People I Missed Seeing At The NRA Annual Meeting

It is a shame we didn’t see them hanging out on the floor of the Convention Center. I would have liked to have introduced them to Breda or NancyR or Laura. I would have reserved Tam for a later date as she might have been too much for Rachel and Meghan to handle.

UPDATE: After having her head almost explode the first time she watched this, Breda has recovered enough to give play by play comments on the McCain-Maddow video.

1911’s In .22LR

There were a handful of 1911’s at the NRA Annual Meeting in .22 LR. The one that was getting a lot of attention was the Browning 1911-22. It was the one pistol that everyone had to handle when they went to the Browning booth from what I saw.

It is supposed to be a 7/8’s version of the standard 1991 pistol. I’m not sure I’d agree with that. It felt smaller when you handled it. It almost had “cute” status. If I planned to get a 1911 in .22 for training purposes this wouldn’t be the one to get. The MSRP on the Browning 1911-22 is $600 which makes it bit expensive just for plinking.

The other 1911 in .22 LR that caught my eye was the one put out by Sig Sauer. Their 1911-22 is a full-size Government model pistol. I think it does have great potential for training as it is a full-size pistol.  You have a pistol that fits your existing .45 ACP 1911’s holster, has roughly the same weight and operating controls, yet shoots ammo that costs about 2 cents a round instead of 35-40 cents a round. To top it off, the Sig Sauer 1911-22 has a MSRP of only $400. If it were me, I’d go with a dedicated pistol like this than with a conversion kit. As it is, this pistol is on my “to-buy” list.

Looking at the pictures, you can get a good size comparison because both pistols are held by the Complementary Spouse. You will notice that the Sig Sauer 1911-22 is much larger than her hand while the Browning 1911-22 fits almost in the palm of her hand.

Road Trip!

We’re leaving for Pittsburgh in the next hour or so.

If there is anything special that you’d like me to cover from the NRA Annual Meeting and its “acres of death”, just send me an email or post it in the comments. I’ll try to get something up about it.

So what better way to get started on a road trip than the ultimate road trip song.

“Acres of Guns = Acres of Death”

So screams the headline of a flyer put out to promote a protest march against the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. According to a background memo (see below) put out on the march, they hope to get 300 people to attend including at least “5 spirtual leaders”. My guess is if they even have 30 people attending, the local media will probably give them at least as much press as the 65,000 estimated attendees at the Annual Meeting.

Still, as a blogger, I have to say the picture taking opportunities of this protest march undoubtedly will be superb. I still remember some of the pictures from Charlotte featuring Breda and the gun prohibitionists.

Heck, I might invite one of them in to see the Acres of Death and to touch a gun. Maybe the fact that their hands won’t be instantly destroyed when they touch the gun will change their minds. On second thought, it probably won’t as their minds are not open.

Rally and March to keep illegal guns off the street
When: Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time: Meet at 11:30 a.m. — Rally and March at 12:00 Noon

Where: Freedom Corner (Centre Ave & Crawford St.) 1506 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – Across the street from St. Benedict the Moor Church March: From Freedom Corner to the Convention Center

Why: To counter the the NRA’s presence in Pittsburgh with our own message to the NRA and to the politicians and public officials that cow to their pressure: that we, the people, demand that illegal guns be kept out of our communities. And this can be done with our state and federal governments taking two steps that over 80% of Americans overwhelmingly support:

Submit the names of all individuals who should be prohibited from buying guns into the national background check system, especially criminals, drug abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill; and
Require a background check for every gun sale in America.

Background of the Event / Specifics / Message / Purpose

The NRA leadership and their lobbyists stand adamantly opposed to measures that would keep illegal guns off the street and out of our communities and ultimately save lives. In other words, they champion lax gun laws that result in the killings of our loved ones, friends, community members, etc. It makes me angry just to write that knowing that it’s true. This is the organization that’s coming to town claiming they support freedom and so-called American values. Well, all I can say is that they don’t share my values and I’d go as far as to say they probably don’t share your values either. But who am I to say.

We have seen people gathering en mass to act on their values in a show of power all across the world in the past four months, from the Middle East to our Midwestern state neighbors. It’s our turn to stand up for our values and show our state and federal officials that we are serious about keeping illegal guns off the street. They need to see us, the people, take action. They need to hear the people’s voice.

