet Of The Day

The tweet of the day comes from BearingArms.com editor Bob Owens. This was in response to a tweet by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

You can see Holder’s full tweet below:

Lest we forget, Holder was found in Contempt of Congress for withholding documents (among other things) during the hearings into Operation Fast and Furious.

As to “acting on command”, one must wonder what current Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s marching orders were from President Obama that she passed on to FBI Director James Comey. Hmm?

Ted Kopel Writes A Book And Now The Media Notices A Problem

The lead story on CBS Sunday Morning was on the vulnerability of the power grid. The story revolved around a new book by former ABC News journalist Ted Kopel called Lights Out. He asserts that the power grid is very vulnerable to hackers due to its connection to the Internet. Kopel holds that both Russian and Chinese hackers, presumably affiliated with those governments, are already in the grid and could take it down at any time.

Kopel’s book also discusses prepping and food storage. He notes that the Mormons as a group lead the nation in preparedness. This portion got a mixed review in the Salt Lake Tribune.

You can see the CBS Sunday Morning story below:

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The prepper community has discussed this for years. Indeed, Prof. William Forstchen’s One Second After reached number 11 on the New York Times bestseller list. Forstchen’s novel described the impact of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event on Black Mountain, North Carolina. He has now followed this up with One Year After which continues the story.

Long before Ted Kopel wrote his Lights Out, prepper author David Crawford wrote his own Lights Out regarding the impact of an EMP event on a small Texas neighborhood outside of San Antonio. It, like Forstchen’s One Second After, is an excellent book.

Gun blogger Bob Owens has discussed other vulnerabilities of the grid with regard to domestic and/or international terrorism. He noted that power substations were often located near roads and trails where anyone could access them. A few well placed shots could drain the oil used to cool the transformers causing it to burn out.

While I’m glad that attention is finally being paid to the vulnerabilities of the grid, I think it sucks that the only reason the mainstream media is giving it a second thought is because one of their own wrote a book. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the CBS Sunday Morning story was merely an effort to push Kopel’s book and not an effort to urge both people and government to be better prepared.

Comment Of The Day

In response to an announcement on Facebook by Cam Edwards that 75,267 people attended the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Bob Owens (Editor of BearingArms.com) had this to say:

That’s only 75,167 more than attended the Moms Demand Illegal Attention rally.

Not to mention that nearly all of those 75,267 who attended the NRA Annual Meeting paid their own way unlike those from Moms Demand Illegal Attention whose travel and lodging was paid for with Bloomberg’s money.

Congratulations To A Fellow North Carolinian

Bob Owens is a North Carolina gun blogger and a damn good one at that. He previously blogged at Confederate Yankee and now at Bob-Owens.com. He’s also done a good bit of work for PJ Media. Today, he was named the editor of BearingArms.com which is owned by Townhall.com.

I think they made a great choice!

Here is the announcement naming Bob as their new editor.

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Townhall announced longtime second amendment writer and activist, Bob Owens, has been named editor of their newest web property, BearingArms.com, which launched in August. BearingArms.com will cover Second Amendment issues, self-defense, the firearms industry, crime and home security.

“We’re excited to bring Bob aboard to head one of the fastest growing online second amendment communities,” Townhall Vice President and General Manager, Jonathan Garthwaite said. “In just the first month, Bearing Arms has received one million unique readers. Bob Owens brings tremendous knowledge and credibility to the brand.”

A long-time shooting enthusiast and occasional hunter, Bob Owens began blogging as a North Carolina native in New York at the politics-focused Confederate Yankee in 2004.

In 2007 Bob began writing about firearms, gun rights, and crime at Pajamas Media. He added gun and gear reviews for Shooting Illustrated in 2010.

Owens has published a short Kindle e-book for people interested in purchasing their first firearm, entitled “So You Want to Own a Gun.”

He is a volunteer in the Appleseed Project, where he shares stories of our shared American heritage and teaches traditional rifle marksmanship.

Quote Of The Day No. 2

Bob Owens has a good point. You’d think that organizations who are ostensibly dedicated to ending “gun violence” would be leading the charge against Operation Fast and Furious. After all, it was a gun running scheme that has lead to hundreds of dead Mexicans and at least two Federal law enforcement officers. If that doesn’t meet the definition of “gun violence”, then what does.

I’ll let Bob continue from here.

Both CSGV and Brady claim to be organizations dedicated to stamping out gun violence, but a search of both of their web sites show that neither seems to have the slightest problem with Operation Fast and Furious. The gun-walking plot is the deadliest political scandal in American political and Presidential history, costing the lives of 300+ Mexican nationals and only came to light after three U.S. federal agents were gunned down using walked weapons from separate gun-walking operations in Arizona and Texas.

If the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign really represented sincere efforts to end gun violence, then they should have been two of the organizations leading the charge for accountability here. Brady and CSGV should wage a public relations war, helping the House and Senate investigators, and demanding answers and accountability from the Obama Administration…

These organizations remain graveyard silent as the bodies continue to fall. Far from fighting gun violence, they use their silence to enable it.

The Peter Principle With White Chalk Outlines

Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, was a guest of Cam Edwards on NRA News on Wednesday. He discusses the promotions or “lateral transfers” of Bill McMahon, Bill Newell, and David Voth to new jobs in Washington. In a wonderfully snarky aside, he refers to their promotions as the Peter Principle with white chalk outlines.

He also discusses an email exchange with ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu about the promotions. Cefalu considers them lateral transfers to keep those who could speak out in Washington in ATF HQ so they can be controlled. Bob also mentions rumors that there is testimony that Operation Fast and Furious may be higher up the food chain than previously thought.