Gun Rights: The 2009 National Rifle Association Convention

by CJFosdick on May 26, 2009

The Conservative Scene

The sights and sounds of the 2009 National Rifle Association Convention, held this year at the huge Phoenix, Arizona Convention Center on May 14-17, 2009, linger. My husband and I mingled with the crowd, and I do mean, it was a crowd. Estimates of attendance range from 47,000* to 60,000** attendees.
Guns were on display everywhere, and thousands of members were also carrying, yet no shots were fired, no one there feared an attack, and no one took extra precautions to be safe.

The Convention was great for the Phoenix economy, as the city received about $70 million dollars from the event.** The annual banquet Saturday night was the biggest banquet ever served in Arizona, with one member estimating 8000 people served that night. Food vendors within the Display Hall had a steady stream of  hungry people for four days time, selling thousands of sandwiches, snacks, and cold drinks.** I opted for Nachos, good but quite messy to eat. In fact, Wayne La Pierre, NRA CEO, and his wife went by shaking hands. I, unfortunately, had nacho cheese on my hands, so I declined the opportunity.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is growing in membership, up about 35% since Obama’s election. Gun sales in America are skyrocketing and gun stores literally cannot keep ammunition on the shelves. “Much of this new-found interest in gun ownership comes from the unpredictability of Washington and the idea that, sooner or later, Obama will put up the fight (for gun control legislation) … that liberals want to undermine the gun culture, not with another assault-weapons ban, but with ‘a barrage’ of new rules.”*

The current interest in the 2nd Amendment is largely an issue of the Conservative Scene; however there are many Democrats and Independents equally concerned about their gun rights. “The gun has become a symbol of the conservative vision of freedom,” according to Joan Burbick, author of Gun Show Nation. In Wayne La Pierre’s words, “Gun owners face the ‘slickest, most aggressive anti-gun White House in the history of America.”*  High-ranking liberal Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton, U.S. Attorney, Eric Holder, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Diane Feinstein have all promised to pick the time and place (Feinstein’s words) for more gun restrictions.*

As we wandered through pressing crowds in the large display hall, I in my wheelchair with my husband pushing, we did not meet any strangers. We were all of one mind — keep the 2nd Amendment intact. We stopped and talked to complete strangers with this one vital message, gun rights, on our minds. John Rosado of the Arizona Defense League lobbying for Arizona gun rights is a good example.

It was also a thrill to hear many like-minded American heroes and dignitaries speak, such as John McCain, Michael Steele, and Dick Morris. Lt. Col. Ollie North, producer of Fox News War Stories, impressed me most. His impassioned speech emphasized the attack made by our government on brave soldiers returning from the battlefields, accusing them of possible “right-wing” terrorist activities. North thinks this is scurrilous and should be condemned by every American. I agree! It is outrageous! Our government attacking the very people who have volunteered to defend America’s shores — UNHEARD OF!

I feel from the experience of attending the 2009 National Rifle Association Convention, and seeing the renewed spirit of protecting our Gun Rights through thousands of dedicated American citizens will empower the Conservative Scene and send a strong message to Obama and the liberal Democrats.

*www.csmonitor.com/2009/0518
**www.raillife.com/blog/post/2009/05/18

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