The Most Surprising Speaker At The 2A Rally

If you had told me that a former president of the Brady Campaign was going to speak at the 2A Rally Saturday, I would have wondered what substances you had ingested.

Dan Gross, former president of the Brady Campaign, was an unannounced speaker at the 2A Rally. What he said took a lot of people by surprise including me. You can listen to his short speech below:

Since then he has done a few interviews. The first probably was with John Crump who writes for Ammoland. His full candid interview is here. One thing Gross said really stood out in my opinion.

I think there are people on the “gun control or gun safety” side that have too loud of voice that really believe that there’s no place for guns in our country. Those are the people that lead to a lot of exhaustion that leads me to where I am now.

While Gross believes in background checks, he said he had no problem with someone selling a firearm to a friend without such a check. He also said it was wrong to focus on an assault weapons ban.

Given the tweets from Brady today, I can see why Gross has moved on. What they are calling for in the way of “gun violence prevention” will really have no impact. It is the mag bans, the “assault weapon” (sic) bans, and other such “gun safety” (sic) proposals.

Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation also interviewed Gross for Liberty Park Press. As he notes in his piece on it, they had a 50-minute phone conversation. Gross stressed that there is a common ground and government doesn’t have to be involved.

Gross acknowledged his apprehensions about appearing at the rally and speaking to a crowd of Second Amendment activists. His fears dissipated when it became evident that people who attended are interested in the same things he’s interested in, which boil down to safer homes and safer families.


“We still disagree on some things I am sure,” he emphasized, “but we can’t let that get in the way of a real opportunity to accomplish some things.”

Some of those things are keeping firearms secured from young children and getting more training. I can agree with that.

Gross said that he and Rob Pincus have been working together for the past year on creating a Center for Gun Rights and Responsibilities. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

2019 GRPC Presentation

Thanks to Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, I have a YouTube of my GRPC presentation. I posted the text of it earlier but this lets you hear it warts and all.

I am not a public speaker. I do much better one on one. However, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I think I did OK.

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 Bearingarms.com. 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 Back On The Road Again

If you tried to reach this blog starting on early Wednesday morning you would have gotten an error message. Something along the lines that this blog was locked and not available for future use or some such verbiage. I was alerted to this by SAF’s Dave Workman who asked me around 7am what was going on.

Checking my email I saw this from 3am:

Hello, Your blog at http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/ has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: REGULATED. In accordance to these terms, we’ve removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible. For more information, please review the following resources: Terms of Service: https://www.blogger.com/go/terms Blogger Content Policy: https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy -The Blogger Team

Checking the terms of service for “regulated” I find that it is defined as this:

Do not use Blogger to promote or sell regulated goods and services, such as alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices.

I immediately appealed the locking of the blog as I knew I never sold any firearms. All I could think was that it was the www.Luckygunner.com banner ad. They were gracious enough to check and let me know that I was the only Blogger based blog that had this happen to them.

The worst part about all of this was that I could not even access my own content from over nine years. I will never, ever be slack about backups again.

This morning I got this message from the Blogger team:

Hello, We have received your appeal regarding your blog http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/. Upon further review we have determined that your blog was mistakenly marked as a TOS violator by our automated system and, as such, we have reinstated your blog. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in the meantime and thank you for your patience as we completed our review process. Thank you for understanding. Sincerely, The Blogger Team

In other words, I was out of jail.

I credit this to the publicity that the blocking of my blog has gotten on Facebook, Twitter, and in the online press. I especially want to thank Dave Workman for his article here and Tom Knighton of Bearingarms.com for his article on it.

I also want to thank Erin Palette of Operation Blazing Swords/Pink Pistols who put me in touch with attorneys in California and offered to help subsidize the legal bills if need be. I have had offers to help host the blog from a number of sources including Miggy at Gun Free Zone, Brandon Combs of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Bill Chachkes and his friend Kyle plus others. Then there are all the tech gurus out there like Sebastian, Tiffany Johnson, David Yamane, Harold Ancell, Baron B., Jacqui Janes, and many more. If I omitted your name, I do apologize. Please just know I appreciate all the support I’ve received as it really shows that we in the gun culture are a community.

In the past two days I have registered the domain www.onlygunsandmoney.com and have registered an account with WordPress. I have looked at dozens of WordPress themes. I will be revamping the look and feel of my blog and it will be migrated to WordPress. Where I actually host it is up in the air for the moment. There is nothing like a near tragedy to spur one into action!

