How not to impress folks that will write about you

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.

Rippy’s in Nashville

Is owned and run by hypocrites.

A little more info for those coming to the NRAAM

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.

URGENT REMINDER for those of you coming to Nashville for the NRA Convention

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.

    Park Carry Passes in the TN Senate

    26-7. Just happened. Goes to the Governor next.

    Well… good.

    Looks like the “guns in local parks” bill in TN passed the house earlier today.  The senate is set to vote on it in the morning.  Interestingly enough, this bill states that it will take effect upon passing, so, assuming Governor Haslam signs off in a timely manner, it will take effect before the NRAAM.

    Of course, he’s said that he’s against it, so I predict that he waits as long as he can before signing.

    Oh, here’s a link to the story.

    Yeah… no.

    A left-wing buddy of mine posted a link to this article on Facebook and stated “I can’t wait to learn if this was a permit-holding ‘responsible’ gun owner.”

    I was able to quickly tell him “uh… no.”

    See… as the law stands right now in the state of Tennessee, you can’t legally carry without a permit, which you can’t obtain until you’re 21, and the guy was 19.  Oh, and he was carrying while in a Davidson County park, which, while we’re trying to change that, is currently illegal even if you have a permit.  Throw on top of that that he’s carrying without a holster (if you believe the story), which is one of those stupid things that folks that are carrying legally tend not to do, and since he’s 19 and in a low-income high-crime area, I’d guess that he probably didn’t acquire the firearm in a totally legal fashion.

    Of course, the story of “he was minding my own business, playing with my cat, when his gun fell out of his pocket, went off, and shot him in the head” reeks of choir boy syndrome to me.  My guess is that he was a gangbanger who got shot while playing with other gangbangers, and well… he and his buddies “ain’t no snitch.”

    Seen at Lunch



    This article is on the front page of CNN right now.

    It’s about how Iraq’s military can’t seem to get their act together, which is allowing ISIS to thrive.

    The author found a way to mention Bush, but the word “Obama” isn’t anywhere in there.

    EDC knife: never leave home without it

    I was helping a friend pull an engine from the local junk yard for his truck this weekend.  This typically means that you’re going to have to cut a couple hoses and a belt or two.  It was also useful to push the valve to check to see if the A/C system was still pressurized.  Of the 4 of us there (which included an actually trained mechanic and a guy best described as a “maker”), I was the only one there with a knife at hand.  I believe my buddy mentioned something about having some cutters somewhere in his tool bag, but I had the cutting job done before he could reach for it.

    It always amazes me at the number of folks that don’t carry a pocket knife with them.  Whether it be a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, or something more sturdy and single purpose, like my Spyderco Endura.

    I’m a big believer that, unless you’re in a location where carrying such things are barred by law, you should always have a good EDC knife on you.  I know some people love carrying specialized fighting knives like the Kabar TDI (I believe that’s what Erin likes to carry), which is great, but I tend to think of EDC knives as more multipurpose than that.

    My Endura has been used for everything from the example above, to opening boxes, to cutting up fruit, to cutting and serving a cake.  While I haven’t been required to use it in self-defense, it is a favorite of the martial artists I know and I’m confident that it will stand up to that task.

    If you don’t already have and carry one, it’s one of the most useful things that you could possibly carry in your pocket.  While you can spend big bucks on a Benchmade, high end Cold Steel, or Spyderco blades (hey, $70 is a lot to some folks.  I know I resisted dropping that money on a knife), you can also get perfectly good blades for less (I’d recommend CRKT or Kershaw).  I’d also highly recommend a locking blade, and, if you’re going to carry it in your pocket, you probably don’t want a blade over 4 inches.