Random Thoughts Before the NRA’s Annual Meeting and Exhibits

by Mark Walters

"The truth is, right behind your firearm, your second most important self-defense protection is a rock-solid carry policy." - Dana Loesch, Gold NRA Carry Guard Member
Random Thoughts Before the NRA's Annual Meeting and Exhibits
Mark Walters
Mark Walters

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)-This week promises to be exciting! Like 80,000 other freedom loving Americans, I’ll be attending the NRA Annual meetings as I have done for years and I look forward to meeting many of you at the convention hall.

I’ll be at the Crossbreed Holsters booth on Friday, 4-28-2017 at 9:30 AM for a new product launch. Rob Pincus will be there, I’m told, and I hope to see you there if you’re heading to Atlanta. Later Friday I’ll be at the Veridian booth (1:00 PM) on the “Just the Facts” stage with CEO John Sheahan for an on-stage discussion/question/answer forum with John and attendees.

I’ll do the same again on Saturday, 4-29-2017 at 3:00 PM. Others on the same stage and at different times include Rob Pincus, Massad Ayoob, and Kevin Michalowski, to name just a few. In between those appearances, you can find me maneuvering between the Second Amendment Foundation booth where Alan Gottlieb and I will be shaking paws and talking rights and the Crossbreed Holsters booth where we’ll be highlighting their amazing products. I will not be at the USCCA booth as there is no USCCA booth… but you probably already knew that.

Speaking Of, Bloomberg Fake News Site Reports NRA USCCA Disinvite

Obnoxious former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s fake news site, The Trace picked up on the NRA’s booting the United States Concealed Carry Association from their convention hall floor earlier this week. In a piece titled, The NRA is Selling Insurance To Gun Owners Willing To Shoot In Self-Defense. As you’ve read on these pages earlier this week in a couple of other columns, (I’ve intentionally stayed away from the topic, for now) USCCA founder and CEO, Tim Schmidt has taken the high road and continued to support the NRA, regardless of their actions. I happen to agree with his position. In the Bloomberg column, Tim elaborates further:

Tim Schmidt is the founder of the USCCA, a company he built to cater specifically to people who use guns for self-defense. He learned just two weeks before the kickoff of the NRA’s 2017 convention that he and his group would not be welcome this time around. “It was explained in a letter,” Schmidt told The Trace. “Their explanation was that they had some ‘concerns about our programs.’ After doing a little bit of research, it seems pretty clear they want us out because of their own new programs.”

Schmidt said he suspects that his own organization’s rapid growth tipped off the NRA to the money to be made in self-defense insurance. According to Schmidt, USCCA had 35,000 members at the end of 2011. As of April 15 of this year, membership had swelled to over 193,000. The coverage plans that USCAA sells go for between $13 and $30 per month, which works out to annual revenue between $30 million to $70 million.

Schmidt said he has tried not to be bitter about the new competition from the NRA.

“My company will continue to support the NRA because of their long history of supporting the Second Amendment,” he said. “I’m a lifetime member.”

Earlier this year, according to Schmidt, the NRA approached USCCA to talk about partnering to create a program that looks a lot like what the larger group is now marketing as Carry Guard. Schmidt said he walked an NRA representative through how USCCA’s coverage works. But then he never heard anything more from the NRA about the plan — until he got the letter disinviting him from the convention in Atlanta.

“I’m not sure if their partnership offer was disingenuous or not,” Schmidt said. “But even if it was, the mission is too important to squabble over.”

All things considered, and except the tilted column title and a couple of biased references to self-defense insurance making gun owners more apt to shoot, the article as it pertained to the NRA/USCCA was in context.

Armed American Radio Celebrates Eight Year Anniversary

For me, it’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Armed American Radio took to the airwaves. What started as a conversation around a dinner table (with Tim Schmidt, BTW) at the Bahama Breeze in Orlando, Florida during the 2009 SHOT Show has become quite a journey. On April 26th, 2009 I took a seat in the studios of what was then known as Talk 920 in Atlanta, GA (now known as AM 920 The Answer) and began a one-hour show heard in downtown Atlanta. Five short months later, the program would blow up to 3 hours and syndication putting it on 35 stations or thereabout by years end. Now heard in hundreds of cities on nearing 200 radio stations, 177 digital cable radio stations, the Red Nation Rising Radio Network, multiple internet outlets as well as in Europe on Radio Ways, Armed American Radio continues its incredible growth every month having never lost an affiliate due to content. Never. That’s remarkable and something we’re very proud of having accomplished.

I look forward to continuing the mission of educating, informing and entertaining millions of responsibly armed Americans. Here’s to the next eight years!

About Mark Walters

Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)

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TheGunnyRet
TheGunnyRet
3 years ago

Competition is Good, Capitalism at its best…More Choices better Plans to become…to include Second Call Defense as well…

Robert
Robert
3 years ago

Once again the NRA is shooting itself in the foot (pardon the pun) over money. They refused in the 1990’s when it would make a difference to put more money into the fight against Roos and Roberti claiming they could not afford the effort.Time and again so little and too late was the NRA in coming to the aid of California Gun Owners. Now the Californitius disease has taken hold in other states and wrecked the lives of thousands I’m a life member and would buy CCW insurance from them but the comments on their product being inferior is VERY… Read more »

Hoss Green
Hoss Green
3 years ago

Kevin Michalowski, isn’t this a conflict of interest?
I divorced myself from the NRA long ago. They seem to do just enough to stay on the good side of their constituents so the money continues to flow, but when it comes to actually telling the truth about politicians they miss the mark.
They are a bunch of glory hounds, taking credit when they don’t deserve it.

