I worked the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Land O’ Sky Gun Show in Asheville this weekend. This was the first gun show held there since July. The October gun show had been canceled due to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease at the WNC Ag Center.
The crowds on both days were much higher than they have been in past years. I would put them at an equivalent level to what I saw in 2014 during the Obama years. In other words, crowded but not as crowded as just after the Sandy Hook school murders when talk of gun control and gun bans was all you heard.
I’m sure the attendance was up because the last show had been canceled. However, I’m wondering if it was up even more due to what I’ll call the Virginia Effect. North Carolina does adjoin Virginia and Asheville is due south of Bristol. People stopping by the booth did want to talk about Virginia, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, and open resistance.
When you hear “Come and Take It” mixed with a hint of “Boogaloo” from not just good ol’ boys but buttoned-down, white collar managerial sorts, you know the anger is real and palpable.
A nice, country club-type Republican precinct chairwoman I spoke with said with all sincerity that Buncombe County needs to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary. I know that a call has gone out to attend the February 4th Buncombe County Commissioners meeting to demand it. You have to realize that Buncombe County is much more akin to Berkeley, California than it is to Berkeley, West Virginia. When the county commissioners think sanctuary, they are thinking about ICE and illegal aliens.
I will say that people seem more willing to become active. We picked up more memberships at this show than the last couple combined. Let’s hope that the example of the people of Virginia standing up and saying “no” is the beginning of a “Great Awakening” among gun owners.