Archive for October, 2012

As a volunteer NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator, from time to time, I will get phone calls from NRA members who have seen my name on their NRA magazine and want to know what they can do to help the NRA endorsed candidates.  Working from home today, I received a call from an individual who identified himself as a member of one of Virginia’s state gun rights organizations.  After stating that he saw my name and phone number on his NRA magazine, he continued that based on information he received from this other state organization about 7th District Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and due to the fact the NRA endorsed Cantor, he was not going to renew his NRA membership.  Lucky for me, I don’t pick up the phone when I don’t recognize the name or number of the caller so while I could hear the message he was leaving, I did not have to engage him.  

It has been my experience that folks like this don’t want to listen to the other side, they simply want to berate people with whom they do not agree.  He should have saved his breath.  As a volunteer, it does not do him a lot of good to tell me that he is not going to renew his NRA membership.  It’s not like I am going to pick up the phone and pass on his message to Fairfax, especially since I agree with NRA’s endorsement of Congressman Cantor. 

This other state organization has had a running feud with Cantor because the 7th District Republican Committee has held its annual Republican Roundup event at the Snagajob Pavillion, which does not allow firearms on the property.  Cantor has not agreed to their demands to move the event, even though it is not even his campaign that hosts the event, he simply attends, as does almost every other local and statewide Republican elected official if their schedules allow.  George Allen was at this year’s event too.

But other than the fact that a local Republican organization chooses a particular location for its well attended outdoor event, and Cantor attends the event, that by the way is free to the attendees so they are not rasing any money, please tell me what it is that Eric Cantor has done in the last ten years or more that he has been in office at both the state and federal level that has earned him the label “Anti-gun.”

Cantor did cast a vote that was anti-rights when he joined a number of other Republicans in voting for an amended version of Doug Wilder’s handgun rationing bill.  That was 1993.  It was a bad vote that he should not have cast but it should be noted, that Governor Bob McDonnell also voted for that bill in 1993.  That did not keep McDonnell from being endorsed by this same group in both 2005 and 2009.  McDonnell did pledge to support repeal of the rationing law.  So by a like measure, since 1993, Cantor has supported every pro-rights bill either by voting for it or signing on as a co-sponsor, that has come before him.  The list is too long for this space, but if pledging to repeal a law that you voted for almost 20 years ago is enough to wipe away the past bad judgement, one would think that voting for every pro-rights bill in the last 20 years would carry the same weight.  This other group also notes that Cantor voted for a bill that same year (HB2273) that according to them would have “banned self-defense shotguns.”  Unfortunately, the General Assembly’s Legislative Information System only goes back as far as 1994, so I cannot access the bill to review its content.

What disappoints this blogger most is the fact that some pro-rights groups  have no problem with trying to score points by working against people who have been our friend.  Gun owners have a record on which to judge Eric Cantor.  With the exception of the vote on handgun rationing, his record is great on our issue.  Cantor voted for Virginia’s “Shall Issue” concealed handgun law. He voted for a bill that allows a person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit while in his own place of business as well as provides that the training required prior to issuance of a concealed handgun permit never expires. He voted for the “Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” that prohibits politically motivated lawsuits against firearms dealers and manufacturers.  He signed both congressional “Friend of the Court” briefs supporting Heller and McDonald.  In short, Cantor is a friend to gun owners.

So, what is the motivation of this other group?  If you look at the web site this group has thrown up (and I’m not going to link to it), it appears money is at least part of the motivation.  On more than one page of the web site, they have “Donate” links.

To put this complaint about holding an event at non-gun friendly venues in perspective, NRA has held its Annual Meeting at facilities that have had restrictions on carrying firearms.  Sometimes this is unavoidable as there are only a certain number of locations large enough to accommodate the 70,000 people who attend that event.  While this other group has stated they offered nine other locations that are firearm friendly for the Republican Roundup, the group does not name where those venues are located, likely because they are not in locations that would make it easy for the largest number of people to attend.  The population center of this sprawling district is in the Richmond metro area.  Snagajob holds a large number of people and is located in the western Henrico County, where a large portion of the district resides.

Finally, this same group hosts membership tables at gun shows, events that do not allow loaded firearms inside the venue.  So,  it begs the question, what is their real beef with Cantor?

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This morning I received this email from Rob Keck, former CEO at the National Wild Turkey Federation and now Director of Conservation at Bass Pro Shops.

