08 October 2007

GRPC a Huge Hit Once More!

I am just returned from the national Gun Rights Policy Conference near Cincinnati. Held in Fort Mitchell, Ky, GRPC 2007 was a huge hit. Unfortunately I could only attend the Saturday session with a Columbus colleague, attorney and brother-in-arms David Buda. But we reunited with many old acquaintances -- and met many new friends -- from across the U.S., all involved in the defense of every American's right to keep and bear arms. I will have more info on GRPC in my next few posts. But sufficed to say, even one day gets you re-energized, even in the face of the threat posed by many anti-self-defense politicians who are running for president. Nearly 1,000 people from the U.S. -- and Canada -- attended. I heard from state representatives or senators from Hawaii, Ohio, and elsewhere. A handful wanted to know why I wasn't speaking. No time, my friends, unfortunately.

Among those attending from Ohio's Peoples Rights Organization (PRO) were Roland Millar, our hunter education chair; Dave Rossman, our grassroots groups liaison; Mike Moran, central Ohio attorney and a speaker on Sunday's program; Roger Antolik, one of the coordinators of Ohio's 4-H shooting sports program; the Williams' of Cincinnati, and many, many others. Our colleagues at Buckeye Firearms Association were also well represented, with BFA Chairman Jim Irvine leading the way. I am also proud to share that BFA was presented the Grassroots Group of the Year Award at the conference. 2007 was a banner year for all firearms owners in Ohio, and all three Ohio statewide organizations (which are now working together far more closely than ever) played a huge role. But BFA scored some big hits, most notably an expose on the financial questions surrounding Ohio anti-gun leader Toby Hoover and how that "organization" is operated. Jim, as I mentioned publicly at the microphone on Saturday, you guys earned that award and I am thrilled for you.

I have been a long-time blogger in my commercial/investment real estate practice. It became apparent that blogging to discuss the Second Amendment could be a powerful educational tool after listening to my good friend Kenn Blanchard (consultant, security expert, podcaster and author of "Black Man With a Gun") and new friend Jeff Knox, operator of The Firearms Coalition (http://www.firearmscoalition.org/). Jeff's dad, Neil Knox, founder of the Firearms Coalition and the first director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, passed away a few years ago. But when Neil and I first met in 2001 at a GRPC, two past newspapermen hit it off and began a regular correspondence on how to exploit new technologies to communicate firearms rights news. I only wish he had lived to see the explosion of blogs to educate. He would have loved it. Jeff and his family have grown the FC since that time and I am delighted to have finally made his acquaintance.

Thanks for visiting Post Number One! More to come . . .

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