The 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference is over and the attendees should be home by now. I think it was a good event attended by a lot of committed individuals who gained a lot of knowledge that they can bring home to use in the fight for our rights.
My first impression is that compared to last year there were more women – especially younger women – and there were definitely more African-Americans. This is good news as it shows the broadening of the gun rights movement and increases our depth. I noticed that many of the younger women dressed for the occasion. When I mentioned this to the Complementary Spouse she said it was because when women attend a conference that they consider important they dress for it. That they considered it important is a great sign.
Project Gunwalker was prominently featured at the conference. David Codrea, Dave Workman, and Mike Vanderboegh all attended the conference. Codrea and Workman also did a panel presentation on it and gunwalking was mentioned by a number of other presenters as well.
One thing that Dave Workman said after the opening night reception really struck me. A few people were gathered together discussing it and Dave noted how the ATF managers were giddy when guns were found at crime scenes that traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. Dave said with much anger in his voice that for it to be a crime scene that it meant someone’s husband or wife or son or daughter lay on the ground dead or bleeding to death. Moreover, they lay there dead or dying because someone in our own government wanted to build support for his or her agenda. That was very powerful.
The current SAF legal cases were discussed and more will be coming. Either today or tomorrow, a new case will be launched in Omaha, Nebraska challenging their regulations. I don’t have the details yet but will report on them when I can see the complaint. And on a happy note, the City of Chicago had to cough up almost $400,000 in attorney’s fees for the McDonald case which was received this past week.
I am still digesting the information that I gathered over the weekend and will be reporting on it over the next week. In the meantime, if you go to Twitter, do a search for tweets with the #GRPC hashmark. I put out a number of tweets as did Thirdpower, Tom Gresham, and the ProArms podcast people. Massad Ayoob also did some posts of his blog with a summation of each day’s events. Day one can be found here and day two is here.
On a final note, I have been reading Professor Adam Winkler’s book Gun Fight which details much of the back story behind District of Columbia v. Heller. For those that don’t know, this case was personally funded by Bob Levy who is now Chairman of the Cato Institute. On my way home to the mountains of North Carolina, I ran into Mr. Levy. He was taking the same flight to WNC as I was. I could not think of a better or more fitting end to the weekend than to meet the man who helped insure that the Second Amendment remained a viable part of the Bill of Rights.
UPDATE: Thirdpower at Days of our Trailers has pictures up from all three days of the conference. You can find them here, here, and here. He’s a good photographer and even made me look good! There are also a number of pictures up on ISRA’s Facebook page.
UPDATE 2: Rob Reed is the Detroit Gun Rights Examiner. I first met Rob at the Lucky Gunner Memorial Day Blogger Shoot. He has an article up about the conference here and discusses in detail the award won by David Codrea as the CCRKBA Journalist of the Year.