2012 NRA Annual Meeting, Part III

Today’s blog post is by a guest—Mrs. Crucis.  I asked her to document her observations, especially those of the “formal” media outlets.

The time has come for me to justify my “media credentials” at the NRA Convention by sharing my impressions. I was pleasantly surprised to see that almost half of the attendees were women. There were quite a few children also.

There were probably many attendees carrying concealed weapons; but, contrary to the lamestream media’s logic, no one seemed fearful.


The Leadership Forum was the highlight of the Convention for us. Our media credentials were a real blessing which allowed us to be seated with the “professional” media. As speaker after speaker got standing ovations, I noticed that none of the “professional” media applauded or reacted in any way, which was as it should be. At first I thought maybe I should refrain from applauding too. But then I realized that since the NRA respects bloggers (ordinary citizens) enough to issue media credentials to them, I was not going to be intimidated by the lamestream media. Therefore my applause was just a little louder and more frequent than it might have been otherwise!


Though there were teleprompters on either side of the podium, none of our speakers used them. Mitt Romney was the first speaker. He introduced his wife Ann, who spoke for a few minutes. What an eloquent, gracious lady she is! She is extremely comfortable in her own skin in front of large audiences, more so than her husband is. Ann will be a real asset in the campaign.


We enjoyed hearing Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, U. S. Congressman Eric Cantor, Governor Bobby Jindal, and Governor Scott Walker (what a courageous man! The standing ovation for him was the longest and loudest of all!). We had to leave just as Congressman Darrell Issa began his speech. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to hear Lt. Col. Oliver North or Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.


My favorite part of Saturday night’s “Celebration of American Values Freedom Experience” was the opening prayer by Lt. Col. Oliver North. What a great patriot and man of God!
Glenn Beck, the keynote speaker, has done a lot of historical research and has the ability to relate historical events to current events with his own brand of humor.

The times we  spent getting to know the other bloggers in the media room were really enjoyable. They are a close knit family who are usually separated by hundreds of miles. What a privilege to get to know them!

2012 NRA Annual Meeting, Part II

Mrs. Crucis and I did more than just listen to speakers, we wandered through the exhibits too.  Frankly, unlike the time when the NRA was in Kansas City, there was too much to see.  In fact, the press of the crowds made it nearly impossible to proceed at some of the locations on the floor.  
Circular Entrance of the Convention Center
One of the booths I visited was the Second Amendment Foundation.  I was looking for an e-mail friend, Dave Workman (Examiner reporter, Gun writer and author.) I found Dave talking to a gentleman about the supposed UN Treaty to limit individual gun ownership.  The gentleman was all up in arms thinking that Obama could sign the treaty by fiat and dissolve the 2nd Amendment.  
Really!?!?  Where do people get this ideas?  He didn’t know that it is the Senate that reviews and ratifies international treaties nor that it requires 2/3rds of the Senate to do so.  The Founders purposely made it difficult to ratify treaties.

Ignorance abounds.

After the gentleman left, Dave and I spoke for a few minutes before we were interrupted again.  It’s always good to meet old friends for the first time.

From there we walked over to the Rock Island Auction.  Some very rare and valuable pistols were going on the block at the end of the convention.  I glanced at some and quickly saw they would be priced out of my league.

Double-barreled Flintlock Pistol w/Spike Dagger. $15K – $25K

Or these, which would make Tam drool.

US Army .45acp, Savage M1907.  $25K – $40K

And, this one.

US Navy Colt M1900, .38acp. $13K – $19K

Plus, this one.

Colt M1907, .45acp. US Army Test Trials. $27.5K – $42.5K

Also at the auction were older and more rare pistols such as the one below that had no price estimates. The price would be whatever the market would bear.

Engraved Civil War era Navy Cartridge Colt, .31Rim Fire

Mrs. Crucis wanted to see the book signers.  John Bolton appeared on Friday.

John Bolton, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis

On Saturday, Ollie North and Glenn Beck were two that we saw for signings.  The lines for both stretched 150, to 200 yards long.