Dear _______

Our hunting and fishing heritage is important to you and me – and Mitt Romney understands its importance to America and how it positively impacts the quality of life for all Americans.
You get to know a lot about an individual when you’re at a hunting camp or out in the field or on the mountain, and that’s exactly the experience I had two seasons ago with Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney is man of great integrity and character. He has a solid vision, and plan, as well as a deep and abiding love for America. He understands and respects the passion of our sportsmen and women, hunters and anglers, conservationists, and recreational shooters.
As we all know, our country needs a turnaround. We aren’t better off than we were four years ago. Under President Obama our debt has soared, burdening our children and grandchildren and mortgaging our future. We can and we must do better. We need a president that understands the economic importance of hunting and fishing. We need Mitt Romney!
As sportsmen, our rights to enjoy the outdoors are under attack from this administration. But, we do have a choice in this election. We can send a man to the White House who will protect our gun rights and preserve and expand our access to our precious public lands we hunt and fish. We can’t achieve these results alone. We need your help! You can make a difference.

Click on the links below to get involved with the campaign. There are undecided voters out there who could decide this election. We need them to support Mitt.

  • Sign up to make calls to likely voters in swing states. The Romney for President Call from Home program makes it easy to make calls on your own, or host a call party! Sign up and get started here.
  • Live in or near a swing state? Find the closest Victory Center and sign up to help directly on the ground in that state. Visit http://www.mittromney.com/states to find information and get started.

Thanks for answering the call to the future of our hunting and fishing heritage and to the greatest nation on earth.
Rob Keck

The Romney Campaign is reaching out to sportsmen in this final push to the finish line.  It is supposed to be a messy weekend this weekend so what better time to sit down at the kitchen table and volunteer a couple of hours calling voters to Defend Freedom and Defeat Obama.

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The latest Rasmussen Poll released Sunday shows Tim Kaine clinging to a one point lead with two weeks left to go.  We need gun owners to get involved now to help turn out our vote for George Allen in these final two weeks.  Please contact the Allen campaign to see how you can help in these closing days.


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Your vote is needed more today than ever before.  You can go to www.triggerthevote.com and register online.  Or, simply go to your local registrar’s office, DMV, or any where that you can purchase hunting and fishing licenses.

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For those who could not attend the rally in Fishersville, Virginia, or have not seen the video of the rally, I have posted it below.

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There is so much at stake this election.  We have heard before that “this is the most important election of our lifetime” but this time, it’s true.

Please heed their call.  Now is the time to act.  Do all you can to support the NRA Endorsed Candidates in these final weeks of the campaign.

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The NRA Political Victory Fund has endorsed Congressman Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th District, and George Allen for U.S. Senate.  The NRA-PVF said in endorsing Eric Cantor:

While serving in Congress, Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined the historic briefs filed before the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, which argued that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Virginia and everywhere else in America. Cantor voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas related to the deadly Operation Fast and Furious scandal. He cosponsored and voted for the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protected American gun makers from being sued into bankruptcy, and voted for H.R. 822, “The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act,” which would ensure that law-abiding Americans with valid concealed handgun permits would be able to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry.

In endorsing George Allen, the NRA-PVF stated:

As Governor of Virginia, George Allen supported and signed Virginia’s Right-to-Carry law, abolished parole for violent criminals, and promoted truth-in-sentencing legislation. While in Congress, Allen cosponsored and voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects American gun makers from being sued into bankruptcy. He also sponsored National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation, cosponsored the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act, and voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency.

Please contact Eric Cantor and George Allen to see how you can help in these final days of the campaign.

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On Friday, I was listening to the latest Gun For Hire Podcast. One of the hosts mentions this article that appeared recently on New Jersey.com that said rising gun sales in New Jersey have been driven by first time buyers.  This contradicts what the gun ban lobby has been telling us since the fall of 2008.

The Brady Campaign also said “the percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining over time” and that gun sales are concentrated among people who already own guns.

But according to NewJersey.com, those rising sales are indeed because non-gun owners are becoming gun owners.

More and more Americans are opting to exercise their Second Amendment rights, driving up domestic firearms sales and interest in shooting sports, which is good news for manufacturers and dealers.

Driving these record numbers are thousands of first-time purchasers.

This issue was addressed at the NRA Board Meeting that took place after the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis.  Bitter over on Shall Not Be Questioned covered NRA’s take on the increase in sales.

However, an interesting report came out of the NRA Board Meeting yesterday morning. And, no, it wasn’t just the news we broke on Twitter about the record-setting 73,740 NRA members attending the Annual Meeting & Exhibits. Kayne Robinson, Director of General Operations, told the crowd that they have seen a surge of training demands and had to really focus attention on being able to easily sell materials to the thousands of instructors across the country since the early days of the Obama guns sales surge. If you thought things were tapering off with Obama’s first term coming to a close, don’t be fooled.

So far in 2012, Kayne reported that the NRA sales are running about $265,000 above what they expected at this point in the year.

So, despite what the gun ban lobby would try to have us believe, we are seeing people becoming first time gun owners, and, also despite the picture painted by the gun ban lobby, they are seeking training so they can properly use their new firearm.

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