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Energy At NRA Annual Meetings Bodes Well For Success

Friday, May 23, 2008

Following up on the report on the May 16 Grassroots Workshop that was held in conjunction with NRA's Annual Meetings in Louisville, Ky., here are some additional highlights from that meeting. 

Friday, May 16.  A packed house hears from some of the nation's premiere politicians and thinkers on our Second Amendment rights.  NRA's second "Celebration of American Values" forum showcases remarks by U.S. Sen. John McCain, Govs. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Mitch McConnell, U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, Lt. Col. Oliver North, U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Greg Stube, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Karl Rove, and others.  Each laid out a cogent and compelling case as to why America's First Freedom—the Second Amendment—is so important. 

Saturday, May 17.  Invigorated and roused by Friday's "Celebration," thousands again pack the Kentucky Expo Center for NRA's Official Meeting of Members.  NRA's national officers update the thousands of members in attendance on NRA activities and lay out the Association's goals, with particular emphasis on the November elections and the preservation of hunting and the shooting sports. 

Later that day, 120 attend the second "In Their Own Words" special session.  Moderated by NRA-ILA Grassroots Director Glen Caroline, the session highlights firsthand testimonials from of a panel of NRA's most active and effective volunteers.  David Adams, President of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) and NRA-ILA EVC for Virginia's 7th congressional district, kicked things off by discussing contacting one's lawmakers and the importance of personal contact.  Next up was Cedric Scofield, Legislative Chair of the Minnesota Rifle and Revolver Association and EVC for Minnesota's 1st, 2nd, and 4th congressional districts.  Cedric's main emphasis was on having a plan of action for legislative activism and always responding to ILA's calls to action.  Jim Tomes, Director, 2nd Amendment Patriots, spoke next about forming a pro-gun group and the successes and level of respect the Patriots have come to enjoy in Indiana.  Jim was followed by Bryce Eastlick, Director of Business Operations for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC).  Bryce discussed his group's formation, growth, and future plans to extend self-defense rights to college campuses.  Wrapping up the panel was Keith Milligan, creator of Second Amendment blog, "Snowflakes in Hell."  Keith walked attendees through a thorough presentation stressing the importance of the blogosphere, and providing tips on how gun owners can fully participate. 

That evening, thousands more put on their finest to attend the Members' Banquet where they were treated to remarks by TV host Glenn Beck, who gave one of the most impassioned, eloquent, and relevant speeches on the Second Amendment in recent memory, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a champion of freedom and the Second Amendment, who walked point on federal legislation to prohibit government confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms during states of emergency.  Governor Jindal received the Harlon B. Carter legislative achievement award, NRA-ILA's highest honor, for his efforts to secure passage of the "Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act." 

Sunday, May 18.  Grassroots staff continued its work of meeting members at the NRA booth, signing up dozens of NRA-ILA FrontLines™ Volunteers, and using the Division's new voter registration kiosks to register scores of new pro-gun voters.  Hundreds more sent comments to the Department of Interior in support of Right-to-Carry in national parks and wildlife refuges using computer terminals at the NRA booth. 

As always, NRA's Annual Meeting of Members was an invigorating whirlwind that affirmed once again the dedication of NRA members and gun owners.  With the record-setting successes enjoyed in Louisville, NRA is well positioned to capitalize on this momentum moving ahead toward Election Day 2008!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.