5 Million Freakin’ People vs. Moms Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks

NRA-Millions-video

Breaking news! The White House released a new report suggesting slight statistical corrections to previous figures. Earlier this year, Vice President Biden claimed that 90% of Americans support increased background checks. The new findings indicate that 90% of Americans actually ATTENDED the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. You heard it here first folks.

Speaking of 75,267 people, and yes that’s the actual number that attended the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend, the NRA’s new ad campaign makes it abundantly clear the difference between the anti-gun effort and the Second Amendment rights preservation effort.

In the words of a new NRA membership video called Bloomberg’s Millions, “He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

That. Is. Brilliant.

As a career marketing puke, I know it’s a brilliant campaign because it doesn’t spin, fool, or exaggerate. It hits the crux of the issue harder than that Mike Tyson punch where he swacked Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. In case you didn’t see the movie, that punch was painful to watch, but entertaining for all except Zach.

The issue is simply this. The NRA has no power. None. None whatsoever.

You know what has power? 5 million freakin’ people who voluntarily send $25 a year to the NRA because they believe in the NRA’s position.(Tweet This!)

Power comes from 75,267 men, women and children who spend a whole lot of their hard-earned money (thanks Indianapolis, you were wonderful hosts!) to travel across the country to visit, talk, see products, hear speeches and vote.

On the other hand, astroturf, or lack of power comes from…

Protest Prostitutes.

As you may have heard, there was a protest by Moms Demand Something Or Other For Baby Emus, no wait, I think it’s Moms Demand Salaries From Michael Bloomberg, hang on, I’ll get it in a minute. Moms Demand Every Town Install Free Pillow Spray Dispensers. I think that’s it, right? Sorry, they keep changing names so frequently I lose track.

Anyway, Mom’s Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks came to Indianapolis to “confront and challenge” the NRA. Fortunately, there are cheap flights to Indy because Bloomberg had to foot the bill to fly the couple of dozen men and women holding identical, organization provided signs. That’s right; they had to be paid to protest.

If your sign and t-shirt are issued when you clock in for your protest shift, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If your convictions are for sale for $8.50 an hour, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If the energy level of your protest won’t melt butter on a hot day, you’re a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

While entertaining to watch, protest prostitutes have no real power, they’re just the hired help.

Once there, and between union-mandated coffee breaks, they “confronted” the NRA from a safe distance of about a mile away. You know, because we’re all gun totin’ savages just raring to shoot people and shout things like “I was in fear for my life!” Especially moms.

Heck there was no need to confront. If they had bothered to come to the convention, they would’ve found 75,267 of the most polite and respectful people around. Well, in all honestly, it was only 75,266 because of that one guy who failed to say “excuse me” when he stepped in front of me at the Wall of Guns exhibit.

Let’s get back to the whole power thing.

Groups like Moms Demand Piers Morgan for President constantly refer to the NRA as if it were some autonomous organization that derives its power from an obelisk buried deep within the moon.

In fact, the only power that the NRA has comes from those 5 million freakin’ members who contribute 25 bucks a year to fund its efforts. Those are voluntary partings with hard-earned money by the way. Voluntary. Not one rich elitist with a couple of unemployed protest prostitute sycophants.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for the gun control movement to understand. They continue to speak of the NRA as if it had a will of its own that disregarded the will of the people.

If I hear one more person talk about the political clout of the gun lobby and NRA, I’m going to strap on a meatloaf suit and jog through the African Lion Safari exhibit at Busch Gardens.

The NRA has too much power? 5 million freakin’ people are SUPPOSED to have political clout. Lots and lots of it. (Tweet This!)

It’s part of that whole constitutional republic democratic process thing. Remember?

It’s a simple concept.

“He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

If you’re reading this, and are not a member of the NRA, you need to join now. If 10% of the people who agree with the NRA would simply join, we wouldn’t be having these silly discussions about preserving our rights.

 

Grab a copy of Tom’s free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

The NRA Annual Meeting: 75,000 Friends and Hundreds of Toys

The NRA Annual Meeting 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

The NRA Annual Meeting 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

I love the NRA annual meeting. You would think a gathering of more than 75,000 people couldn’t be a more polite undertaking than a Miss Manners Impersonator convention, but it is. You can’t go 10 feet without hearing one or more of the following: Please. Thank you. Sir. Ma’am. Pardon me! Have a nice day!

If the folks who rant and rave about how evil the NRA is would actually come to an NRA event, I believe they would be surprised. Actually, they would be dumbfounded. I was chatting it up with a bellman at my hotel one morning, and he observed “I don’t see why people get so upset about the NRA. These have been some of the nicest people ever to come for a big convention.”

If the best part of the NRA annual meeting is the people, the second best part is the product displays. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting finds this week.

ARES SCR™ Sport Configurable Rifle

I had an opportunity to shoot the ARES SCR™ Sport Configurable Rifle at the American Suppressor Association media event the day before the NRA convention started. For a minute, let’s set aside the discussion of whether a company should even have to make a rifle like this because of silly legislation. As one of the guests on this week’s Armed American Radio Show so aptly stated, “It’s an AR rifle that doesn’t look like an AR rifle.”

The ARES SCR Sport Configurable Rifle

The ARES SCR Sport Configurable Rifle

Here’s what it is, besides a great example of creative ingenuity. Imagine a standard AR / MSR upper receiver, hand guard and barrel, but with a classic rifle stock. You know, just like the stock on your favorite hunting rifle or shotgun. Being that the “bang-bang” parts are all Modern Sporting Rifle, it takes almost all of the standard replacement parts and accessories. Magazines, lights, lasers, vertical foregrips and bipods for example. Remember, it’s an AR / MSR that just doesn’t look like one.

The short bolt carrier that makes the ARES SCR work.

The short bolt carrier that makes the ARES SCR work.

Here’s why it exists: It’s legal in all 50 states, even with the latest in silly and unproductive laws passed as of the date of this article.

The first question people ask is “how does it work?” There is no standard buffer tube as with a standard AR platform rifle, so the bolt carrier is short with a curved pigtail that extends down to a recoil spring in the standard rifle stock. The operating principle is the same.

Shooting the Ares SCR is like shooting any standard stock rifle. You’ll want to mount your optic like you would with a standard rifle – as low to the bore as possible. Since the stock curves down instead of straight back, a standard AR height optic will be too high for a proper cheek weld on the stock. We were using an Aimpoint Micro H1 and it is exactly the right height if you don’t use the AR mount.

Initially, Ares will offer this as a complete package with the lower standard stock and upper mated together. If the upper you want to use accepts standard size bolt carriers, and if there is a short bolt carrier available for your desired caliber, you’re good to go. Just throw that new upper on the lower just like you would with a standard AR / MSR.

Weaver Tactical 6-30x56mm

I fell in lust with a beast of an optic – the new Weaver Tactical model. With 30x magnification it will be a lot of fun for rifles that can reach way out there. It might pair well with the DoubleTap Ammo 7mm Remington Ultra Mag mentioned in this article.

Weaver Tactical-1

It’s got a 34mm tube and an illuminated reticle that offers 5 intensity levels of red and green. It’s a mil dot reticle with .1 mil elevation and windage adjustments. As it’s a long range scope, the best feature might be the SmartZero reset turrets. Remove the cap, set the zero stop, and rotate away, even more than once. When you need to, dial them back to a positive zero point without having to count how many rotations you turned.

I’m probably going to do a dedicated feature on this optic down the road, but I can’t decide on the ideal rifle. Maybe a .22-250? Or perhaps the Weatherby .257 Magnum? Of course a nice .308 is always a good choice. What say you?

 

Crimson Trace New Laser Bling

The Crimson Trace team has quite a bit of new gear in both red and green laser configurations. The new Master Series Cocobolo Diamond pattern grips are gorgeous and will class up any 1911.

Crimson Trace Master Series-1

Also new are green Lasergrips for the Ruger LCR family. With a positive on/off switch and 2 hour battery life, it’s a great upgrade for your snubbie.

On the short-term horizon are upgraded models for Glock Gen 3 pistols with rear activation laser switches. The new models feature positive on/off switches, which are handy for saving battery life when practicing in daylight conditions.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Win a Wilson Combat 1911 From Brownells

Ryan models the Brownell's custom Wilson Combat CQB 1911. That's OK though as I don't think he's eligible to win.

Ryan models the Brownell’s custom Wilson Combat CQB 1911. That’s OK though as I don’t think he’s eligible to win.

At the recent NRA annual meeting, the Brownells booth was busier than the door of Michael Moore’s refrigerator. Fortunately, the inside of the Brownells booth was a whole lot safer than the contents of Mikey’s Frigidaire. The Brownells team is nice, respectful and knowledgable, unlike the other extreme presented here.

Why the crowd?

Brownells is celebrating their 75th anniversary with a bang. To mark the occasion, they’ve had Wilson Combat build a custom CQB 1911, and they’re gonna give it away. Yep, this could be yours.

It. Is. Gorgeous.

I entered. And since I am such a nice guy, I’m going to reduce my own chances of victory and tell you about the contest too.

You can enter here.

NRA Annual Meeting Day 3

Day 3, while a bit quieter than the first two days of the NRA Annual Meeting, had plenty to offer. Here are a few of the interesting finds.

The Story Behind the Galco VHS Holster and Beretta M9

Part of the fun of wandering the halls of the NRA Annual Meeting is learning interesting back stories. Way back in 2005, troops deploying to overseas combat zones were buying Galco’s VHS (Vertical Holster System) for their issue Beretta M9 pistols. Why the Galco VHS? When zipping around foreign countries in helicopters, handguns must be carried in a muzzle down orientation, which the VHS is designed to do.

The Galco VHS Vertical Holster System

The Galco VHS Vertical Holster System

In early 2005, Galco was temporally sold out of the holster due to the large number of troops deploying. A customer called in to order one for “civilian” use and was told they were backordered and the reason why. He ordered his holster, then asked if he could pay for an “extra” that Galco would donate to a soldier headed overseas. The light bulb went on and the folks at Galco started theHolsters for Heroes program. Donations flowed in and over $100,000 worth of holsters were given to our men and women in uniform.

Now you know the rest of the story.

Burris XTR II Extreme Tactical Riflescope with FastFire Red Dot

In the midst of the total chaos known as the NRA Annual Meeting, I was fortunate to get a tour of the new Burris offerings from Marketing Director Lori. What jumped out at me was the XTR II. Here’s why.

Burris_XTR-II-1

Here’s the new Burris XTR II on a Beretta ARX 100

It’s a dual focal plane tactical scope. Not first focal plane, not second focal plane, but both. With a first focal plane scope, the hash marks indicate consistent trajectory at any magnification zoom level, but the reticle itself shrinks and grows as you zoom in and out. With a second focal plane placement, the reticle itself appears to stay constant size, but the hash marks only indicate proper bullet drop at one magnification level.

The new Burris has a lit horseshoe reticle in the second plane, so it stays the same size for quick short-range shots at any magnification. The ballistic drop compensation pattern is in the first focal plane, so 400, 500, 600 and 700 yard hold points are accurate at any zoom level.

The mounted FastFire Red Dot is useful for quick, shorter range shots. it’s also a great way to spot distant targets. Get in the vicinity using the FastFire, then shift your eye to the scope for a magnified view.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

NRA Annual Meeting, Day 2: The Superheroes Arrive

No worries folks, Gotham and Indianapolis are both safe…

Thanks to a couple of #BerettaHeroes who arrived on the scene of the second day of the NRA Annual meeting to make sure no dastardly villains ruined the event.

#BerettaHeroes NRA Annual Meeting

Josh and Jack, both from the Great State of Indiana, made a brief appearance at the Beretta booth and allowed their fans a quick photo opp. As no villainous plots were hatched today, we can just assume that the deterrence factor was strong.

As you can see, Jack prefers the punch and reach of the Beretta ARX 100 while John values the classic reliability of the Beretta M9. Both declined to elaborate on their hand-to-hand martial arts training, citing national security concerns.

You know these guys are pros – note the trigger finger discipline. No word yet on whether the dynamic duo will be providing overwatch security tomorrow.

Retrieving Freedom

Meet Traveler. He works for a 501c3 organization that helps Veterans with disabilities. Word is, he actually will work for food!

Retrieving_Freedom-1

Retrieving Freedom places trained service dogs with Veterans with physical disabilities and PTSD. The organization also trains dogs for placement with children diagnosed with autism.

The service dogs are provided at no charge, but training and support is an expensive endeavor. Please check out Retrieving Freedom and send them a donation! Every little bit helps the good work at Retrieving Freedom, so break out those wallets.

Girl Power Hour at the Beretta Booth.

The good folks at Beretta sponsored a #GirlPowerHour for writers, bloggers and media personalities. Of course the guys attended the event in force. What male media maven would pass up an opportunity to schmooze with the coolest ladies in the biz?

Beretta_Girl_Power_Hour-1-2

The crew was treated to a personalized booth tour of Beretta’s Class of 2014 guns including theBeretta PicoBeretta ARX 100 and the absolutely gorgeous new Beretta 692 over and under shotgun.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

NRA Annual Meeting Day 1

It’s that time of year again.

Can you tell the NRA is in town?

Can you tell the NRA is in town?

We’re at the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting in beautiful downtown Indianapolis. I’ve not been to Indianapolis before, but will be back. The downtown area is fantastic. It’s filled with old buildings refurbished with modern interiors. Stores, restaurants and hangouts – it’s a great town for a convention. Indianapolis has clearly rolled out the welcome mat. The people are friendly and there’s been a strong police presence to help manage traffic and crowds. Most of them have been asking attendees about all the new products they saw inside. Officer Friendly lives here.

As there will be a million and seven articles about the newest mainstream products, we’ll be covering the more unusual and interesting offerings here over the next three days, so stay tuned for end of day updates. Let’s take a look at some Day 1 finds.

A Sixpack of Pure Fun From the Target Factory

This booth display stopped me in my tracks. Why? Shooting reactive targets is simply way more fun than shooting holes in paper. While there are plenty of “reactive” targets that are fine for outdoor ranges, I don’t know of many (any?) that are OK to use at indoor ranges.

NRA_Target_bottles-1-4

The NRA Target Bottles are made from a “plasticky” material that allows bullets to pass through, creating only a smaller-than-bullet-diameter hole. Unlike the outdoor target cubes, these are ultra lightweight. You can hang them from a Target Factory frame made of the same material, or, if you shoot at an indoor range, you can use the Target Factory adapter and hang some bottles from those motorized target hangers that zoom back and forth.

NRA_Target_bottles-1-5

These NRA Target Bottles have each been shot about 100 times with everything from .22 to .50 caliber.

You know these come in six packs, right? Spares are packaged just like your favorite long neck beer or glass bottle soda. They’ll handle most any caliber from .22LR to .50 and you can shoot each bottle hundreds of times before it’s destroyed beyond recognition.

 It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. Brilliant.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

 

The Sound of Silence: The American Suppressor Association

What's more fun than .300 AAC Blackout full automatic? suppressed? Not much.

What’s more fun than .300 AAC Blackout full automatic with a suppressor? Not much.

On Day -1 of the annual NRA Meeting, I had the opportunity to attend a media event sponsored by  the American Suppressor Association. If you’re not already familiar, the group is a consortium of companies in the sound suppression business that aim to reduce the noise level of gunfire everywhere.

This event was held at the Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area range – an absolutely fantastic outdoor facility complete with full-time range safety officers, baffles to prevent stray shots from escaping and a Pro Shop that was well stocked with… powder. If you’re a reloader, you know what I’m talking about. No one has powder these days! Except Atterbury.

SilencerCo Osprey (top) and SilencerCo / SWR Octane (bottom)

SilencerCo Osprey (top) and SilencerCo / SWR Octane (bottom)

The American Suppressor Association is a great example of companies working together to achieve a common goal. In this case it’s the growth and acceptance of silencers as a normal part of shooting. Who would think of buying a simple lawn mower without a muffler? It’s the same idea with silencers. Shooting suppressed guns is safe and polite to the neighbors. In their words…

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE COMMERCIAL SILENCER INDUSTRY’S 103 YEAR HISTORY, INDIVIDUAL MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS, AND DEALERS ARE FORMALLY BANDING TOGETHER TO COLLECTIVELY ADVOCATE FOR THE SILENCER INDUSTRY.

Most states have some provision for citizens to legally acquire silencers for their firearms. At last count, it was 39 out of 50, although that number may increase any day thanks to the efforts of of American Silencer Association activists. Hunting with silencers is a different matter. Regulations are all over the map. These types of inconsistencies are exactly what the American silencer association is trying to fix. One example of a recent when is the passage of legislation in Georgia that allows hunting with silencers. Yay! Another win!

In attendance at today’s event were member companies SilencerCo, Advanced Armament Corporation, GemTech and Daniel Defense. All had a wide variety of products to test. Everything from .22 pistols to H&K full-auto 300 Blackout rifles.

Yeah, it was fun. And quiet.

New From The NRA Annual Meeting: Daniel Defense Offers Custom Finishes

Daniel Defense DDM4v9LW with new Tornado finish.

Daniel Defense DDM4v9LW with new Tornado finish.

I have a mental block. A lot of them actually. But one prevents me from doing anything to a brand new factory gun. The finish is perfect after all, as all the parts were done professionally at time of manufacture. It seems such a shame to mess with it. That would be like taking your new Dodge Charger to Maaco for a paint job, right?

While Cerakote provides amazing personalization options, I’ve only really considered doing it to well-used guns. Now Daniel Defense is expanding the selection of factory-applied Cerakote finishes with its Tornado shade of grey. It will be available through Daniel Defense retailers in July on two models, the DDM4v5 and the V9 LW.

The Cerakote finish is the second new color option Daniel Defense has launched this calendar year. Mil Spec +, a flat dark earth variation, was first unveiled at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January. “When you look for a new car, you have substantially more color options than just black,” noted Jordan Hunter, Daniel Defense Director of Marketing. “Customers want choices other than the mil-spec Type III hard coat anodizing, or matte black, and the Daniel Defense Tornado™, we believe, will be well received by our customers.”

Book Signings and More at the NRA Annual Meetings

Galco Book Signing Event Insanely Practical Guides Tom McHaleI’m happy.

I think it’s because, thanks to the folks at Galco and Flashbang (two of my favorite holster makers and all around swell folks), I’ll have the opportunity to meet all sorts of NRA Annual Meeting attendees. I’ll be doing daily book signing events at both Galco and Flashbang booths and offering special deals for all four of our book titles:

The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters, 2nd Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Although insanely chaotic, I LOVE the NRA Annual Meeting. You’ll see people from all walks of life mingling together like it’s no big deal. New products, seminars, gun giveaways, nice people – the Annual Meeting has it all.

We’ll be covering the event here and at our social media outlets. You can also keep up with Daily articles at Beretta USA. Early next week, we’ll do a “Best of NRA Annual Meeting” wrap up over at OutdoorHub.

If you’re gonna be at the NRA Annual Meeting, stop by one of the book signings and say  hello – I’d love to meet you in person!

Friday

Galco, Booth 5464 10-11am

Flashbang Holsters / Looper Brand, Booth 4401 3-4pm

Saturday

Galco, Booth 5464 10-11am

Flashbang Holsters / Looper Brand, Booth 4401 4-5pm

Sunday

Galco, Booth 5464 10-11am

Flashbang Holsters / Looper Brand, Booth 4401 2-3pm

Hope to see you there!

Tennis Anyone? The Award Winning Blackhawk! Diversion Concealed Carry Rifle Case

Talk about the ultimate diversion!

We covered some of the Blackhawk! Division concealed carry products in the brand new 2nd Edition of the Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. Just today, I saw that the Blackhawk! Diversion line won the prestigious NRA Shooting Illustrated Golden Bullseye award for 2014. Well deserved – these products are fantastic and will blend right in to the urban and suburban lifestyle.

We saw the Blackhawk! Diversion rifle case at SHOT Show 2013 and it’s stunningly effective for toting an AR type rifle. It looks like a tennis racquet case, so un-enlightened neighbors won’t freak out and call Mayor Bloomberg when you pack your car for a range trip.

The bag itself is padded and features an internal divider, so you can carry two firearms. The case holds a gun up to 29 inches long, so the idea is to carry a separated upper and lower receiver. The zippers are lockable so you can secure the bag from children or nosy line judges.

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

The Blackhawk! Diversion Carry Racquet Bag. Image: Blackhawk!

As of this writing, the cases are available in two-tone red/grey and blue/grey color schemes. Word has it that a black/grey one will be out in the future.

This is a fantastic idea and a great way to discreetly carry your rifle in plain sight.

Tennis anyone?

Be sure to check out our new 2nd Edition for 2014 book, The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters. It will teach you all the major methods of concealed carry and walk you through pros and cons over 100 different holster models. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

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