If you’re the kind of person interested in scifi conventions, I’m the gaming director of a convention called Hypericon on the weekend of June 19-21 in Nashville. It’s currently only $30 for weekend, which includes access to a con suite with great food for the weekend.
If you’re interested, and wish to get a hotel room, I’d hurry though. The room block closes on the 28th (next week), and the room rates will go up.
As an added bonus, you’ll get a chance to heckle me as I pretend to be a gun expert! I’m going to do a panel covering some of the real guns that have shown up in scifi shows (think the broom handled Mauser that Lucas used for Han’s blaster, or the Beretta Cx4 that was used as the marine battle riffle in the Battlestar Galactica reboot). By the way, does anyone remember the name of the show that used Nerf guns as props?
Should be a good time, and if enough gun folks show up, I might be persuaded to run off to the range at some point.
I’m having a hard time seeing straight over this one. Apparently, Memphis and Nashville are planning on still banning guns in certain parks, even after the state passed the law saying that they can’t.
Just to catch people up, the final language of the law stated that a carry permit holder can carry in a city park, with the exception that you can’t carry in “the immediate vicinity” of a school event (baseball games, etc). If you wander up on one by accident, you can legally turn around and leave upon learning of the event.
This is apparently confusing for some people. The city of Nashville is in the middle of building an amphitheater in of our river front parks, and the folks that are contracted to run the concert venue have a policy that they ban weapons at all of their venues. What’s Nashville’s Metro Director of Law’s response to the question of banning firearms in a facility on park grounds? “We’re in the view that we can probably prohibit weapons in the new amphitheater.”
Oh… he has logic! You’ll love his logic! See, the law also refers to “areas owned, used or operated by a local government ‘for recreational purposes,*'” and, in his view, going to see a concert isn’t recreation!
Direct quote from Metro’s DoL Solomon: “When we think of ‘recreating,’ it’s somebody going out and doing something, not somebody sitting around,”
The article also states that it’s “still unclear” if the city will ban guns in the park around the concert venue, or if they will ban guns in the amphitheater when there’s not a concert going on. Here’s a thought…. the state law says that they can’t!
The good folks over at the Firearm Blog have noticed that 5.11 have brought back their Tactical Duty Kilts. I thought they had decided to give up these limited runs after not making a new announcement for April Fools. I’m curious if they got a bunch of email asking about.
I bought a couple of these when they first came out with them. If you missed it, and are interested, I wrote a comparison between them and my Utilikilts here. At the time, I thought that I got my money’s worth at $60, and even wasn’t against them at $70. This time around, they’re $80 a pop.
I’m thinking I’d tell people to pass on them at $80. As I said in the review, there’s not many pleats in the 5.11 kilts. This means that there’s not a whole lot of material to cover things that should be covered. It’s fine when walking normally, but you have to pay attention when sitting, and it can be a noticeable issue when running, climbing, etc. At the $60 mark, there wasn’t really anything like it out there at that price point. At the $80 mark, there is. If I was going to drop $80 on a new tactical/utility kilt, I’d probably go with UTKilt’s “Wild Outdoor/Wilderness” or “Ultimate Utility” kilts. I don’t own one, but I’ve seen them both on the rack and on people, and they have more material and look at lot less like a “pencil skirt for guys” than the 5.11 kilts. Heck, if you’re ok with not having the front slash pockets (think “normal” front pockets on pants), you can get utility kilts for that price point or less from several places (or traditional tartan kilts, for that matter).
edit: forgot to mention that TFB stated that they saw 5.11 kilts going on ebay for $260+ during one of the times that they weren’t in production. Are you freaking kidding me? I could buy a Utilikilt or Alt.Kilt for that money! Wait… who wants to buy mine? Only $250 a pop!
The guns in parks bill is finally signed!
Of course, I was hoping for it to be signed and in effect before NRAAM, so we could have a cook out, but that didn’t happen.