Ollie North, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis
Glenn Beck, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis

On Saturday night, the NRA held it’s “Celebration of America” show.  Larry the Cable Guy was first, followed by Glenn Beck.

Larry seemed to have some voice problems, but once into his show, loosened up.

Larry was followed by Glenn Beck.  I’ve not heard Beck speak in person before and I was surprised by his eloquence.  Beck’s speaking style is reminensence of an Old-Time Gospel preacher.

                              
Saturday was a long day for us.  We didn’t leave the convention center until after 10:30pm.  We’re not night people. Friday night we slogged through rain and mud to reach the Tahoe.  Saturday, we parked under covered parking.
Mark that under, “Lessons learned.”                         

2012 NRA Annual Meeting, Part II

Mrs. Crucis and I did more than just listen to speakers, we wandered through the exhibits too.  Frankly, unlike the time when the NRA was in Kansas City, there was too much to see.  In fact, the press of the crowds made it nearly impossible to proceed at some of the locations on the floor.  
Circular Entrance of the Convention Center
One of the booths I visited was the Second Amendment Foundation.  I was looking for an e-mail friend, Dave Workman (Examiner reporter, Gun writer and author.) I found Dave talking to a gentleman about the supposed UN Treaty to limit individual gun ownership.  The gentleman was all up in arms thinking that Obama could sign the treaty by fiat and dissolve the 2nd Amendment.  
Really!?!?  Where do people get this ideas?  He didn’t know that it is the Senate that reviews and ratifies international treaties nor that it requires 2/3rds of the Senate to do so.  The Founders purposely made it difficult to ratify treaties.

Ignorance abounds.

After the gentleman left, Dave and I spoke for a few minutes before we were interrupted again.  It’s always good to meet old friends for the first time.

From there we walked over to the Rock Island Auction.  Some very rare and valuable pistols were going on the block at the end of the convention.  I glanced at some and quickly saw they would be priced out of my league.

Double-barreled Flintlock Pistol w/Spike Dagger. $15K – $25K

Or these, which would make Tam drool.

US Army .45acp, Savage M1907.  $25K – $40K

And, this one.

US Navy Colt M1900, .38acp. $13K – $19K

Plus, this one.

Colt M1907, .45acp. US Army Test Trials. $27.5K – $42.5K

Also at the auction were older and more rare pistols such as the one below that had no price estimates. The price would be whatever the market would bear.

Engraved Civil War era Navy Cartridge Colt, .31Rim Fire

Mrs. Crucis wanted to see the book signers.  John Bolton appeared on Friday.

John Bolton, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis

On Saturday, Ollie North and Glenn Beck were two that we saw for signings.  The lines for both stretched 150, to 200 yards long.

Ollie North, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis
Glenn Beck, NRA Annual Meeting, St. Louis

On Saturday night, the NRA held it’s “Celebration of America” show.  Larry the Cable Guy was first, followed by Glenn Beck.

Larry seemed to have some voice problems, but once into his show, loosened up.

Larry was followed by Glenn Beck.  I’ve not heard Beck speak in person before and I was surprised by his eloquence.  Beck’s speaking style is reminensence of an Old-Time Gospel preacher.

                              
Saturday was a long day for us.  We didn’t leave the convention center until after 10:30pm.  We’re not night people. Friday night we slogged through rain and mud to reach the Tahoe.  Saturday, we parked under covered parking.
Mark that under, “Lessons learned.”                         

NRA Leadership Conference (Updated)

Today’s post will review three speakers who appeared before the NRA in St. Louis, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

However…I have an appointment this morning and will postpone the rest of this post until later today.  In the meantime, here’s Mrs. Crucis with the NRA Executive VP, Wayne LaPierre.

We were at the NRA Country Jam waiting for Trace Adkins when Wayne LaPierre appeared and started walking through the audience, greeting them and sharing handshakes.  We were sitting are the end of the aisle when LaPierre approached speaking to folks in each row.  When he reached us, I took this opportunity to get a photo.  LaPierre certainly knows how to work a crowd.