Clark Kent
Clark Kent
3 years ago
Reply to  Hoss Green

With friends like you who need enemies? Thanks a lot for nothing…..

Bob in Florida
Bob in Florida
3 years ago

I am a member of both NRA and USCCA (as well as a number of other pro-gun organizations) and will continue to support both of them. In my mind, they both serve different roles for us. NRA has a political influence that none of the others can match. Some also serve in that arena (SAF, GOA, et al.), and their efforts are substantial and they have varying styles, but none with the impact that the membership size affords the NRA. Others serve a more informational, training, products role. There is considerable overlap, and there is nothing wrong with that. I… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob in Florida

in FLA, I try to belong to them all, too! It is like combined arms. Sometimes when one thing will not do another will.

George D. Venable
George D. Venable
3 years ago

I’m an NRA Benefactor Life member and I too am disappointed. Term limits might be as good an idea at NRA HQ as in Congress !

Chris W
Chris W
3 years ago

I was disappointed years ago when they supported Harry Reid for reelection to the Senate in spite of being very anti gun. I quit my membership on the spot and called and told them why.

This is no surprise. I support GOA and TFA.

Alan
Alan
3 years ago

I I am disappointed in the NRA. I have been a member of NRA and USCCA for several years. I really believe NRA needs to face this head-on, be open and transparent, much more transparent yhan obama, and tell everybody why they did this. Definitely not good PR.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

@Alan, What did USCCA do to prevent hiLIARy from becoming president? Absent the most skillful lobby group in the U.S. our guns would have been gone long ago, and we would not need any USCCA insurance.

SuperG
SuperG
3 years ago

I judge by actions. They did what they did to the USCCA. It makes me wonder what they would do to me. I think I’ll stick with GOA, but will still react to NRA-ILA newsletters.

John
John
3 years ago

The NRA of which I am a life member and very long time supporter (especially of the Constitution) needs to cut back a bit on commercial products and programs that compete with their base. They are after advertising dollars and have their own television shows own newsstand magazine and now this insurance thing with the CC people. However, their internal and highly kept secret–even from their own board of directors huge dollar amounts paid to “consultants,” and others fall into the near mid 6 figures is not so cool. It takes a lot of members to pay an employee’s husband… Read more »

Mike Butler
Mike Butler
3 years ago

My 2nd attempt to leave a reply…
I will always be an NRA member, strongly believe in 2nd Amendment but the way USCCA was treated just because of a competitive situation by the NRA was wrong in my opinion.
Hopefully this will get posted this time.
NRA is needed especially in todays anti gun environment but must be fair in all areas to be true to its members.

Cea
Cea
3 years ago

I’ve got a few random thoughts about the way that shirt fits!!

Alan
Alan
3 years ago
Reply to  Cea

call Mia chauvinistic Pig. I like it, the shirt, not being called a chauvinistic Pig.

Alan
Alan
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Supposed to be “call me”

Garryowen
Garryowen
3 years ago
Reply to  Cea

So Cea, you’re saying you wouldn’t fill it out that nicely….

Cea
Cea
3 years ago
Reply to  Garryowen

That would be impossible!

durabo
durabo
3 years ago

Mark, you rat! You hooked me into reading your article by using a photo of Dana Loeasch!

Dr. Strangelove
Dr. Strangelove
3 years ago
Reply to  durabo

You have to admit, Dana is some awesome click bait.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago

The article is about insurance? I did not get beyond the word “Random…”

Old Sarge
Old Sarge
3 years ago

Got that right! And smart as hell too!!!

durabo
durabo
3 years ago
Reply to  durabo

Belay the misspelling: I meant to write “Loesch.”

At times, AutoCorrect seems to be my worst enema.

Chiefton
Chiefton
3 years ago
Reply to  durabo

You are forgiven. I would never have noticed the name anyways.

Alan
Alan
3 years ago
Reply to  durabo

That trick got me to.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

Shame on the NRA for the underhanded treatment of USCCA,
as mentiomed above I won’t drop my NRA membership because the 2nd Amendment is important to everyone but I certainly look at the NRA differently.
Just WRONG…

John G
John G
3 years ago

I won’t drop my NRA membership over their shoddy treatment of USCCA, but I certainly will not increase my support.

Chiefton
Chiefton
3 years ago
Reply to  John G

I absolutely agree with you on this. The only reason to not want the competition would be if your product is inferior or more costly than theirs. I would equate it to banning a better shooter from entering a competition because you don’t shoot as well as they do. And no, I do not have any affiliation at all to USCCA but have been comparing all of the options out there and have yet to make a decision. I do like that the NRA offers a LE discount (as I am prior LE) but from what I have seen so… Read more »

TXGnr1911
TXGnr1911
3 years ago
Reply to  Chiefton

You may also want to check out Texas/US Law Shield. They have excellent protection for those that have to use their firearm in self defense. Coverage costs are extremely reasonable and offer excellent protection. I have Texas Law Shield and USCCA protection.

Chiefton
Chiefton
3 years ago
Reply to  TXGnr1911

Thank you. I will look at that one.

Garryowen
Garryowen
3 years ago
Reply to  Chiefton

As an NRA Instructor and former NYPD Officer, with 35 years CCW experience, I understand and wholeheartedly agree with the need for CCW insurance and training, especially when (not if) HR 38 becomes a federal law. But, more importantly how a comprehensive CCW training course must cover both the physical act of finding, practicing for complete competence with, and comfortably carrying of a covert firearm that is right for each individual’s needs; but this training must also include a detailed presentation of the mental preparation associated with this newfound responsibility of when and how to use a concealed firearm. Having… Read more »

Rob pincus
Rob pincus
3 years ago

See you there!