NRA…the Beginning

So I took a little trip this past weekend. I was in Indianapolis for the NRA Annual Meeting. It was my first, and despite all of the medical conferences I’ve attended (generally one/year for the past x years), I still underestimated the toll it would take on me.

Fun? Oh, my, yes! But draining, exhausting, and tiring, too. It’ll be another couple of days before I’m all caught up on energy, despite being used to being on my feet at work 7-8 hours every night.

And totally worth it to see good friends again and to meet so many new people! I never realized just how many people I know in the shooting world, and by extension, how many people -they- know. And now, I know even more of those people, too.

I’ll be putting up a few posts over the next few days as I get some of my thoughts back in order. For now, it’s just good to be home again.

Categories: Bucket List, Firearms, Politics, Vacation | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

WWP Refuses Donations Again

It appears that the Wounded Warrior Project has done it again.

A church and school in Florida registered their fundraiser with the WWP and paid their registration fee. They were getting things set up for a special collection to be done on the last Sunday of this month. The kids in the school were donating their lunch money and getting involved, getting excited about this! One sixth grade class had already raised $400. But then, they received an email from the WWP stating that they “must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn’t allow community events to be religious in nature.” So now it’s off. WWP doesn’t get the projected $50,000 that the church thought it was going to be able to raise; the kids are disappointed, and people are left wondering just who it is that WWP thinks is good enough to donate to them.

First, they refused to accept money from any fund-raising that was done through or via groups associated with firearms. That caused many of us who support the Second Amendment to choose another place for our donations to go. At that time, their webpage FAQ did state “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual, political, or religious in nature, and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands or the exchange of firearms….” Nevermind that many veterans, wounded or not, find shooting relaxing and a very good way to spend time. Nevermind that many of the fundraisers that were done by 2A supporters were not involved with the “exchange of firearms” either, but were simply people getting together on a weekend to spend the day turning money into smoke and noise and putting some of that money aside for the WWP.

Currently, the WWP webpage Proud Supporter FAQ (#19 specifically) states that “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual or political in nature and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands.” It’s been changed from what it said 3 months ago. I don’t see anything there about being unable to accept donations from a church group. I don’t know if they changed it again in the past day or two to remove “religious”, but it’s not there now.

This is just one more reason for anyone who might consider WWP as a place for donations to consider another charity.

A few possible alternatives (many more out there):

Soldiers’ Angels

Wish for Our Heroes

Honored American Veterans Afield



On Facebook, WWP is stating only this in answer to all comments regarding the issue (and repeating it multiple times):

“We did turn down this potential fundraiser because it did not fit several of our giving guidelines for community events. Unfortunately, we mistakenly communicated to the church that the event was turned down because we do not accept donations from religious groups, which is not the case. We work with many diverse groups to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, including religious groups. We have called the church to apologize for any confusion.”

I’ve read their entire FAQ page. I’m still not sure what parts of their giving guidelines it does not fit.

Categories: Firearms, Politics, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

Only Ones?

In speaking about a home burglary, where the burglars were scared off because one of the homeowners had an AR-15, Rochester (NY) Police Chief James Sheppard stated, “My druthers is that in every situation we encounter as police officers, we’re the only ones with guns. That would be the perfect scenario.”

This bothers me. This bothers me a lot. He wants to see every single person disarmed so that the police are the only ones who have guns.

There’s no way that he’s going to get all of the guns away from the criminals. Take a look at history to see how that worked with alcohol during Prohibition, or how well that is currently working with drugs.

That leaves honest citizens at a serious disadvantage. He wants us to have no way to defend ourselves when someone breaks into our homes or assaults us. He wants us to be at the mercy of those who have no mercy, who will not be bound by the law, who will take what is ours and hurt those we love.

This is not what the Second Amendment is about. It does not state that “only the police” get the guns. It does not create a class of “only ones” that have special powers. I have the right to defend myself and those I love. And I will fight for that right.

Categories: Politics, Weapons | Tags: | 1 Comment

Side-Effects of Taxes

California has been a state in decline for a long time. I grew up there, and I loved it. When I left for college and med school, I knew I’d go back. I did, and I spent 7 more years there.

But when I left after that, I knew I’d never again go back.

Oh, maybe to visit every once in a while, but never again to live there. In fact, my mother still has the message that I left for her on her voice mail, almost 12 years ago, in which I told her to, “Shoot me! Just shoot me now, mom, if I EVER tell you that I’m thinking of moving back to this state!!!” If I recall, I’d been on the road for 3 or 4 hours and still hadn’t gotten outside the LA basin.

Now, it seems that the state is attempting to speed its implosion. Proposition 30, which was proposed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and voted into law last November, raises the top tax rate for state taxes to 13.3%. That’s just state income taxes, mind you, on top of federal taxes and in addition to whatever local taxes you have.

California is a state in which those earning more than $250,000 are already paying 62% of the tax bill. Those who bring home more than $450,000 (the top 2% of households) are covering 46% of the state’s taxes. And those who earn $1 million or more, just 34,000 people in the entire state, pay fully 25% of the taxes for the state. It is also a state in which over 50% of the people pay little to no personal income tax at all.

Phil Mickelson has been in the news the past several days for talking about something other than his golf swing. He dared to talk about the taxes in California. First, he talked about possibly leaving California and maybe even golf because of these punitive taxes. Then he apologized for speaking out in public about such a topic…not because he thinks he’s wrong in what he said, but because it’s too personal a topic to be discussing in public before he’s made his decision.

Now, I know Phil. We grew up a couple blocks down from his family. One of my brothers was in his class at school; I knew his older sister. He’s a good guy. And what gets me most about his remarks is that he didn’t take back what he said about the taxes at all. He simply apologized for having brought up such a personal topic (moving vs quitting golf) in public before he’s made his decision.

I think a lot of us are where he is. We know changes have to be made in how we do things. Whether it’s as drastic as uprooting and moving or changing what we do with our lives…maybe not. But certainly drawing down in our spending, starting to save more, or put aside food and provisions of all sorts. We might not know exactly what’s coming, but we know that tougher times are ahead.

Categories: Politics | Tags: | Leave a comment

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