Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Good Americans Gather in Nashville Under NRA Banner

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Good Americans Gather in Nashville Under NRA Banner

I always get a big boost out of the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits.

It’s incredibly rewarding to be among 70,000 to 80,000 like-minded patriots as we enjoy our common interests, shared values and a profound sense of community. This year, the precise number of attendees was 78,865, making it the second-largest meeting in our history. As a native of Tennessee, I’m especially appreciative of the gracious hospitality extended to us by our host city of Nashville.

To our critics, however, any large gathering of Second Amendment supporters is considered a dangerous sociological experiment that must inescapably go awry. So they eagerly scrutinize this massive undertaking, searching for any sign of the conflict that they believe is unavoidable among a group of folks who potentially could be armed. In its zeal to leap forward with criticism, The New York Times this year committed a massive factual error when it editorialized as follows just before the meeting:

“Seventy thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, and not one of them will be allowed to come armed with guns that can actually shoot. After all the NRA propaganda about how ‘good guys with guns’ are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.”

The paper got it flat wrong.

As with all of our meetings, attendees were required to follow all federal, state and local laws applicable to the host city and convention venues. In Nashville, carrying firearms was allowed in the main convention venue, Music City Center, with a carry permit. And since Tennessee honors the permits of 49 other             U.S. states and territories, permit holders from virtually the entire country had the opportunity to exercise their Second Amendment-protected right to bear arms while they attended the event. 

And no doubt to the dismay of our critics, not only were there no problems or incidents, but in fact they were three of the safest days that Nashville has ever experienced. Capt. Randy Hickerson of the Metro Nashville Police Department told one of the local media outlets, The Tennessean, that the conference had been uneventful and that no major crimes or incidents were reported to police. “Everything’s gone well,” he said. “There have been no significant issues at all.” 

In fact, Hickerson said, the enormous crowd had been very friendly to police, often walking up to thank the officers or to shake their hands. 

I want to share with you the story of just one of the good men and women who came to the meeting.

Here’s the background: Last September, an Islamic jihadist posted photos of Taliban fighters and Osama bin Laden on his Facebook page. He filled his mind with hate and plotted out how he was going to act on it. He went inside a local factory, took a large knife from under his coat and cut off the head of a 54-year-old grandmother. Several people tried to stop him. They threw books and chairs and tried to kick him, but it didn’t do much good. The suspect then allegedly slashed the face of another innocent woman. As he drew back his knife to cut off her head, he was stopped—by a man with a firearm.

You might think this happened somewhere in the Middle East and that the man who saved the day was a guard or a soldier. But this story didn’t happen in the Middle East. It happened in the Middle West … of America. It happened in Moore, Okla. And the hero in this story is a food company executive and a fellow NRA member. His name is Mark Vaughan, and as the county sheriff said afterward, Mark’s actions that day saved lives. We were proud to have him join us at the Annual Meeting of Members. 

That’s who we are. Good men and women who run to the fight—not away from it. That’s the difference between us and those who would restrict our freedoms. We are quick to the rescue, while they are quick only to criticize. We’re proud, honest and patriotic. And when we gather, we bring safety, fellowship and goodwill to those around us.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

Former NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, until 2019. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversaw eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State ...

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Second Amendment Rally Seems to Have Anti-Gun Extremists Disappointed … That it was so Peaceful

In the days leading up to the annual lobby day in Richmond, Va.—where thousands of Virginians traditionally lobby their legislators on numerous issues – an unprecedented number of supporters of the Second Amendment were expected ...

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia General Assembly Ignores Peaceful Redress, Advances More Gun Control

Despite the peaceful, orderly, and diverse gun rights protest that attracted tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to the state capitol, Virginia’s Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly has continued to push forward a radical anti-gun agenda.

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

News  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

Nebraska: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Readying Action on “Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Bill

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Nebraska: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Readying Action on “Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Bill

“Red Flag” Firearm Seizure Legislation, Legislative Bill 58, is currently awaiting action in the Judiciary Committee. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.