This past weekend was a busy and productive one as I attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Northern Kentucky just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. The annual event, sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens’ Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), brings together activists and scholars from all over the country to participate in seminars, share information, and get connected.
I was surprised and honored to be chosen to receive CCRKBA’s “Grass Roots Activist of the Year” award. Dad was twice honored with the group’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” – the only person ever to be so honored. Recognition as the “Grass Roots Activist of the Year” is a tremendous honor and I am compelled to redouble my efforts in the grass roots arena to try to prove myself worthy of the honor.
One of the highlights of the event was an address from Representative Ron Paul (R, TX) and Republican presidential candidate. Dr. Paul’s speech stayed true to his libertarian, constitutionalist roots touching not only on restoration of the Second Amendment but a variety of constitutional and limited government themes including ending US involvement in the UN, repealing the income tax system, getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and returning power to the states.
One of the most remarkable things about the speech was the fact that probably 200 of the estimated 650 people present were carrying guns, many of them openly in belt holsters. Dr. Paul was flanked by two Kentucky State Troopers, but neither they, the Congressman’s staff, nor Dr. Paul himself seemed the least bit concerned about the presence of armed citizens; what a breath of fresh air.
As I pointed out in my recent Knox Report column “Un-Picking Candidates,” I think it’s too early to endorse any of the candidates except to say that Governor Bill Richardson is the only Democrat even worth considering. But, as a movement, we can and should “un-endorse” those candidates who are completely unacceptable to us. That list would include all of the other Democrats along with Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain. Making a serious effort to pull all GunVoter wind out of these candidates’ sails could knock them out of contention and allow candidates like Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter to begin receiving more serious scrutiny and press coverage.