Monday, April 28, 2014

Home from NRA... the wee wee hours of this morning!

You'll perhaps not be surprised to know I turned the 3 days of the NRA convention into days 5, 6 and 7 of the SHOT Show. A lot of meetings and several GREAT autograph signings at the OC booth and at Burris Optics. I also ended up doing a ton of interviews; I said that I was shocked...SHOCKED!...that there had been no "active shooter events" in a big room filled with 70,000 mostly armed people!

The BANE-A-PALOOZA event at the Slippery Noodle went off just super...I don't know how many people we ended up with, but it was well over a hundred. THANK YOU Forum members and pod people! It was great to meet so many of you, and I got a LOT of ideas to steal wholesale!

I was heartbroken that I didn't get to go play with with the "substantial" crowd of antigun Bloomberg shills...there were fully 100 of many seats as there was on the bus that brought them in! Wow! Unfortunately, they were apparently members of the United Federation of Shills, Lowlifes and Bums, so they were unable to protest longer than the time it took to do the interviews with MSNBC.

Here's a few random data points, and I'll be talking about Indy on this week's podcast:

• It is clear from the convention especially that women are playing a much greater role in the business and the culture than ever before. Obviously, the demo still skews older, male and white, but with this convention the effects of Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 are beginning to show. Faster, please!

• Interestingly enough on the same subject, one of the most common things I was asked by those very same older,male,white demo guys was how can we do a better job of reaching out the both the African America and the Hispanic community. I was heartened to see that, overall, our culture seems outreach as a major TO-DO list item, and it's something I'll be working on as well.

• I am a little concerned on the NRA's slight drift away from a laser-focus on gun rights. I'm going to refer you to Charles C. W. Cooke's excellent piece on NRO, tagged "The NRA Is Winning:"
The NRA is winning — and thank goodness that it is. So effective has it been that it must be tempting for its acolytes to branch out, fighting the good fight on more front than one. It should resist the lure, and — even at this moment of unprecedented success — remember what it was that made it so effective in the first place: discipline.
BTW, Cooke was at the convention, obviously. I saw this same sort of drift duing the Bush The Younger years when we weren't in a DefCon One battle mode...I started getting calls from political folks that started like this: We know you're a gun activist, and that's why we think you should help us with [fill in the blank] issue. As a small "l" libertarian, I am very attuned to the depredations of our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties and the necessity to fight against those depredations. However, on a strictly pragmatic plane, movements typically can't be made to scale horizontally because of hugely differing depths of commitment on the other issues that might be tagged onto the primary issue.

I would say a large percentage of the gun culture — and an overwhelming percentage of our new shooters and hunters — fall more into my arena than the traditional GOP tent. While I will unconditionally agree with you on liberty issues, not only do a not agree with the mainstream GOP agenda, I think most of it is pure looney tunes. In the Bush years I found the big push was to draw gun rights advocates into GOP social issues. Not saying this is a huge issue yet, but it is something we need to be monitoring closely. 

• When any government bans guns based on essentially "cosmetic" issues, manufacturers will simply change said cosmetic issues and motor on. It is not a question of "getting around" the laws, but the simple fact that laws drafted by cretins seldom make sense. If any legislative body should decide to ban, say, Manolo Blahnik Jeweled Pumps in Deep Sky Blue" because they cause harm and suffering to women's ankles, it should not surprise said legislators when consumers snap up Manolo pumps in Passion Purple and Vampire Lick Red (okay, I made those colors up!). The Troy Pump Action AR, the Black Rain really weird stocked New York compliant AR (which, by the way, doesn't feel nearly as weird as it looks) and the stunning Ares Defense Sporting Configurable Rifle are evolution in action and intelligent responses to stupid laws.

• It was Big Fun! As always, I am humbled and honored to meet the people who make SHOOTING GALLERY, THE BEST DEFENSE, GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA, DOWN RANGE Radio, DOWN RANGE Television and all our other projects possible. I cannot thank you all enough!


Anonymous said...

Off topic but:

Having a hard time finding ammo?

kmitch200 said...

Sounds like you had a great time running your butt off!

When any government bans guns based on essentially "cosmetic" issues, manufacturers will simply change said cosmetic issues

In the anti's parlance, that's "Exploiting a loophole!" instead of just "following the law".
It's a loophole when you can still buy ANY gun is what they're not saying.

sheepdog1968 said...

Hi Michael,

I found an awesome website that consolidates all of the gun facts using excellent references that are less likely to be disputed by the anti's. It is

I think you will really like it and want to put a link to in on your webpage.

_DonWorsham_ said...

The Bane Beer Fest was fun. Lots of people in the industry filed through.

I want to especially thank the gentleman at the bar, who after last call had expired, put a pint of PBR in front me. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Wish I'd gotten your name.


Old NFO said...

You done good sir! :-) Pleasure to finally meet you.

Anonymous said...


It was great getting to meet you in person in Indy and talk even if it was just for a few moments. Keep up the good work!


MattCFII said...

Thanks Michael, it was a good time and great to meet you!

Michael Bane said...

No, thanks to ALL of you! It was absolutely my honor to be able to meet you guys and talk to you...even Don Worsham! Get Worsham to tell you all about my conversation with my mortgage banker on the way to dinner in Indy...

I had a wonderful time!

I was freakin' blown away by the Ares Defense's not a "float," but a fully configured system. Listen to Wednesday's podcast for details. I ordered an SCR in 7.62 X 39, BTW.

I also was overcome with lust for the Barrett 98B in .300 Win cries out for me...

Again...THANK YOU...


Rick said...

I also wanted to thank you again. It was good to meet you even if briefly on Sat. I was late to Rob Pincus's seminar, but it was worth it to finally meet you and Marshal Halloway. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Indianapolis and look forward to seeing you again at some future event. Good luck on your move to the new and improved secret hidden bunker.


Sheepdog1968 said...

I like the look of the Ares rifle with the more traditional stock. I've never been a pistol grip fan on long arms. If I recall, Benelli or Beretta came out with a similar semi auto rifle that took AR magazines and had a traditional rifle stock about 4 or 5 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Told Para engineers to build a similar rifle for marketing to women back in 2007. So they of course did nothing.

David said...

It was great to see you again, and show off my niece as Gun Culture 3.0...a child of a Gun Culture 2.0 shooter (my sister). Wish I could have made the beer conclave, but I spent the weekend showing my sister and her daughters around their first (not last) NRA show.

Passing on the passion and the values, and *growing* our gun culture is really the only way the 2nd Amendment will survive.

See you next year in Nashville.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Missed you at Indy, but maybe you ran into some of my 75,000+ friends? Anyway, I did get to Fondle the Ares, and I'm looking forward to your T+E of the 7.62x39. On my List. But you are correct about the NRA staying Focused. I see Politics as being able to Negotiate an Issue from a position of Strength. And w/o Firearms, one doesn't have the Strength to deal with those who DO have the Firearms. No Guns, No Power. Just ask Chairman Mao.

sheepdog1968 said...

Hi Michael. I really enjoyed the podcast today. I could hear the enthuasism in your voice on the Axis AR lower. Keep up the good work.

Harry said...

"The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog"

I just listened to the podcast. I am happy that you were touched by the little book.

It was nice to meet you.

Michael Bane said...

It was a wonderful book, and I thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness...