U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The day before the Shot Show held in Las Vegas, there is an Industry Day at the Range. Attendance in the morning is for the Media, by invitation only.
The Shot Show is an industry show and is not open to the general public.
I have had the pleasure of attending several Industry Days at the Range. The exhibits are always interesting. It is a place to get an early look at new products.
At this Industry Day at the Range, I was able to shoot the new Colt Python, the Glock 44 (.22 LR), and the Kel Tec P17.
Shooting new products and being able to talk to industry personnel and design engineers was not what caught my attention this year. It was the buzz about Lobby Day in Richmond Virginia. Lobby Day is an event for citizens to interact with the Virginia General Assembly in the State Capitol.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has been a major presence at Lobby Day since 2002. During the entire period, Virginia Citizens could carry personal firearms in the Capitol while interacting with their government representatives. There were never any problems. Second Amendment supporters built a reputation for factual, polite, lobbying.
In the 2019 elections, for the first time in decades, the Democrat party in Virginia was able to take control of the General Assembly and the Senate, with a Democrat Governor, a trifecta.
Suddenly, legally armed citizens were no longer welcome in the State Capitol.
Second Amendment supporters were not happy with the threats of numerous infringements on the exercise of Second Amendment rights conveyed by the incoming government.
VCDL organized a massive presence for Lobby Day, to show the new government its infringements were not welcome and would be opposed.
Second Amendment supporters were smeared as white supremacists and racists, with violent intent to overturn an election.
Numerous writers and strategists warned of the potential for agent provocateurs, false flags, and intentionally set up of confrontations. VCDL Board Member Philip Van Cleave warned Second Amendment supporters “Don't Take The Bait“.
Within the gun culture, people prayed that Lobby Day would be as peaceful and polite as it has been for 20 years. Richmond, Virginia proved it is not Portland, Oregon.
One of the advantages of the Industry Day at the Range for the media is the bus ride to and from the range. You are thrown into proximity with many of your peers you may never have met. The conversation and contacts made are priceless.
This year, one common subject was what was about to happen, or already happening, in Richmond Virginia, at Lobby Day.
No one knew. Cell connections were poor. It was a common topic for speculation. People hoped for the best while fearing for the worst. No news was considered good news.
One of the first things people asked, on arriving back at their accommodations, was: What happened at Lobby Day in Richmond, Virginia?
I received word from my brother who had been monitoring events over the Internet.
Massive turnout, crowds of Second Amendment supporters from 50,000 to 80,000. A peaceful, polite presence. One arrest of a young woman who refused to remove a mask (bandana).
I attempted to convey the news to other members of the gun culture media…
Everyone I talked to already knew what had happened and what had not happened.
It was obvious a majority of media at the Industry Day at the Range had been waiting and watching, with considerable anticipation, for news of the events in Richmond.
The response was universal: pleasure Second Amendment supporters had been successful in demonstrating their positive attributes; a belief the Legacy Media would downplay their success, and admiration for the massive, peaceful response to the provocations of the Virginia government.
In retrospect, it is obvious gun industry media would be aware of Lobby Day, the situation in Virginia, and be intensely interested in what happened.
It shows gun culture in the United States has been able to create its own media and means of transmitting information, which is not constrained by the prejudices, politics, and bias of the Legacy Media.
The response in Virginia, and the awareness at the Industry Day at the Range in Nevada, are both indicators Second Amendment supporters are winning, not losing the fight to restore Second Amendment rights.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
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