By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- I have been traveling for the last week to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC), which is being held this weekend at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The hotel is at O’Hare airport. I left family members in Missouri at about 5:40 a.m. on Friday morning. I had a little over 500 miles to go to reach the conference. My Niece called an hour later, just as I was getting coffee (free, they had a special) at a McDonalds.
O’Hare was in trouble.
Early reports indicate that a contractor had set fire in the air control facility in Aurora. The man then tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself. Motive? Unknown at this time. Result? Over 1500 flights, perhaps thousands, rerouted and rescheduled over the entire United States. Hundreds of flights canceled into and out of O’Hare.
Traffic into O’Hare was a little better than I expected, with a final surprise at River Road into O’Hare. It is the end of a toll road, and the $1.50 toll has to be paid in coins. There is no attendant. If you do not have coins, they say you can go on-line and pay, and you have seven days to do so. Fortunately, the machine accepted quarters, dimes, and nickels.
I wondered just how many speakers and gun culture luminaries would be there when I arrived. When I checked in, a little before 6 p.m., the clerk told me that there had been 200 cancellations and reschedulings at the hotel that day.
I unpacked, and went down to the traditional Friday evening reception for the GRPC.
The line was long, with hundreds ahead of me registering and picking up name tags. We traded stories and renewed acquaintances as we moved along.
Inside the door, I saw David Codrea and his wife, Maureen, sitting at a table just to my left. David, ever alert, saw my name tag and said “Dean Weingarten. I recognize that name.” We shook hands and I joined him at the table.
David is a role model for me. He broke the Fast and Furious case with Mike Vanderbough, when the old media was studiously ignoring it, then working to cover it up. I aspire to write as well as David.
As shown in the picture, other luminaries stopped by. Joe Tartaro of Gun Week and SAF allowed me to take a picture of him with Dave Workman and David Codrea. I should have taken more, but got involved in many insightful conversations with other activists. A particularly interesting one was with Paul Valone, of Grass Roots North Carolina. Rob Morse and I discussed demographics and leadership as we went back to our rooms.
I did not even take the time to say hello to Alan Gura, though I did sign a gift to him which depicted him as superman.
More from the conference as I have time.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.