I’ll add more to this post after I return.

***

Continuing…

The Leadership forum was scheduled for Friday afternoon, April13, 2012.  Chris Cox opened the forum and it continued into the evening.  Mrs. Crucis and I stayed until 5:00pm when we left to get something to eat and attend Trace Adkin’s Country Jam at 6:00pm.

Wayne LaPierre followed Cox speaking about the need to defeat Obama in the Fall.  The NRA’s slogan this year is “All In!“, signifying that the NRA is going all out to defeat Obama and the democrats.

 
“This election is a fight for our Country, it’s a fight for our values, it’s a fight for our freedom.”
Mitt Romney was the first of the GOP presidential candidates to speak before the NRA. I suppose it was necessary for Romney to appear, to “make his bones”, so to speak before the NRA.  My impression is that Romney is not a good public speaker.  As others have stated, he’s stiff and appears to speak by rote.
  

At the beginning, Romney took a shot at Hiliary Rosen by bringing his wife, Ann, to the podium.  He described her as a working Mom, a cancer survivor, mother of five and living with MS.  Having her speak probably saved his appearance.  I watched the audience and there was little reaction except when Ann Romney spoke.  I impression is that Romney was not damaged by speaking but I don’t think he gained much support either.

For full disclosure, I am not a Romney fan. My preferred candidate is Newt Gingrich, but I’m also realistic enough to realize that Newt’s chances of winning the nomination is almost non-existent. If Romney is the party’s nominee, I’ll vote for him, but I also think the party could do much, much better.

It was interesting that neither Gingrich, who followed Romney, nor Santorum, who followed Gingrich, mentioned Romney nor implied giving any support.  All the other GOP politicians to a man endorsed Romney.

Mrs. Crucis and I were seated in the media section to the left of the stage.  In front of us were “journalists” from the LA Times, WaPo, and to Mrs. Crucis’ left was MSNBC including Michael Isikoff.  

Media section, NRA Leadership Forum

Most of the State Media folks paid little attention to those speaking.  They had copies of the speeches and they weren’t interested in listening nor in observing the audience. The “reporter” from the Washington Post, grabbed a camera to take a photo as each speaker reached the podium. After that she left, disappeared, until the next speaker appeared. 

Michael Isikoff, of Lewinski fame (he sat on the Lewinski scandal until scooped by Drudge,) sat two chairs to the left from Mrs. Crucis.  My wife clapped enthusiastically for each speaker.  This seemed to irritate Isikoff.  I hope to persuade Mrs. Crucis to write about that in another post.

The issue here was that the state media weren’t interested in really reporting the speakers.  They were marking time.  From the conversations I overheard from them, they were more interested in meeting after the forum at a nearby casino.

Newt Gingrich was next in the lineup after Romney.

Of them all, Newt was the most…eloquent speaker.  If you listen closely, you’ll hear numerous standing ovations—a reaction that Romney did not receive and Santorum only received towards the end of his speech.  Regardless of all his baggage, Newt knows how to present a plan. He spoke about how to achieve is $2.50/gallon goal for gas, require training/retraining to provide current/renew skills to qualify for unemployment compensation, remove all of Obama’s Czars, support Israel by moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and opening off-shore drilling in ANWR and on federal lands. When Newt spoke of working to extend the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the entire planet, the audience roared.

Rick Santorum was next.  He started a bit cold.  As he spoke, he gained in momentum, gaining passion.

 My impression was the Santorum wanted to be elsewhere.  I assume he was worried about the health of his daughter, Bella. He mentioned her a number of times. I can understand that.  He has withdrawn from the Presidential race but has not, yet, released his delegates.  He alluded to something coming in the next few weeks.

All three candidates claimed to be NRA Life Members.  Santorum said he and his wife were both Life Members and now so was their daughter, Bella.

After Santorum, the list of speakers included Governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Scott Walker (WI), Eric Cantor, Darryl Issa and Chuck Grassley of Fast ‘n Furious fame.  Both Issa and Grassley affirmed their continuing commitment to uncover and expose Holder and the BATFE’s criminal activities selling arms to the Mexican drug cartels.

