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.

About Those CEOs Calling For More Gun Control

If you saw the news yesterday, one of the biggest stories was that 145 corporate CEOs were calling on the Senate to enact gun control. The headlines made it seem like a good portion of the S&P 500 was calling for action on gun control.

Having read the list, the reality is much different.

Out of that list of 145 CEOs, only six are heads of S&P 500 companies. Those six companies are Ecolab, Gap, Interpublic, Omnicom, Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines, and Twitter.

Of the large non-S&P 500 companies on the list, you did have the usual suspects like Bloomberg LP, Levi Strauss, and DICK’S which wouldn’t have surprised anyone. The heads of Levi Strauss and DICK’S have been pretty vocal for a long time now. Moreover, could you have had such a list without Bloomberg LP? Not likely.

Only 47 out of the 145 companies have more than 500 employees. The rest are identified as being the CEO of companies with less than 500 employees. In other words, you aren’t talking about captains of industry.

You are talking about Jeff Sellinger who is listed as the founder and CEO of HipDot. You know! HipDot – the makers of cosmetics featuring Sponge Bob Square Pants.

OK. So maybe you don’t know about HipDot. I’m sure you know about Quartzy and SkySafe. The former is the maker of online lab management software and has 60 employees while the latter is an anti-drone company whose software prevents drones from entering secure airspace.

My point in all of this is that while these CEOs most certainly had the right to make their views known, they are no more significant than yours or mine. The media made it sound like corporate America was turning against the gun culture and the reality is that most of these companies are niche players located in gun control bastions like California.

You can read the letter and see the list of all the CEOs below:

CEO Senate GVP Letter Final Signatories 12 by jpr9954 on Scribd

Seems Weird To See It Spelled Out

In a story from Washington State on how gun owners are preparing for new gun control law that go into effect July 1, there is this.

He tells Action News that as July approaches, his military surplus store, The Bunker, is selling more receivers for ArmaLite Rifle 15-style (AR-15) than expected.

 I’m glad that that the author of the story recognizes that AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle and not “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle”. That said, you see it so rarely spelled out that when you do, it just looks looks weird.

As the story itself, people shopping at this gun store in the Tri-Cities area are buying lots of AR lowers and putting them away before the new law goes into effect. There is also the question of how to sell stripped lower receivers once the new law goes into effect as it isn’t clear.

Mortality, Google Searches, And What The Media Reports

I came across a very interesting infographic that compares actual causes of death, what people find in Google searches, and how the media treats the various causes of death. The media was represented by examining coverage in the New York Times and the UK’s Guardian for the period 1999 to 2016.

If you only relied upon the media, you would believe that over 50% of deaths were the result of either terrorism or homicide and that very few were due to heart disease. The reality is that heart disease followed by cancer are the first and second causes of death in the US. Moreover, the two combine to account for almost 60% of deaths.

This comes from OurWorldInData and you can get the data behind these charts here. You can read more analysis of the data here.

Tweet Of The Day

An alternative headline could have been Why (Most) Reporters Shouldn’t Write About Guns.

Every reporter who even mentions a firearm in a story should be required to read this little guide first. The National Shooting Sports Foundation created so reporters aren’t so grossly ignorant about firearms. Obviously, Ms. Bowman did not read it.

Comment Of The Day

President Trump held a news conference yesterday and, from what I’m reading, it was pure Trump.
The heads of the media personalities are still exploding and they don’t know why.

The best comment came in response to a post by Professor William Jacobson regarding the news conference. VaGentleman had this to say:

I’m reminded of the scene in ‘Patton’ where he is standing on the hill overlooking the battlefield and shouts, “Rommel, you bloody bastard, I read your book!”. Alinskyites, take note.

Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, JPFO, and AzCDL made the nearly the same point when we recorded him for an interview with The Polite Society Podcast. He urged gun rights activists to read the Rules for Radicals and use them.

Colion Noir Calls Out The Media

The media has been trying to use the shooting of Philandro Castile in Minnesota as a wedge between the African-American community and the National Rifle Association. They are saying that the NRA doesn’t care about black gun owners. Moreover, as this article in Inquisitr makes clear, they continue to try and make this a wedge issue because in the NRA’s call for an investigation in Minnesota they did not mention Mr. Castile by name. They are saying the NRA is facing an internal split. I don’t see it.

Colion Noir calls out the media and commentators who pushing the meme that the NRA doesn’t care about black gun owners. He notes that just like Philandro Castile he is a 32 year old black man with a carry permit that was stopped for a traffic infraction just two weeks ago.

Colion Noir is usually somewhat laid back and cool. Here he is not. He’s angry and he’s tired of putting up with the crap that the media and other critics have spewed towards him personally and to the NRA.