We will begin a Freedom Corner by voicing our message loud and clear and explain why this issue is important to us. We will have several people directly affected by gun violence give their testimony as to the effect gun violence has had on their lives and the lives of their family. We will then drive home the need for our state and federal officials to take action and call upon them to listen to the voice of the people and do so. We will then march to the convention center while the churches in the downtown area toll their bells 600 times – once for each person killed in PA last year by an illegal gun. We will then gather in front of the convention center (the site of the NRA convention) and read aloud the names of those in Allegheny County who have died as a result of gun violence.

*The memory of those lost to gun violence leads us to action.
*Keep illegal guns off the street and reduce access to them.
*Never touch a gun!
*Fight for a fair economy — Gun violence is often the end product of the convergence of a laundry list of problems, ones that could be remedied if our governments (state & federal) weren’t considering slashing the programs and services that help sustain our communities all because large corporations aren’t paying their fair share in taxes. We need our economy to grow (as well as good-paying jobs) and to invest in our communities and the future not solve the so-called budget crises on the backs of those who can least afford it.
*Holy Ground Campaign — We are all holy… the land we walk, live, and recreate on is holy and as stewards of our communities the responsibility is on us to take action to make sure that it is treated as such and that we are treated as such.


The plan is set and it’s now time to make sure the rally and march are well attended. Our goal is to have at least 300 people there, which would mean if the 10 or so active members of the task force were working on turnout, each person would need to be responsible for having 30 people there. That’s not all that many when you think about that number including congregants, colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances, other people with whom you’re in a relationship, and anybody those people bring.

And that’s what we should be focusing on — having passionate and motivated people who care about reducing gun violence bring people they know. All of the leaders who have worked on turnout for Holy Ground actions or other events know that making an announcement about it, having a blurb about it in the bulletin, and/or putting a flyer in their hand, while all helpful, by themselves they won’t ensure that people show up. We need to literally ask them to come and get a commitment from them to be there.

We would also like to ask you to reach out specifically to at least 5 spiritual leaders you know to come stand with us, literally, that afternoon. We want them to stand along side of us at the action and march.

Attached is the flyer. Also please keep a list of the people you know that are coming. This is also great to have people go around either at services or meeting, etc. and take names of those who commit to coming. It’s a great way to keep track of how many people are coming but also a great way to get their information so we can get in touch with them when we again need their support.

Next Steps

For these sorts of events, turnout is crucial. But this is what we do best: move people of faith into action. Spread the word far and wide, talk it up and get commitments to come. A Facebook event page will be made for the march. When it’s sent out, please RSVP to come and invite everyone of your friends/contacts you have in Pittsburgh to join us. Get it to the younger generation and tell them to run with it.

Fort Pitt Museum: The American Frontier Rifleman

Just in time for the NRA Annual Meeting this week, the Fort Pitt Museum will open an exhibit entitled The American Frontier Rifleman: Tall Tales and Truth. Opening Wednesday, the exhibit will run until October 30th. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The exhibit will include more than 50 objects, some on loan from institutions, many culled from private collections.

In addition to about a dozen rifles, the museum will showcase gear essential to the true rifleman. Powder horns — cow horns used to carry gunpowder — make an appearance, including an 18th century example engraved with patriotic sayings: “LIBERTY OR DEATH,” “KILL OR be KILLD.”

An original 18th century hunting shirt, a dusty-looking but well-tailored garment, also will be displayed. Owned by a collector, the shirt will be shown to the public for the first time this week, Mr. Gutchess said.

“There were thousands of these garments in existence in the period, and now there’s only four believed to be from the 18th century,” he said.

Admission to the museum is normally $5 but NRA members will only have to pay $2.50 with their membership card through May 1st. I was pleased to see that the Fort Pitt Museum in just a few blocks away from the David Lawrence Convention Center where the Annual Meeting will be held.

For a student of early American history, this sounds like a great exhibit. It is hard to believe now but Pittsburgh at one time was definitely considered the frontier.

Originally built as a British fort at the Forks of the Ohio River in 1754, Fort Pitt served as the western headquarters for the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The fort had many names over the years including Trent’s Fort, Fort Duquense, Fort Mercer, Fort Dunmore, and, more than once, Fort Pitt.