Mrs. Crucis and I are glad we attended the convention this year.  We hadn’t attended one since the NRA held their Annual Meeting in Kansas City some years ago.

NRA Leadership Conference (Updated)

Today’s post will review three speakers who appeared before the NRA in St. Louis, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

However…I have an appointment this morning and will postpone the rest of this post until later today.  In the meantime, here’s Mrs. Crucis with the NRA Executive VP, Wayne LaPierre.

We were at the NRA Country Jam waiting for Trace Adkins when Wayne LaPierre appeared and started walking through the audience, greeting them and sharing handshakes.  We were sitting are the end of the aisle when LaPierre approached speaking to folks in each row.  When he reached us, I took this opportunity to get a photo.  LaPierre certainly knows how to work a crowd.

I’ll add more to this post after I return.

***

Continuing…

The Leadership forum was scheduled for Friday afternoon, April13, 2012.  Chris Cox opened the forum and it continued into the evening.  Mrs. Crucis and I stayed until 5:00pm when we left to get something to eat and attend Trace Adkin’s Country Jam at 6:00pm.

Wayne LaPierre followed Cox speaking about the need to defeat Obama in the Fall.  The NRA’s slogan this year is “All In!“, signifying that the NRA is going all out to defeat Obama and the democrats.

 
“This election is a fight for our Country, it’s a fight for our values, it’s a fight for our freedom.”
Mitt Romney was the first of the GOP presidential candidates to speak before the NRA. I suppose it was necessary for Romney to appear, to “make his bones”, so to speak before the NRA.  My impression is that Romney is not a good public speaker.  As others have stated, he’s stiff and appears to speak by rote.
  

At the beginning, Romney took a shot at Hiliary Rosen by bringing his wife, Ann, to the podium.  He described her as a working Mom, a cancer survivor, mother of five and living with MS.  Having her speak probably saved his appearance.  I watched the audience and there was little reaction except when Ann Romney spoke.  I impression is that Romney was not damaged by speaking but I don’t think he gained much support either.

For full disclosure, I am not a Romney fan. My preferred candidate is Newt Gingrich, but I’m also realistic enough to realize that Newt’s chances of winning the nomination is almost non-existent. If Romney is the party’s nominee, I’ll vote for him, but I also think the party could do much, much better.

It was interesting that neither Gingrich, who followed Romney, nor Santorum, who followed Gingrich, mentioned Romney nor implied giving any support.  All the other GOP politicians to a man endorsed Romney.

Mrs. Crucis and I were seated in the media section to the left of the stage.  In front of us were “journalists” from the LA Times, WaPo, and to Mrs. Crucis’ left was MSNBC including Michael Isikoff.  

Media section, NRA Leadership Forum

Most of the State Media folks paid little attention to those speaking.  They had copies of the speeches and they weren’t interested in listening nor in observing the audience. The “reporter” from the Washington Post, grabbed a camera to take a photo as each speaker reached the podium. After that she left, disappeared, until the next speaker appeared. 

Michael Isikoff, of Lewinski fame (he sat on the Lewinski scandal until scooped by Drudge,) sat two chairs to the left from Mrs. Crucis.  My wife clapped enthusiastically for each speaker.  This seemed to irritate Isikoff.  I hope to persuade Mrs. Crucis to write about that in another post.

The issue here was that the state media weren’t interested in really reporting the speakers.  They were marking time.  From the conversations I overheard from them, they were more interested in meeting after the forum at a nearby casino.

Newt Gingrich was next in the lineup after Romney.

Of them all, Newt was the most…eloquent speaker.  If you listen closely, you’ll hear numerous standing ovations—a reaction that Romney did not receive and Santorum only received towards the end of his speech.  Regardless of all his baggage, Newt knows how to present a plan. He spoke about how to achieve is $2.50/gallon goal for gas, require training/retraining to provide current/renew skills to qualify for unemployment compensation, remove all of Obama’s Czars, support Israel by moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and opening off-shore drilling in ANWR and on federal lands. When Newt spoke of working to extend the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the entire planet, the audience roared.

