GRPC 2018 – My Talk

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The 33rd Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago ended yesterday. I was honored to be on the panel speaking on Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights. I was joined on the panel by Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, and Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun With Charlie (on YouTube). This was my fourth time to be on the panel and I’m still surprised to be asked each year.

Below is my speech. This year I recognized that we are under attack like never before and need to up our game. I also recognized the diversity of those supporting our civil right to keep and bear arms. I don’t care who you sleep with or the color of your skin or even your political beliefs so long as you unreservedly support the right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.

I’m John Richardson.

I blog at No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and am also a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

If anything this year and indeed this past week have shown, it is that we are in a culture war. Everything we hold dear is under attack by an unholy alliance of the well-financed gun ban lobby, tech oligarchs, and the mass media. They have the money, they control the air waves, and are increasingly controlling and censoring our social media. Moreover, they have gotten smarter, savvier, and are actually, unfortunately, gaining a grass roots.

Nothing but our personal destruction will satisfy them. One need only to look at what they are trying to do to Judge Kavanaugh or to the vile, personal, and vicious attacks by former Parkland student David Hogg on those who would oppose his gun control agenda to understand this. In my past talks on using new media to advance gun rights I took a kinder, gentler approach.

No more.

We are all warriors in this culture war or we wouldn’t be in this room this morning.

I look out across this room and I don’t see men or women, young or old, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. I see the Special Forces of the gun rights movement – people who believe in freedom, the right to armed self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms – and who have the will to fight for it.

We have to be like the Green Beret A Teams sent behind enemy lines to create insurgencies to sap the strength and will of those who would curtail our constitutional rights.

Let me give you an example. When a Federal court in Washington State ignored the First Amendment implications of suppressing computer code and issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation from putting it online, a group of civil rights groups including the Calguns Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition who were not covered by the order set up a website and put the information online themselves. They knew you couldn’t stop the signal.

I and hundreds of thousands others downloaded it. However, we didn’t stop there. We put the links up on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. When the oligarchs running Facebook and Twitter tried to suppress the links, we went around them and put up pictures of the links or used barcodes. CodeIsFreeSpeech.com is still up and running and it infuriates the anti-gun, anti-civil rights elites.

That is just one example.

Virtually everyone in this room right now has on their person a very effective weapon. I’m not talking about those who the state of Illinois allows to carry concealed but rather all the iPhones and Android cell phones. They allow you to take both pictures and video as well as being connected to the Internet.

What kind of pictures or videos?

Well, my favorite ones are of anti-gun politicians and gun control celebs like Mike Bloomberg, Shannon Watts, and David Hogg surrounded by their armed security guards. They don’t want you to be able to protect your family and yourself. However, they insist on their own armed protection. You know there is a word for people like that – hypocrites.
If you do get those kinds of pictures, post them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other place you can think of. If you see them posted by someone else, share or retweet them. Make it go viral!

Likewise, if you are going out shopping or taking friends out for dinner and you come across a store or restaurant that is posted against carry, take a picture. Post it to social media. Ask why these establishments want to keep you defenseless and put you at the mercy of those who would harm you or your family. As Massad Ayoob has said many times, gun free zones are nothing but hunting preserves for psychopaths.

Go to events sponsored by the gun control lobby. If they are having a town hall, record it on your phone. Take pictures of the Demanding Moms or the student marchers. Compare the numbers reported in the media with what you see with your own eyes and call them out on inflated numbers. I remember my late friend Bob Owens of BearingArms.com going to an anti-NRA rally held by Shannon Watts in Nashville. He took pictures from all angles and then compared them to their “official” picture. He exposed their lies and showed how they rigged the photo to make it seem like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

My final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our rights and our culture. We have all the tools we need. We just have to have the will to use them and use them effectively.

Thank you for your time today.

Jim Scoutten’s Editorial On Social Media

Jim Scoutten is the host and producer of Shooting USA. He’s been doing this for 25 years and his shows have been on everything from ESPN to the Outdoor Channel. Each time he has moved it has been because of pressure from anti-gun executives.

The major broadcast and cable channels have prohibited any form of firearm advertising for years. 25 years ago we struggled with ESPN in the first year of our gun show series when Colt was a sponsor, but couldn’t advertise their guns. Since then we’ve moved three times to new networks as each was taken over by anti-gun New York City-based owners. We’re pleased to make our television home now on the pro-second amendment Outdoor Channel.

