Day 2 of the Gun Rights Policy Conference is the big day of the conference. Below are some of my brief impressions of the speakers and what they had to say.
Alan Gottlieb said the gun rights movement should emulate the civil rights movement if we want to achieve success. That is, it should be bottom up with the grass roots guiding the movement instead of top-down like the gun control groups.
Joe Tartaro, President of SAF, said that our goal is the preservation of our rights. He compared our opponents to characters in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. As we go down the Yellow Brick Road, we first come to the Wicked Witch of the West. No surprise here - it's Nancy Pelosi. Then there are the Flying Monkies - Eric Holder, Chuck Schumer, Hillary, and Lautenberg. Finally, there are the Munchkins - Michael Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and his "munchkin mayors".
Alan Gottlieb came back and said that judges are key in the next few years. He said that if the anti's lose in the legislature, they will seek to impose gun control by using regulations out of the Executive Branch. The judiciary will be the only way to stop them. He noted that we can expect all new judicial appointments to be anti-gun. It will be a litmus test like being pro or anti abortion.
Larry Pratt - "DISCLOSE Act is like a gag. A gag in the throat is not the way to promote freedom under the Bill of Rights - not just gun rights."
Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition - "Our single issue is liberty". He made a point that we need to lose the word ALLOW. We should not say that we are allowed to exercise our gun rights. They are our rights to begin with.
State Senator Sam Sloam of Hawaii - "Hawaii is to the left of San Francisco and to the right of PyongYang, North Korea".
Tom Pedersen - lobbyist for the California Rifle and Pistol Association - Litigation has changed the willingness of politicians to push anti-gun bills.
Richard Pearson - Exec. Dir. of Illinois State Rifle Association - "The Chicago tar pit is bigger and stickier than the LeBrea tar pit in California!"
Jim Wallace - Gun Owners Action League (of Massachusetts) - Stopped saying gun rights and started saying civil rights about 5 years ago. Has renamed the proposed one gun a month bill in MA the Lawful Citizen's Imprisonment and Profiling Act.
Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy said that constitutional rights are not as well protected by the courts as you would expect.
I'll stop with that and do another report later on more from Day 2.