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.

Ben Carson Tells The Truth And The Media Doesn’t Like It

You know that a Republican candidate has hit a nerve when all the mainstream media try to gang up on him (or her). The latest case in point is the mainstream media’s breathless attacks on Dr. Ben Carson for daring to suggest that the disarming of the Jews by the Nazis helped facilitate the Holocaust.

Carson made the suggestion in his new book A Perfect Union.  From ABC which made the issue one of their lead stories on the ABC Evening News with (anti-gun) David Muir.

In Carson’s new book “A Perfect Union,” Carson writes that “through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”

Wolf Blitzer got in on the breathless outrage with the interview below:

What I found particularly sad was this comment from a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League:

“Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

 I might remind Mr. Greenblatt that a very small number of firearms allowed Jewish resistance fighters to keep the Waffen-SS at bay in the Warsaw ghetto from April 19, 1943 until well into May. The final resistance was crushed on June 5th.

As to the rest of the media, I think a simple picture will suffice to say that Ben Carson was correct in saying the lack of arms allowed the Nazis to perpetrate their crimes with relative impunity. If a picture won’t suffice for the mainstream media, here is a link to the book so they can read it.

UPDATE: Joel Pollak writing at Breitbart called Dr. Carson’s comments a matter of historical fact. He also discussed a shooting class he took sponsored by Jews That Shoot. On the Polite Society Podcast, we have interviewed its founder Doris Montrose about that organization a number of times. She has consistently made the point that Jews should not be complacent and that they should have firearms to prevent a future holocaust.

Dave Kopel discussed the Warsaw Uprising in an article published yesterday in the Washington Post. It was in the context of a forthcoming book, “The Morality of Self-Defense and Military Action: The Judeo-Christian Tradition”, that will be published in 2016.

Another eyewitness described the confusion in the German ranks: “There runs a German soldier shrieking like an insane one, the helmet on his head on fire. Another one shouts madly ‘Juden…Waffen…Juden… Waffen!’” [“Jews…weapons!”]

I think that answers the question of what might have happened if the Jewish population of Germany and the rest of Eastern Europe had not been disarmed.

It’s Not Like The Media Isn’t Already In The Tank For Them (Update)

The mainstream media isn’t our friend. They have a narrative and they consider us to be on the wrong side of it. The only exception to this is, on rare occasion, the local media. They will sometimes do favorable stories on concealed carry and women or some other aspect of the gun culture that has a human interest component to it.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors is funding a two-day workshop  put on by the Columbia School of Journalism’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma for local and regional journalists. As Sebastian noted, “most journalists don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to this topic, so they won’t be able to tell they are being spoon fed bullshit.”

The workshop will:

offer independent expert briefings and specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively. The workshop will cover such topics as state and federal gun laws; patterns of gun sales and gun trafficking; national trends and polling; education and prevention initiatives; social, economic and public health impacts; and special populations (e.g. children and youth, women and returning veterans.) Speakers include national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors.

Speakers include national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors.

I find it particularly interesting that they want to concentrate their efforts on reporters, editors,  news directors, photographers, and producers in the Southwest. If I were to speculate, I would say this concentration on the Southwest is intended to bolster their efforts to win universal background check initiatives in states such as Nevada and Arizona. The price that Bloomberg is paying for this workshop pales in comparison to the return that they could potentially get in terms of stories slanted towards their agenda by a local media that has bought into the narrative. Money spent here means much less money has to be spent during the initiative campaign.

While the NRA doesn’t put on such workshops for the media, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has done training in the past. That said, I doubt it was intended to indoctrinate gullible journalists in quite the same way as Everytown intends to do. From what Michael Bane has said on his podcasts in reference to it, the NSSF events were more about educating journalists on firearms in general.

UPDATE: According to a story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Everytown spent $48,000 to fund this gun violence (sic) propaganda training event for journalists. Bruce Shapiro, director of the Dart Center, insists that the Center will be the one assembling the curriculum content and not Everytown.

“The Arizona workshop is funded by Everytown, but the Dart Center alone will determine the content. If Michael Bloomberg, or any funder, tried to determine the content of our programs we’d give the money back,” Shapiro said in an email. “At this workshop as in everything we do, we’ll combine briefings by diverse, independent scholars on key issues (and I’d welcome any suggestions there) with journalist-to-journalist conversation about the craft of reporting on this challenging debate. And that’s it.”

I’m with Lee Williams of the Herald-Tribune on this one – “I don’t buy it.”

One thing I missed about the story earlier is that it will be open to 30 participants of which half will have their expenses paid. I had thought the event was only for 15 journalists.

UPDATE II: For more on the former NSSF’s Media Education Project, see today’s blog post by Michael Bane.