So in closing, to everyone who asked what was going on, to everyone who reposted my Facebook or Twitter messages, to everyone who gave helpful advice, and especially to everyone who just cared, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate more than you can imagine.

I’ll let Willie have the last word here.

What Is This World Coming To?

A couple of weeks ago I got two emails on the same day from reporters at Bloomberg’s TheTrace.org asking about a blog post I had written. While I did give them a clarification on one item, I kinda ignored the request to put them in touch with my sources on the NRA Board of Directors.

Then yesterday, a friend sent me a link to an article in Slate.com regarding Marion Hammer’s condescending email about those purged from their committees on the NRA Board. It included this paragraph.

One day later, NRA board member and Soldier of Fortune magazine founder and publisher Robert K. Brown reported on Facebook that he had been removed from the Grassroots Development Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and the Legislative Policy Committee. “[Nobody] in the NRA power structure has the guts to explain to me why this was done,” Brown wrote at the time. “NRA leadership lacks any moral character and basically falls under the label of loathsome toads.” (Blogger John Richardson reported that Brown had maintained assignments on the Publications Committee and the Special Contributions Committee. Brown declined to comment to Slate, but said he is a board member.)

What the hell is this world coming to when those with paid jobs in the media have to reach out to us citizen journalists and/or quote our work? I think it would amuse the late Mike Vanderboegh given the work that he, David Codrea, and Dave Workman did in exposing Project Gunwalker aka Operation Fast and Furious.

Declining “Gun Violence” Tax Revenue In Seattle

Who’d a thunk it? Collections of the Seattle, WA “gun violence” (sic) tax are down again. Did any of the politicians on the Seattle City Council not figure out that buyers could vote with their feet and buy their ammo and guns outside the city limits?

I guess not given their original estimates of annual revenue was expected to be in the $300-500,000 range and actual 2017 collections were $92,220.74. We only know these real numbers thanks to the efforts of Dave Workman and the Second Amendment Foundation who had to sue to force the original disclosure of the 2016 numbers.

The Second Amendment Foundation released this statement regarding the tax collections:

BELLEVUE, WA. – Seattle’s “gun violence tax” revenue has once again failed to meet predictions, demonstrating once again that this was really a thinly disguised gun control scheme that was sold to the public as an effort to reduce so-called “gun violence,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Figures released by the city under a Public Records Act request by the senior editor of SAF’s monthly magazine TheGunMag.com show the city collected $93,220.74 last year, a decline of nearly $10,000 from the amount collected in 2016 and far below the $300,000 to $500,000 revenue originally predicted by its proponents on the Seattle City Council when the tax was hastily passed almost three years ago.

“Once again,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “Seattle’s pie-in-the-sky gun tax revenue forecast has been proven to be a complete failure, essentially like other gun control fantasies. The revenue data only reinforces our claim in a lawsuit against the tax that this was a gun control scheme to drive firearm sales and gun stores out of the city, which it obviously did.

“It is important to remember that the city would never have released this data if it hadn’t been for our lawsuit in 2016 that forced Seattle to come clean and turn over the revenue figures,” he observed. “Otherwise, we believe the city would have continued to conceal this information because it is embarrassingly short of their prediction.”

“This was, and remains, a First Amendment issue,” said TheGunMag.com Senior Editor Dave Workman. “The public, and especially Seattle taxpayers, have a right to this information.”

“The city probably spent more on legal bills to keep the information confidential, and on manpower to comply with the Public Records Act and last year’s court order than it has so far collected,” Gottlieb estimated. “But this is a pretty good example of what gun control is all about. It always begins with grandiose promises, it invariably hurts the wrong people, it doesn’t stop criminals, and in the end those responsible stubbornly refuse to admit their real goal was to further erode gun rights. And the public winds up essentially worse off than they were before.”

Dave Workman And SAF Win Against City Of Seattle (Updated)

The City of Seattle thought adding a “gun violence tax” of $25 for every firearm sold within the city limits would raise between $300,000 and half a million dollars. They forgot to factor in that buyers can vote with their feet and patronize gun stores outside the city limits. Thanks to a lawsuit under the state of Washington’s Public Records Act by Dave Workman and the Second Amendment Foundation, we now know the real amount collected. It was just a bit over $100,000 and most of that comes from one gun store that publicized its own figures.