 He has a very interesting editorial up at the Outdoor Wire and the Shooting Wire today which is where the above quote comes from. It is entitled “The Incredible Shrinking World of Social Media”. In it, he describes how the algorithms of YouTube and Facebook limit who sees videos. Moreover, age restrictions are often put on conservative videos to prevent them from influencing young minds. Another factor Jim describes is how poor internet service in rural areas limits the access of those who would be most interested in watching streaming video.

I would urge you to read the whole thing.

My Presentation At GRPC 2016

I was invited to be a speaker at the 2016 Gun Rights Policy Conference that was held this past weekend in Tampa, Florida. Like last year, the panel topic was using New Media to Advance Gun Rights.

Below is the draft that I planned to present before I had to start cutting for time.

Hi. I’m John Richardson.


I blog at the gun blog No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and have done so since 2010.


Last year when I spoke on using new media to advance gun rights, I told about how my blog got started and then gave examples of how bloggers and citizen journalists had used new media to advance gun rights. This year I want to speak to you about how you can use new media to advance our civil rights and freedoms.


By a show of hands, how many people here have a Facebook account? Or a Twitter account? Or both?


(That’s great! We’re getting there!)


We are in a political and cultural war to save our civil rights and freedoms from the gun control industry. This used to be merely the Brady Campaign and a few under-funded splinter groups.


That was then, this is now.


The gun control industry has morphed into an unholy alliance of academia, left-wing politicians, big media including Hollywood, pro bono lawyers from mega firms, progressive foundations and think-tanks, and so-called gun safety groups. The gun control industry has gotten smarter, savvier, and definitely better funded thanks to anti-freedom billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates among others.


Add into this mix the Democrat’s nominee for president who considers us a “basket of deplorable” and irredeemable. Hillary has declared war on us and on the gun culture – both versions 1.0 and 2.0.


This unholy alliance seeks to marginalize us. To say that we are on the fringe and that the numbers of gunowners are declining. To portray us as toothless, uneducated white rednecks. That we are not Mainstream America.
So how do we fight these well-funded forces that want to strip us of our freedoms?



We take the battle to them! We can’t afford full-page ads in major newspapers or on television but we can wage an effective guerrilla war using the tools of the Internet and New Media. We must become like the Mujahideen against the Soviets or the French Maquis against the Nazis. We hit them hard and we hit them fast. Like in judo, we use the weight of their money and their Establishment ties against them.
This past Sunday, Tom Gresham on Gun Talk Radio said everyone should have four tools – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and email. The Missouri Firearms Coalition told how they used Facebook Live to keep pressure on politicians to override Jay Nixon’s veto of constitutional carry. It worked and Missouri now is the 11th state with constitutional carry.



I agree with Tom on the use of those tools but I wouldn’t limit myself to just those four. I’d add in Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Google Plus. Pick one or two of these tools and teach yourself how to use them. If you have trouble learning them, ask your kids or grandkids for help!


When you take a new shooter to the range, post pictures of the trip on Facebook and Instagram. If you happen across a funny meme that skewers anti-gunners, post it on Tumblr or Pinterest. When you view an interesting gun related video on YouTube, post it to Facebook, to Tumblr, to Pinterest, to Twitter. If you feel like you can share your expertise, then become active on Reddit or one of the many Facebook or Internet gun forums. You don’t have to be an author – you just need to like, share, and repost what others have written. Take is a step further and follow Shannon Watts on Twitter and then contest her lies.


What we are doing as individuals when we do all of this is normalizing the ownership and use of firearms for recreation and self-defense. When a non-gunny coworker who is a Facebook friend sees us having fun shooting, they may ask you to take them to the range. That more than anything will inoculate them against the lies of the gun control industry.


I want to recognize my friend Erin Palette and her Operation Blazing Sword. After the murders at the Pulse nightclub, she went on Facebook and offered to take any LGBTQ person who wanted to learn to shoot safely to the range. For free. Trainers, ranges, and mere gun owners deluged her with offers to take people to the range on their own dime. They didn’t ask about sexual orientation. They only saw good people being attacked. Using Google Maps, she posted their contact info and how a LGBTQ person could get training. As of this week, Operation Blazing Sword has 1270 trainers across the country on that map.


One final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our gun rights. Learn the left’s playbook aka Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and use those guerrilla tactics against them. Especially Rule No. 4 – Make the enemy live up to its own rules.


Thank you for your time today.

Now here is what I actually said. Like I said, I had to edit it down for time. I also tried to add some things that I had heard on Saturday of the conference.

Hi. I’m John Richardson.

I have the gun blog No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money.

Last year when I spoke on using new media to advance gun rights, I told about how my blog got started and then gave examples of how bloggers and citizen journalists had used new media to advance gun rights. This year I want to speak to you about how you can use new media to advance our civil rights and freedoms.