SigSauer – Pre-NRA Releases

The major gun manufacturers are starting let out the new guns that they will be introducing at the NRA Annual Meeting. Monday was Ruger’s day with its introduction of the SR1911. Today is SigSauer’s day.  Nothing is really new – more like variation on existing models – but they are bringing back the Sig P210.


2011 SIG SAUER® New Products – Pistols

The P226 Extreme Series pistol features a Nitron®-coated, machined stainless steel slide and a hard coat anodize aluminum frame, SIGLITE® night sights, a built-in accessory rail, front cocking serrations and a reversible magazine catch. Aggressive styling is provided by Hogue® Extreme Series grips.

The Enhanced Elite models boast the same features as all Elite series pistols, with the addition of ergonomic, one-piece reduced reach grips used in our E2 pistols. Available in both P226 and the updated P229.

The 1911 Traditional Reverse Two-Tone is a full-size 1911 featuring a natural stainless steel frame and Nitron-coated stainless slide. Black control levers, low profile SIGLITE® night sights, and Hogue® Black Diamondwood checkered grips round out the sleek look.

The 1911 Traditional Ultra Compact features a natural stainless, officers-length slide and frame. White controls, custom wood checkered grips, and low profile SIGLITE night sights are standard.

The SIG SAUER P210, the timeless pistol of the Swiss Army, is once again in production by SIG SAUER GmbH in Germany. This historic gun features the same precision and reliability as its ancestors, but also offers a number of modern improvements. The carbon steel slide, machined from solid billet steel, now features a durable Nitron coating, and the improved beavertail adorns the Nitron-coated, heavy-style, carbon steel frame. The P210 Legend also offers an improved manual safety, internal drop safety, side magazine release, and custom wood grips. Limited quantities available.

The P290 offers superior ergonomics, flawless reliability and deep concealment, while still providing the defensive capability of the 9mm. Despite its small size and weight the P290 offers ergonomic features to fit a wide variety of shooters. Interchangeable grip panels allow for personalization as well as a custom fit. In addition to the standard polymer inserts, optional panels will be available in aluminum, G10 and wood. An optional Integrated Laser Module (ILM) is custom designed for the P290 pistol’s frame. Lightweight and compact, the ILM seamlessly blends with the lines of the pistol.

2011 SIG SAUER® New Products – Rifles

SIG SAUER Offers SIG556R in 7.62x39mm
The first SIG556® to be offered in a caliber other than 5.56mm NATO, the SIG556R is chambered in the legendary intermediate Russian cartridge. Most often linked to the AK-series of rifles, 7.62x39mm power is now available in the very accurate, highly dependable SIG556 platform.

The SIG522 Commando for Realistic Training
The Commando features an inert training suppressor mounted by standard ½ x 28 TPI threads. The inert tactical trainer can be removed and the Commando used in the patrol rifle configuration. The threaded barrel also accepts many of the most popular flash suppressors and sound suppressor mounts on the market.

The fulfilled potential of The AR-15/M16. One of the most tested and proven weapons systems in the world achieves ultimate refinement with the introduction of the SIG516 rifle. With its chrome-lined, phosphate finished, military grade barrel and adjustable, four-position gas valve, the SIG516 incorporates all of the most desirable mechanical improvements. Add to these a free-floating quad rail fore-end and barrel, and you have the most advanced, versatile AR-based rifle available.

Sig also announced their schedule for demos and presentations at the show. Many of these will showcase Max Michel, Team SIG Captain.

10:00 AM Max Michel Shooting Tips
11:00 AM Concealed Carry Tips and Techniques
12:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
1:00 PM SIG Principles
2:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
3:00 PM NEW Pistols Presentation
4:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
5:00 PM NEW Rifles Presentation

10:00 AM Concealed Carry Tips and Techniques
11:00 AM Max Michel Shooting Tips
12:00 PM NEW Pistols Presentation
1:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
2:00 PM NEW Rifles Presentation
3:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
4:00 PM SIG Principles
5:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips

11:00 AM Max Michel Shooting Tips
12:00 PM NEW Pistols Presentation
1:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips
2:00 PM NEW Rifles Presentation
3:00 PM Max Michel Shooting Tips