“The Second Amendment is in the best shape it’s been in decades, and that’s good for America and the NRA,” chief executive Wayne LaPierre said as the group began its annual convention in St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that if the predicted 60,000 members show up, the NRA will provide St. Louis with its largest convention ever. The NRA will have more than 400 exhibits from gun manufacturers, shooting clubs, and others. Workshops will cover firearms laws, self-defense and “methods of concealed-carry.” Panelists for an “NRA and the Media” discussion include Oliver North, an NRA board member.
A headline speaker is John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations. “There is a transnational anti-gun movement that has set up shop at the U.N., some of it morphed from the old nuclear-freeze movement,” LaPierre said. “The U.S. stands alone where free people can own firearms. The threat is real.” The NRA had planned to meet in Columbus, but canceled the plan in 2005, after the Columbus City Council adopted a ban on assault-type weapons. The NRA is pushing for prohibitions against emergency confiscations because New Orleans police did that after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The NRA says it was “12 for 12” last year in getting states to adopt that law. It is lobbying for the “Castle Doctrine,” which would expand the reasonable use of deadly force in self-defense beyond the traditional defense of one’s home. Sixteen states have adopted similar laws at the NRA’s urging.