We are in a political and cultural war to save our civil rights and freedoms from the gun control industry. This used to be merely the Brady Campaign and a few under-funded splinter groups.

That was then, this is now.

The gun control industry has morphed into an unholy alliance of academia, left-wing politicians, big media including Hollywood, pro bono lawyers from mega firms, progressive foundations, and so-called gun safety groups. The gun control industry has gotten smarter, savvier, and definitely better funded.

This unholy alliance seeks to marginalize us. To say that we are on the fringe and that the numbers of gunowners are declining. To portray us as toothless, uneducated white rednecks. That we are not Mainstream America.

So how do we fight these well-funded forces that want to strip us of our freedoms?

We take the battle to them! We can’t afford full-page ads in major newspapers or on television but we can wage an effective guerrilla war using the tools of the Internet and New Media. We hit them hard; we hit them fast. Like in judo, we use the weight of their money and their Establishment ties against them.

This past Sunday, Tom Gresham on Gun Talk Radio said everyone should have four tools – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and email.

I agree with Tom on the use of those tools but I wouldn’t limit myself to just those four. I’d add in Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Google Plus, and whatever else is out there. Pick one or two of these tools and teach yourself how to use them. If you have trouble learning them, ask your kids or grandkids for help!

When you take a new shooter to the range, post pictures of the trip on Facebook and Instagram. If you happen across a funny meme that skewers anti-gunners, post it on Tumblr or Pinterest. When you view an interesting gun related video on YouTube, post it to Facebook, to Tumblr, to Pinterest, to Twitter. You don’t have to be an author – you just need to like, share, and repost what others have written. As Tom Gresham told me yesterday, you need to become an amplifier.

What we are doing as individuals when we do all of this is normalizing the ownership and use of firearms for recreation and self-defense. When a non-gunny coworker who is a Facebook friend sees us having fun shooting, they may ask you to take them to the range. That more than anything will inoculate them against the lies of the gun control industry.

You heard from Rick Ector yesterday on the power of social media to reach out to women. My friend Erin Palette used it after the Pulse nightclub shooting to reach out to the LGBTQ community. Her Operation Blazing Sword now has 1,270 trainers on an interactive Google Maps doc who have offered to take a gay person to the range for firearm familiarization. For free!

One final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our gun rights. Learn the left’s playbook aka Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and use those guerrilla tactics against them. Especially Rule No. 4 – Make the enemy live up to its own rules.

Thank you for your time today.

Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio recorded the whole conference and has posted them here.

The link to the MP3 of the New Media panel is here. It is self starting.

If anyone would like to make suggestions on things I should have considered, please (please!!!) leave comments.

Additional research and editing on for this provided by Barb Richardson.

People Ask The Most Embarrassing Questions

Unlike scripted townhalls scheduled for CNN, when it comes to government agencies and social media embarrassing questions do get asked.

A case in point. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives maintains a Facebook page. They posted a number of links late last night to the new rules being promulgated as the result of President Obama’s Executive Actions. There was one about the elimination of the CLEO signoff and another about Rule 41-P and responsible persons needing background checks. My favorite, however, was their guidance about when a Federal firearms license was needed. Someone named Bre Ve asked a question that you know they would rather ignore.

Reading the comments, it appears that a Becky Solis objected to the question. The commenters had good Google-fu and found out that she was none other than an area supervisor in the Denver Field Division. Her comment objecting to Ms. Ve’s question has, of course, been deleted.

Good on Bre Ve for asking the question of the day and for the commenters in exposing Ms. Solis.

GRPC 2015: Using Media To Advance Gun Rights

I was honored to be asked to be on a panel at the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference. The topic of our panel was “Using Media to Advance Gun Rights.” Also on the panel were Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Herb Stupp of New York who had been part of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s cabinet, Cheryl Todd of GunTalk AZ, and Dave Workman.

Below is the text of my speech. I would welcome comments and criticism.

Hi. I’m John Richardson.


This morning I plan to tell you how I as a citizen journalist use the Internet to advance gun rights and how you can use it too. As the representative of New Media on this stage this morning, first let me tell you how I got started.


I had been a longtime reader of blogs. I finally decided in May 2010 that I could do just as well as anyone else and started my blog, “No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money.” The name was a play on the Warren Zevon song, “Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money”. I’m a – not a lawyer – hence the name.


I didn’t have many readers at first but I just kept plugging along. Then something happened that gave my blog a big boost: Alan Gura won the McDonald case and then using this ruling, the SAF and Grass Roots North Carolina sued North Carolina to overturn the ban on firearms during declared states of emergency.