Also, I love how my wonderful mayor has stated that he will “work with the Metro legal department to better understand how the law could be enforced.” Umm… it’s quite simple. See that guy in a park with a gun on his hip? Is there a school event happening in spitting distance? no? Then leave him alone! Oh, there is one going on? Tell him he’s got to leave and why, and, assuming he follows your orders, that’s it.
I may double check the language to make sure that this thing instantly goes into effect (which is the original language), and go visit a park this weekend.
Edit: I have been asked for a link to the actual bill, which can be found here.
Th folks at the Firearms Blog have noticed an article at the New York Times talking about what looks to be the inevitable bankruptcy of Colt.
On one hand, this makes me sad. Colt has a long history, and has been responsible for some important firearms. While this bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of Colt, it does signal that there needs to be some serious changes if they’re going to continue.
On the other hand, they’ve screwed up bad. I had to resist going to their booth at NRAAM and ask one of them to comment on how an established gun company could have troubles paying their bills in the buying frenzy environment we’ve had for the past few years. We’re talking about a time where there have been instances of gun shops literally having issue keeping anything on their shelves, even after pricing their wares at what would charitably be called “inflated prices.” I didn’t go over and ask, because, well, I didn’t want to be that guy that got tossed from a booth. Also, believe or not, I’m actually a nice guy.
Of course, even a casual observer like me can tell you what happened. As TFB mentions, they decided a few years back to focus on government contracts, and all but abandon the civilian market. So, they missed out on the civilian market explosion… and then they lost a couple key government contracts…
Now they’re basically one more company that makes ARs and 1911s. Sure, they’re supposed to be nice ARs and 1911s, but beyond the name Colt stamped on the side there’s little to differentiate their ARs and 1911s from the next 20 companies that make ARs and 1911s. Oh… and they make SAA revolvers, which is a bit of a niche market, and token bolt action rifle.
I forgot to mention just how many variants of the 1911 they make. Including the Colt Mustang, they currently have 11 different series of 1911s on their website catalog. Not models mind you, series. Each one of those series have multiple models available. In the very crowded field of 1911s, they’re competing with themselves on top of the competition.
So… here’s what I think Colt should do in hopes of turning things around. Step 1. is discontinue at least half of the different 1911s they make. It really doesn’t make sense to keep that many variation in production. Step 2. would be bring back the double action revolvers. There’s still a market out there for carry, competition, and hunting revolvers. Step 3. is develop a plastic fantastic gun, or at least a modern double stack gun. Doesn’t have to be a Glock clone, but that does seem to be what’s selling these days.
Did I miss anything?
It’s official! I’ve made it as a gun blogger! I went to NRAAM and was given a wheelbarrow full of cash! I mean, I’ve been told that we bloggers are just paid off stooges for the gun industry.
I even have a picture!
Wookie not included
Thanks to Longhorn Jeff (who’s blog seems to be abandoned, but it was him) for the gift. It sits proudly on my desk. The wheelbarrow, not Chewbacca. He sits in the Milenium Falcon next Han.
I will write a general round up of NRAAM soon, but I feel the need to get something off my chest first.
If you’ve already listened to this past week’s Gun Blogger Variety Cast, you’d already know that Erin Palette had a “less than favorable” interaction with a certain Taurus representative. I would like to say that I was with her at that time, and I was the friend that was still standing there when she felt the need to walk away.
For those of you that haven’t listened, shortly after we walked up to the Taurus booth, one of their representatives wearing a suit (which usually denotes being higher up in the food chain than the normal guys in polo shirts) started talking to us. I believe his name was Kim Kyle and was the Florida sales rep. I’m pretty sure that he quickly figured out that we were both bloggers, since we were both wearing our respective versions of “I R SRS GUNBLGGR” T-shirts, had media badges, and had our respective websites printed on our badges.
He almost instantly started on a 5-10 minute rant about how evil and mean gun bloggers were, and how we only spew lies. I tried to give him a couple outs, since I know that there are many out there that bash Taurus because that’s what all the cool kids do, and not because they’ve had bad experiences/done research/etc. They’re not the only company that has that issue. Some deserve it, and some don’t, and I have been giving them the benefit of the doubt. He failed to act like I might be different. Thanks to Taurus’ sales rep, I have learned that they do not wish to have the benefit of the doubt, nor would they like my good will, business, or recommendations to others.
