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Gun Blogger Rendezvous In Flight Write Up

So, how’d the Gun Blogger Rendezvous go? I’ll tell you. It was a great time and those of you who did not come missed a good time. On the event, here’s a summary:

Thursday: We had a meet and greet and social time. A good time. Sebastian and I snuck out to meet with the NRA reps to, err, prepare them (and us) for what we thought the focus of the conversation would be. We told them they’d have a tough crowd. They did not deliver the wheelbarrows full of cash like Laura Washington said they would. I mean, I know she’s wrong a lot but could she have at least gotten this one right? The NRA folks were interested in blogging and their questions started very generally. Things such as wondering how many folks the various gun blogs reached; our various methodologies for getting material to blog about; and other shop talk. It was, I felt, informative for them. They then asked specific things such as how to get things done. We discussed various ways bloggers could help the NRA and vice versa.

Friday: Met for some breakfast and folks generally went their own way until the sooper seekrit meeting with our fellow Triangle Of Death members and the NRA. We met with the NRA folks and everyone introduced themselves. Glen from the NRA told us about NRA’s grassroots division and other interesting things. He also gave us an idea how information and activism could be perpetuated through the blogs. He seemed very knowledgeable and he was open to frequent questions.

Then, it was our turn. And the gun bloggers let them have it. And I don’t mean they let them have it in a generally angry or condescending way. I mean they asked tough, intelligent questions about policy and perception. The consensus, in very general terms, seemed to be that the NRA had an image problem and that image problem was that we saw them doing things we did not like or, often, there were things we just didn’t see them doing. Now, obviously, things happen that we do not see and we were open to that. The NRA folks flat out asked how they could change that. So, we let them have it with various suggestions about future avenues to appeal to the shooter demographic. And they were very interested and asked us a lot of questions. They took lots of notes and were receptive of the feedback we gave them. I see good things happening from this in the future.

The particular issue that seemed to have most of us blogger folks a bit concerned was the NRA and the Parker/Heller case. And that one seemed to be most damaging to them, from the average gun blogger’s perspective.

We also had a little show and tell. I gave a little talk about the ko-tonics. Larry from Brownell’s also gave us a bit of a presentation on the company. He gave us some sampler products (dude, free gun oil!). And he also told us how Brownell’s was active in not only selling shooting supplies but advocating our second amendment rights. I’ve spent lots of money at Brownell’s over the years and will probably start spending more their just due to their support of the second amendment. That level of support is not found in many retailers.

Saturday: Range time! It was a blast. Everyone got to demo the Ko-tonics upper receiver. I liked it a lot. With an EOTech red dot sight, I was pinging 12 inch steel plates out at 400 to 600 yards. Many others were doing the same thing with it. The upper is awesome and worked well. After about 100 rounds, there was one failure to feed. Then we realized that nobody had lubed it up. After that, it ran flawlessly. A special thanks to Tim from Ko-tonics. He shipped the upper receiver to me to take to the GBR to review. He also arranged, with the help of Silver State Armory, to have sent to the hotel 400 rounds of 6.8SPC ammunition for use with the upper.

I shot a 50 caliber rifle for the first time. And I flinched like a girl, therefore putting my shot about 20 feet short at a thousand yards. I didn’t know what to expect, hence the flinch. It was mostly painless and felt rather like firing a 12 gauge.

I also shot Joe Huffman’s long range rifle. I hit a steel plate with it three out of four times at 1,000 yards.

Then there was the Kalashnikov challenge. Sebastian decided he wanted to shoot his AK-74 at 400 yards. I laughed because it’s an AK. I mumbled something about how you couldn’t hit the side of a barn from inside the damn barn with an AK. Then, since we were in a gambling town, I told him that if he could hit the steel target before exhausting one magazine, I’d buy him a beer. He hit it four times, though some say he hit it five.

The range was great because I shot all day and, with the exception of the ko-tonics and Jimmy B’s tricked out 22 pistol, I never shot the same weapon twice.

The big winner of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous day at the range: EOTech. Last year, after shooting mine, Jimmy B decided he had to have one. And he put it on his 22 pistol. I was shooting golf balls with it at about 20 yards. This year, US Citizen and Sebastian also decided they had to have one.

Sebastian, by the way, bought the Ko-tonics upper after we shot it.

After the range was dinner and prizes. Some of the prizes included a Hi-Point handgun, gift certificates to Natchez, copies of David Hardy’s In Search of the Second Amendment, a Brownell’s range bag, and Boomershoot merchandise.

The high point of the dinner was the speech by Chuck from Project ValourIT. ValourIT purchases voice activated laptops for injured troops so that they can, well, do what we all do every day: chat, blog, check email, balance their checkbook, and surf the web. Chuck was injured by an IED and lost the use of his hands. He knew of some voice activated software and a lady with Soldiers Angels got him a laptop and the software. They decided that this was something that more injured troops needed and ValourIT was born. Chuck told us that these guys just having the ability to once again do what they used to do every day is often a real help to getting them through their injuries. Definitely a worthy cause and one worth sending a few bucks to. The GBR raises some money for these folks.

Sunday: Travel day. But I met Steven Tyler.

6 Responses to “Gun Blogger Rendezvous In Flight Write Up”

  1. DirtCrashr Says:

    After shooting that 6.8 at the 3-4-and 500-yard gongs I think I need an Eotech too, it was outstanding to shoot-with. It’s way better than my Aimpoint on the carbine… But man, you missed shooting the Krag! 🙂

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I kept trying to get over there but kept getting distracted. I wanted to shoot it.

  3. DirtCrashr Says:

    There was a lot of fun things to do!

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