Rick Santorum was next.  He started a bit cold.  As he spoke, he gained in momentum, gaining passion.

 My impression was the Santorum wanted to be elsewhere.  I assume he was worried about the health of his daughter, Bella. He mentioned her a number of times. I can understand that.  He has withdrawn from the Presidential race but has not, yet, released his delegates.  He alluded to something coming in the next few weeks.

All three candidates claimed to be NRA Life Members.  Santorum said he and his wife were both Life Members and now so was their daughter, Bella.

After Santorum, the list of speakers included Governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Scott Walker (WI), Eric Cantor, Darryl Issa and Chuck Grassley of Fast ‘n Furious fame.  Both Issa and Grassley affirmed their continuing commitment to uncover and expose Holder and the BATFE’s criminal activities selling arms to the Mexican drug cartels.

Mrs. Crucis and I are glad we attended the convention this year.  We hadn’t attended one since the NRA held their Annual Meeting in Kansas City some years ago.

Notes from the Edge

I call it the Edge.  Mrs. Crucis and I trolled, watching and listening, along the edges of the crowds attending the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting.  We met some blogger friends face-to-face for the first time and some nationally known folks as well.

When we arrived Thursday evening, our “free” wi-fi hookup at the hotel didn’t like my Android Tablet.  No outside internet access.  That left us with our Sprint android “smart” phones.  I wrote Friday’s post and then couldn’t get it published. It finally went out on Saturday…late.

Truth be told, unlike so many others, we didn’t go to see all the vendor booths.  We went to see and listen to the speakers, see Trace Adkins Friday night and Larry the Cable Guy with Glenn Beck on Saturday night.

I called and received media credentials like many other bloggers.  I was surprised how easy it was.  Give name. Give blog URL. Presto! Credentials!

Thursday evening and continuing Friday and Saturday, we joined our cohort…bloggers. We met many like AD, Old NFO, Frank James, Jay G, Phlemmy and Lawdog, Matt G, Sebastien and many others. The bloggers had seized a large round table in the corner of the media room.  It was our central collection and meeting point.  I’m embarrassed to admit, I should have taken notes, matching face to name to blog.  Alas, I didn’t.  Mrs. Crucis and I spent a while in conversation with AD.  He and NFO were easily the most approachable in our group.

I think this is enough for today. I’d intended to talk a bit about the Friday speakers, but I was diverted from that subject today.  Come back tomorrow for my observations.

At the NRA Annual Meeting

Sorry for not posting yesterday. We arrived Thursday afternoon in St Louis and, after checking  into our hotel, took off downtown for dinner and to meet some fellow bloggers.  Frank James was there, Old NFO, AD and a host of others.

Yesterday we headed out to the convention early and spent the entire day and evening on site. My goal was to listen to the speakers in the afternoon Leadership Forum. I’ll write more about that when I get home.

Trace Adkins was the star on the 2nd Annual  Country Jam last night. Seating started at 6pm. By 5pm the Forum was still going strong. Darryl Issa was on the podium talking about Fast ‘n Furious when we decided to get something to eat. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast. There were still speakers in queue. Grassley and Rick Perry and several  others were waiting for there turn.

We quickly ate (why does every meal, regardless of content, cost $14.95?), and entered the theater at 6pm.  The Forum, held next door to the theater, was still going strong.

Joyce and I habitually wear pedometers. Mine indicated I walked over 9,000 steps yesterday. Mrs. Crucis had more. Her steps are shorter than mine. For decades, my stride was a regulation 30″. It’s not that long anymore but we still put in a full day.

Fortunately, after the show, the all-day rain paused while we walked the five blocks to our graveled parking lot. During the day it had turned into a mud-lot. As we started the Tahoe, the rain started again and it is still continuing as I write this Saturday morning.
Note to self: try to find covered parking today.