I saw it as my mission to report on the details of this and the other McDonald follow-on cases. I worked hard to provide background information so that readers would have a really good understanding of the issues. I felt that if people who supported gun rights had better knowledge than that provided by the mainstream media then they could argue our side more persuasively.


Fast forward to today, 4200+ blog posts, 1.7 million visitors later, and there have been many more cases and a good number of wins. Somewhere along the way I added the role of podcaster to my efforts on behalf of the Second Amendment. I am now a co-host on The Polite Society Podcast which is livestreaming this conference.


My blog as well as the podcast does four things: it educates, it informs, it advocates, and it entertains. The first three help advance the cause of gun rights while the fourth is just because we all need to laugh a bit especially if it is at the expense of the gun prohibitionists!


Let me give you some examples.


Our podcast The Polite Society Podcast has a regular feature called Defensive Gun Uses. We compile instances of how a lawful gun owner has used a firearm to defend him or herself and their family. The examples we have often involve robbery or a home invasion. We look at what the person did right and what they did wrong. We don’t sugarcoat it as this is essential education on the rights and responsibilities of gun owners.


The best example of the blogosphere informing people that helped advance the cause of gun rights was the work that David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh, and Dave Workman did in exposing Operation Fast and Furious which started right here in Phoenix. It was bloggers that connected whistleblowers with Congressional investigators. It was bloggers that introduced the whistleblowers to Sharyl Attkisson so that she could air their stories on television. Many other bloggers including myself took the ball put into play by David, Mike, and Dave and ran with it. If the scandal – and it wasn’t some botched sting operation – gained legs, it was due to the efforts of New Media – not Old Media.


We in the New Media are open about our efforts to advocate on behalf of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Back in 2011, ATF was soliciting public comments on whether to implement a reporting requirement that would force border state FFLs to inform them when someone bought more than one semi-auto rifle within a five day period. The gun control lobby had a letter generator, we didn’t. With the assistance of one of my readers, we set up a letter generator with a pre-written letter. Our letter generator sent 3,203 letters to OMB opposing this power grab. ATF still implemented it but by God they couldn’t say there was no opposition!


I don’t think I need to give examples of how blogs entertain. There are just too many.


An old journalist once said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those that own one.” Well, as a blogger and podcaster I do own one. And thanks to the Internet so does everyone in this room.


When you post pictures of yourself taking a new shooter to the range on Facebook, you are advancing the cause. When you post a picture of a new gun you bought to Instagram, you are normalizing guns. When you tweet a link to an article that is pro-gun, you are spreading the message. Let’s not forget Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube. Posting pictures or videos of successful hunts, reloading benches, etc. help advance the gun culture.


If there is one message I want to leave you with this morning it is this: We are in a cultural war against strong, well-funded, top-down opponents. They have the mainstream media on their side. We have the grassroots. New Media gives us the tools to conduct our cultural guerrilla war, build our grassroots support, and spread our message of self-reliance, freedom, and gun rights.


Thank you for your time today.

The Polite Society Podcast livestreamed both days of the conference. I was able to excerpt my presentation. While the crowd on Sunday was not as large as that on Saturday, it was certainly more people than I had ever spoken to before. Click on the “Watch highlights” to see my portion of the presentation.

Shannon Watts Lies About New NRA Video

I know you are shocked to hear that Shannon Watts lied on Twitter about a new NRA video that features Dana Loesch. Now it is no secret that no love is lost between these two. Dana has called out Shannon many a time for her lies and her use of no-neck armed guards hired by Michael Bloomberg.

Here are the tweets in question:

If you watch the video below, you never hear a thing about Christianity nor do you hear any encouragement of shooting a thug in the face. What Dana said is that the media buries stories of defensive gun uses by mothers. As to the “Leather Tuscadero” Happy Days reference, that is just Shannon Watts’ cattiness about Dana’s leather jacket and the effectiveness of this video.

The best response on Twitter was by someone named Tom Sawyer who just nailed it!

United Network Of Rational Americans? Huh?

A new group pushing gun control and background checks has emerged on the scene. Calling themselves United Network of Rational Americans, they have just released a gun control video. The video quotes the late Ronald Reagan from 1991 as saying that if there had been background checks in 1981 then he and Jim Brady would never have been shot.

Ignoring President Reagan’s statement and his later signature on a letter supporting the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban which one of his own sons has attributed to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, just who the heck is United Network for Rational Americans?

It appears to be the invention of Scott Crider of Watchdog Causes LLC. Located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Watchdog Causes calls themselves a “a progressive-leaning social media & online/interactive marketing consultancy.” They are the ones responsible for inventing and promoting the Dogs Against Romney campaign which did draw a good bit of media attention.