Oh, and I very much was considering buying one of their products in the near future (the PT-22), but it looks like I will be spending about $100 more on a Beretta Bobcat instead because I’m not a fan of giving money to companies whose representative talk shit about me to my face. I will also no longer even consider telling people to consider buying a Taurus… something that I’m asked on a regular basis.
Taurus, you can thank your Florida sales rep for the loss of my business, and the business of those that trust my opinion.
Is owned and run by hypocrites.
I figured I’d add a little bit of an addendum to Wizard’s Urgent Reminder:
1. Nashville is essentially in a giant bowl. The only way to get out and not go up hill is pretty much to jump in the river (I do not recommend jumping in the Cumberland). This means that Nashville is one of the worst places in the country for allergies due to lack of air circulation beyond this bowl. This being the beginning of Spring, and the trees liking to fornicate, everything currently has a lovely pollen yellow/green coating. Oh, and the prediction is for Friday and Saturday to BE WORSE. If you have allergies at all, remember to pack your Sudefed or other medication of choice.
2. The Nashville Convention Center and the Music City Center are two different places. NRAAM is at the Music City Center. The good news is that, if you go to the wrong one, you’ll only be a couple blocks away.
3. Please note that Nashville has decided that it’s best to just go ahead and close down a couple major roads downtown due to the convention. Yes, these are roads remarkably close to the convention center. Please plan accordingly.
4. Hope you guys have fun, and I’ll hopefully see a number of you there.
Nashville’s mayor is really, really anti-gun.
Nashville’s police chief thinks people who didn’t like Mike Brown protestors shutting down I-40 are racists.
Nashville’s newly-elected District Attorney has been on the job less than 6 months and has already had 3 major ethics scandals.
Knowing that, you need to remember the following things
It is illegal to have any alcohol whatsoever in your system and still have access to a firearm
You can go to the bar, but you can’t drink anything. You can’t even leave the gun in your car if you plan to go back to the car later.
Anti-gun signage is generally legally enforceable
There are some quirks and caveats and whatnot, but for those visiting, if you see a “no guns allowed” sign in any form, just don’t go there. We got the ability to carry in places that serve alcohol back in 2009, and the bars and restaurants around the convention center lost their everloving minds, going so far as to search everyone entering for guns, something they didn’t think was necessary when only criminals might come into the lounge armed.
Make no mistake: the business owners downtown are generally hostile to gun owners, but they still want your money. They fought tooth and nail against making it legal to carry in their establishments unless they posted a simple sign. The vast majority did not post signs initially, but announced they would. I will be surprised if we make it through the weekend without at least one arrest for violating a sign or the alcohol provision. The restaurant staff is likely to be on “high alert” looking for anyone who might be violating the law and quick to pull the trigger on calling the cops. Which brings me to my final point:
There are places that will not obviously be off limits to you, so please don’t open carry
I talked about this in Episode 29 of the GunBlogVarietyCast, but the gist is that you can’t carry in a city park or property owned or used by a school. First Avenue in downtown Nashville…if you walk on sidewalk furthest from the river, you’re fine. If you walk on the other side of the street, you’ve committed a crime because that’s Riverfront Park. Music City Walk of Fame Park is right next to the Arena* where several events are being held, and it’s the same thing. Walk on one side of the street and you’re fine. Walk on the other and you’ve got a problem.
As far as schools, you’d think it would be obvious but it’s not. There is a vast section of commercial development just west of town that’s actually owned by Vanderbilt University, and the way the law is written it’s likely a felony to carry there. Do yourself a favor before you get to Nashville: hit up Google Maps and look at the Green and Yellow portions of the map. Those are no-go zones if you’re armed.
Have fun, don’t drink, and watch for signage!
*By the way, the Convention Center is legal for carry, but the Arena isn’t.