Gosh, I cannot thank all of you enough for the wonderful weekend in Louisville!
First, to the fans of SHOOTING GALLERY, DRTV, COWBOYS and the blog and podcast, you awed and humbled me. I signed literally hundreds of autographs, had my picture taken with dozens of people and got to talk to the greatest bunch of men and women in the world! You thoughts and ideas have been and will continue to be invaluable to me, and I cannot thank you enough for your support.
To our DRTV and GUNSITE regulars who turned out in force, as usual you guys rock! Don Worsham, you're as weird as I suspected you might be, and I'm glad you like my other weird friends. Charles, Tim, Bob and the other GUNSITE-inistas, as always, a hoot of a time, and I learn new stuff every time I hang with you guys.
To the blog community, welcome aboard! Christie Caywood — Bitter Bitch Herself — and the NRA deserve a huge "attaboy" for bringing the gun blogging community on-board as full and deserving members of the media. I have been a press-card-carrying member of the mainstream media since I was 18 years old, but I unequivocally believe that the new media is our future. I am as proud of this blog as anything I have ever written — article, book, speech, whatever. Great meeting all of you, and I look forward to our shared futures.
To the industry, which is united as never before...yes, there's a storm coming,, but we have weathered storms before. And I am completely heartened to see that for the first time ever, we have a gut-level understanding that all guns are the same, that there is no difference between a $20,000 sporting clays Perazzi shotgun, a Glock .45, one of Ronnie Barrett's .50 BMGs or a "black" rifle AR-15...we stand together!
Let me sum this up...I just spent four days in an armed society...I walked around in a room full of thousands of people with guns on their hips (myself included, a little Ruger LCP in a small SafePacker on my belt)...no one was "paranoid"...no one was "scared"...no one sat on the porch and strummed a banjo...the man I believe will be the new President of the United States came to tell us he was with us...one of the most popular commentators in the world, Glenn Beck, came to say that while he didn't know squat about guns, but he understood the people there in Louisville..."I don't believe in organizations; I believe in rights," Beck said. "And I joined this year as a lifetime member of the NRA."
I have said this before, but it never hurts to say it again...we are not just a different culture, we are a better culture. This from my friend Jim Shepherd on the Shooting Wire this AM:
These four days, I've witnessed a snapshot of America in the city I once called home. And once again, I'm speaking proudly of Louisville as "the closest thing I've ever had to a home town."Amen...and pass the ammunition!
Louisville – and the NRA Meetings were the picture and sounds of civility, hospitality and fraternity. Not the quality of "American Gothic" or the sounds of great symphonic work, but a photo you wouldn't be ashamed to stick on your refrigerator along with the other portraits of your America while you hummed contentedly to yourself.
That's not bad.