About the ad, Crider is quoted in US News and World Report saying:

“We need to convince Republicans in Washington. Reagan lived by the Grace of God, not because he had armed security. And he lived to tell Republicans in Washington today to use your brains, use your hearts, and have enough guts to do what’s right,” says Scott Crider, the creator of UNRA. “Instead of being selfish and worrying that the NRA will give you a primary opponent in your next election, worry about that next child that will get murdered by a madman with a gun if you don’t do your job.”

From his resume, Crider states he is a 1987 graduate in communications from Ouachita Baptist University and independent social media and interactive marketing consultant.

An award-winning digital marketer and social media strategist with real-world accomplishments and quantifiable results, Scott Crider has 25- years of experience as a marketing executive. A digital marketing leader and innovator for more than 15-years, Crider drives the strategy and execution of digital marketing programs that leverage viral opportunities in social media and related applications. With a proven track record of identifying high-impact opportunities and innovative strategies for clients and brands, Crider focuses on application strategy and technology integration within the social media space.

Beyond a Facebook page and a website, there doesn’t seem to be much to UN-RA. Despite The Hill calling them a “pro-gun-control group”, there doesn’t seem to be much group there. Their Facebook page was put up on March 6th and their webpage only has its first posting on March 19th where they are pushing bumper stickers and magnets.

In UN-RA’s “about page”, they say:

The UNRA (United Network of Rational Americans) is composed of people and groups who support the 2nd Amendment and honor America’s history of responsible gun ownership. Many UNRA members own guns, store them and use them responsibly, undergo training to learn to defend themselves and their families, and participate in hunting and shooting sports.

Given their sparse background and their recent creation, it would be interesting to know just where the money is coming from for the video and webpage that seems to be targeting Republican politicians. Is it coming from Mr. Crider’s own pocket or is it being funneled to him groups like Obama’ Organizing for America or Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors? I doubt we will ever really find out the answers to this question.

In the meantime, we should keep monitoring this group if only because Mr. Crider has been successful in garnering media attention for lefty causes in the past.

Guntersville Does The Right Thing

Guntersville, Alabama Mayor Leigh Dollar had proposed a change to the emergency ordinances of that city that would have allowed law enforcement to disarm residents. Mayor Dollar said it was to protect officers in the aftermath of an emergency such as the 2011 tornadoes.

While most of the ordinance was sensible and provided for the mayor to act without council in the aftermath of a disaster, it was the sixth of seven sections that caused the uproar. That was the section that allowed any law enforcement officer to disarm residents for the protection of the officer or other individuals. If someone was brandishing a firearm in an unsafe or threatening manner, Alabama law already gave an officer the authority to disarm them – and to arrest them.

I think Mayor Dollar was genuinely surprised by the outpouring of opposition to the ordinance caused by that section of the law. She quickly issued a statement saying her intent was not to disarm people and undermine the Second Amendment.

“As Mayor, I can say there is absolutely no intent to undermine the right to bear arms. I live
in a house full of hunters and I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as are all
members of the City Council.

“The City’s intent was never to ‘disarm our citizens or seize firearms’. The purpose is for the
City to be able to respond in a timely manner in the event of a disaster which we hope never
happens. However, after April 27, 2011, we know what can easily become a reality.

“The entire proposed local ordinance follows the state emergency ordinance, and the section
related to firearms follows existing state statutes. That section was included so public
workers and volunteers helping during a state of emergency are protected from someone
causing harm or potentially causing harm. In no way is this ordinance trying to infringe upon
anyone’s constitutional rights.”

 Yesterday, the Guntersville City Council had a special meeting and voted to withdraw the ordinance in its entirety from consideration. The whole meeting lasted probably less than five minutes. According to one report, Mayor Dollar said “This entire council is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment. We all own guns.”

We in my home state of North Carolina had to go to US District Court to secure our right to be armed in defense of home and family during an emergency. So I am pleased Mayor Dollar and the Guntersville Council did the right thing when they realized the magnitude of their actions. If this story has a moral, it is that about the power of social media to alert and activate opposition to threats to our rights. It doesn’t always work but in this case it succeeded beautifully.

All I Want For Christmas…

The National Shooting Sports Foundation paired with social media monitoring service Radian6 to search blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other sites to get an idea what brand of gun people were desiring for Christmas. They used the search words “Christmas”, “firearm or gun”, and the names of leading firearms manufacturers. The chart below shows the results.

The marketing managers at Glock and Ruger have got to be happy with these results. Colt should be happy that they placed third on this list as their proportion of the civilian market is, I believe, much less than its ranking here.