So, yesterday I get an email from the boys in Fairfax telling me that the NRA is once again doing their annual meeting which will be held in Houston this year.

              Hey! Wait just one goddamn minute!  I thought the NRA was out of business.  I thought that between the scandal with Russia, the fight with Olllie North, the big investigation by the New York State Attorney General and Wayne-o buying millions of dollars of clothing at some shop on Rodeo Drive, that America’s ‘oldest civil-rights organization was ka-put. 

              As Grandpa would say, vus machts-du? (read: what’s going on?)

              I’ll tell you what’s going on. What’s going on is that you don’t take an organization which does care and feeding of its membership the way the NRA cares and feeds its membership and assume that things are going to hell in a handbasket just because they’ve had a couple of bad years.

              I’m also a member of the Audubon Society, the Wilderness Fund, and the National Parks Conservancy Organization, or whatever they call themselves.  When was the last time I went to a national meeting of any of these organizations and said hello to people who I have seen at other meetings over the years? Never. These organizations don’t have meetings.

              I also make monthly donations to at least three national, gun-control organizations. I guess this makes me a member of those organizations as well. Except there’s no real membership relationship to these organizations at all, unless you want to call it a ‘relationship’ when I get an email asking me to send them more cash.

              I went to my first NRA national meeting in 1980.  It was held in Philadelphia, believe it or not. Ronald Reagan showed up and gave a speech – big deal. I spent all my time at this meeting talking to gun writers like Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton whose stuff I regularly read in the monthly NRA magazine, American Rifleman, whose articles on gun history put the Smithsonian to shame.

              Since that first show, I have gone to NRA national meetings in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and a few other states. Since I am a Lifetime Endowment member (which means they can’t throw me out no matter what I say) there’s always a special lounge where I can relax, have a cup of coffee, and say hello to Wayne-o when he drops by.

              Not only can I go to a national show ever year, but I can also go to gun shows every weekend which are sponsored by the NRA. The only difference between those shows and the national NRA show is that I can buy and sell guns at a local gun show. At the national NRA show all I can do is play with the guns.

              Several weeks ago I posted a column on Shannon Watts and her MOMS where I pointed out that her group had more activities coming up than what was listed on the NRA website. But the great work being done by Shannon focuses almost entirely on appearances before state legislators considering new gun-control laws. They aren’t social events per se, and this is where the NRA has everyone in Gun-control Nation completely beat.

              When I was in college, I had a girlfriend whose father never missed going to New Orleans for the annual Shriners jamboree. The fact that the Shriners operated these wonderful hospitals around the country was taken for granted and was entirely beside the point. This guy never missed the national binge so he could get together with all his Shriner friends.

              For those of you in Gun-control Nation who think the NRA is one step away from being good and dead, you better think again. If you’re a gun nut, and there are plenty of us still around, being able to wander through 14 acres of gun displays and gun-related crap is a joy to behold.