It is not surprising that Seattle wanted to keep this embarrassing amount quiet. No politician wants the public to know that his or her pet program is an abject failure

According to the press release from the Second Amendment Foundation, they will be awarded a $377  fine plus their attorneys’ fees. The fine is a dollar a day for each day the City of Seattle drug its feet in bad faith on releasing the requested information. The unfortunate part is that city taxpayers and not the politicians are the ones footing the bill.

Congratulations to Dave, Alan, and everyone else at SAF for their win on this First Amendment case with Second Amendment overtones.

UPDATE: More on the win by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Mike Coombs, owner of the Outdoor Emporium, was the store owner whose collections constituted about 80% of the collections. Given his comments in the interview, I think the real aim of Seattle City Council is to make the city the next San Francisco. That is, no gun stores within the city limits.

Coombs sought to force the city’s hand by releasing his own pay-ins to the tax. He wrote in a memo to the court that he paid $86,410.63 last year.

The city has only said it collected less than $200,000 and that one business has paid more than 80 percent of the total tax revenue — by that math, Coombs believe he is that big fish, and estimates the city only brought in about $108,000 total.

Coombs also laid out additional devastating statistics for his business: Outdoor Emporium’s firearm sales dropped about 20 percent last year from 2015 and its ammunition sales were cut in half. Overall sales were cut 15 percent because customers who bought guns and bullets also bought other supplies at the store.

His store in Fife has not suffered the same losses.

“Many of our customers have told me that they stopped shopping at our store because of the firearm and ammunition tax, and that has meant that they have started shopping at stores outside Seattle for all their sporting goods needs,” Coombs wrote to the court. “I believe most of Outdoor Emporium’s loss of sales is directly linked to the firearm and ammunition tax.”

What’s more: Coombs laid off some staff and collected $183,747 less in sales tax last year. Deducting the portion of the sales tax that goes to the city from the amount it collected with the gun safety tax, Coombs estimated that Seattle gained only $25,000 from Outdoor Emporium as a result of the ordinance.

 Given the city pulled $275,000 from its general fund to help fund the “gun violence” (sic) prevention pilot program at Harborview General Hospital, the tax was never about raising money. It was about control.

OIG Report On Fast And Furious Delivered To Holder For Review

Katie Pavlich of Townhall.com and Dave Workman of the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner are both reporting that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has delivered the Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious to Eric Holder for review.

From Dave Workman:

Sources told Examiner Wednesday that the Inspector General’s report was transmitted to the Justice Department this week for “review” and one source indicated the report could be released sometime in the next two weeks. Release just before the Labor Day weekend could bury any damaging aspects, and it could become further removed from public attention by the Democrat convention in early September.

From Katie Pavlich:

According to sources, the long awaited Department of Justice Inspector General Report on Operation Fast and Furious has been delivered to DOJ “shot callers,” including Attorney General Eric Holder, this morning. It will be reviewed today and in the coming weeks. No cell phones, Ipads or computers are allowed in the review room. After it is reviewed, it will be released to the public in 30 days.

Keep in mind, the DOJ Inspector General up until May was Cynthia A. Schnedar. Schnedar served under Holder during his time as the U.S. Attorney for D.C. In May, Schnedar was replaced with Michael Horowitz, who sources say is an “even handed” guy. The bulk of the IG report throughout the past 20 months was done by Schnedar. Holder called for an IG investigation into Fast and Furious in early 2011.

William LaJeunesse of FoxNews also has more on the Inspector General’s report:

The new allegations come as Holder reviews the long-awaited internal report detailing what happened in — and who is to blame for — Fast and Furious, in which the U.S. knowingly let some 2,500 weapons slip into the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, failing to track the guns as planned.

Sources tell Fox News the Office of Inspector General delivered the report to the Department of Justice on Tuesday. Under existing protocols, the department has a month to respond to the report’s findings, after which, the inspector general typically releases the document to the public.

The allegations that LaJeunesse refers to involve former ATF Assistant Deputy Director William McMahon. It appears that McMahon was given a paid leave of absence until December of this year to allow him to get his full pension. In the meantime, McMahon is working in the Philippines for JP Morgan Bank as a highly-paid security consultant. There are Federal regulations that would prohibit this sort of double-dipping.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter today to Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones asking for answers.