Skip to comments.VCDL & Tea Party Convention - Richmond, 10/8 - 10/9 (VA)(First person account)
Posted on 10/10/2010 8:42:59 AM PDT by marktwain
OK, I've had a dose of ibuprofin, my nap, more ibuprofin, a light supper, more ibuprofin, a peaceful night's sleep dreaming of a restored constititional republic where public offices are filled only by people who refuse to take pay for their service, refuse to spend a penny of taxes unless there is a constitutional authority to do so that does not devolve back to the Commerce Clause, and get no medical care coverage or pension they did not purchase/invest in out of their personal funds. And more ibuprofin.
Both Friday & Saturday started off with breakfast at the 3rd Street Diner, a Richmond bastion of 24-hour food served by young(er than Grapeshot or I) women and patronized at that hour of the morning by a completely different demographic than one normally sees around town. One young man, seated across the room, admired Grapeshot's S&W 1911 so much he had to yell how much he thought it was "purty". Fortunately we are both deaf, so it was a while before he got our attention.
Friday we got to the Convention Center just after the doors were opened, so a few folks got inside without being offered a GSL sticker right away. Some judicious scouting (Stalking? Who's stalking?) remedied that. We took up station in the Registration area and pretty much just tried to remember that the folks bearing down on us were seeking GSL stickers and not out to run us over. Some of the folks who were speaking during the early morning sessions commented about not wearing a sticker during their presentation. About half of them that mentioned that to me came by later to get a sticker if they could not be convinced to take one not yet peeled off the backing paper in the first place. Two of the Concention Center security guys got talked into wearing badges on the inside of their suitcoats, and one seemed to enjoy coming by and "flashing his badge" at me. Many other folks asked for additional GSL stickers to take home to their kids, their neighbors, or mail off to relatives/friends.
There were a few folks who did not want GSL stickers. Most of them politely passed by saying "No, thanks" and that was it. A few turned their heads away - perhaps hoping that if they did not see us we would not exist? One nice attendee very harshly got up in my face and told me she was a Harry Ried supported. I thanked her for the information and wished her a pleasant day.
Sometime after the opening speech the press started to wander the reception area and start interviewing folks. Between the two of us I think we got interviewed by half a dozen different reporters, who asked us to explain how guns save lives and why we were at the event. Besides the usual answers it gave me the chance to inform them about the Battle of Ahens http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946) - a nice tie-in between the Tea Party and firearms.
Grapeshot called an end to the day - because my legs were worn out and I didn't have the strength to say anything.
Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday except that most of the folks were saying that they had hoped we would be there pasasing out stickers - because when they peeled them off the preceeding night they found out they lost their stickiness. I did not observe as many folks actively turning away from us if they did not want to take a sticker. Maybe it was because the day before we remained polite when they turned down our offer of a sticker? Who knows?
There was some minor scuttlebutt that one of the foreign press teams was, on Friday, trying to focus on some negative issues - I never really understood just what those were supposed to have been. They came by on Saturday and asked for an interview - nothing but interest in why I was at the Convention. Typical government-is-too-big responses provided and they seemed happy. Some filming of the sidearm but I was not aware of more than about 15 seconds of them doing that. On the other hand, the guys from Finnish TV were trying to make the two of us into international stars. Lots of questions about gun rights and how that issue tied into politics in general. No, they did not ask us if we were ready to storm Congress with our guns drawn or anthing like that. They were disappointed, though that I refused to take my revolver out of the holster and show it to them. I do not think it was a setup, but t was a nice opportunity to demonstrate knowlege of the law and that not even for the press would a law-abiding gun owner break the law. ::skidmark accepts the accolades of the masses, blushes::
Closing thoughts -
Met a small number of folks on Friday who were open carrying, and a few more who were carrying discretely, who came up to talk about their concern that carry might not have been allowed at the event. Met a much greater number of folks Friday who commented that they had not carried (either "Left it at home" or even worse "Left it in the car") because they thought it would not be allowed. Those in the second group promised to come back Saturday carrying, and if my estimate is correct about how many were in that second group at least 2/3rds came by to show me they were carrying.
As usual many folks view VCDL as a source of information on guns and laws relating to firearms. Sometimes I wish I carried the Va. Gun Laws book with me so I could show them the law. I do hope all those I urged to look up the information to verify the very basic and brief (yes, brief. stop your giggling.) answer I gave them.
Almost forgot about Lou Dobbs and his entourage as they passed through the lobby. It was fairly easy to pick out the folks who were the security detail (get your suitcoats tailored to accomodate your vests, guys!). I was a bit surprised to notice that they dd not move to put themselves between me & Grapeshot as they passed by us. Could it be they did not perceive us as potential threats??
Also, Rep. Ron Paul was there signing his book. Did not see any Secret Service guys that stood out as such, but also they did not come over to interact with us and out sidearms mere yards away from the Congressman.
We had fun. We gave out stickers. We talked to the press and got videotaped. We're gonna be big stars on Finnish TV.
Oh, and we not only did not get arrested, we were not hassled by any of the cops in any way. How times have changed since Glenn Beck's visit to the Coliseum or the Republican Convention.
Ron Paul’s speech described the serious issues facing this civilization, especially the corrupt monetary system and impending national bankruptcy. He struck me as exceptionally fit, vital and was a forceful speaker for constitutionally limited government. It was great to see the line of 150 people at the Campaign For Liberty table who queued for book signatures; meanwhile the guys in suits at the Heritage Foundation table looked bored and lonely.
People are waking up to the illegal private corporation called The Federal Reserve, and undeclared wars (both the drug war and the global empire).
How can anybody trust libertarians when their favorite
son loads up legislation that he knows will pass and
gives the pork while giggling I voted against it.?
Shrimp boats Is Acomin
Their Sails are in sight.
Shrimp Boats is acomin
there will be dancing tonight.
** Ron Paul version.
Shrimp Boats is acomin
Their pork is in sight.
Shrimp Boats is acomin
They will be drugged up tonight.
Gosh, Huntsville, there isn't a human being alive that I agree with one hundred percent. Do you see it possible that one could oppose congressional earmarks and also agree with the principles of sound money, free markets and the view that undeclared wars are illegal?
My wife and I were there on Saturday and I had a Guns save lives sticker on my shirt. When we left and headed home we stopped at a health food store called Elwood-Thompson, a bastion of liberalism. I didn’t realize I still had on my GSL sticker until later when I saw myself in the mirror at home with the sticker still on. It then became clear as to why some of the weird looks flashed my way at the store.
The conference was very professionally run with lots of sponsors. It was awsome to be around so many like minded people.