Yesterday, the protest outside of the NRA convention consisted of just two or three people — surrounded by press, of course. Today, there are 30 or so. I stood around with them for a couple of hours this afternoon, discussing the issues and asking where they were coming from, and I found them to be charming to a man. (Even the woman with the “assholes” sign is pleasant enough.) Still, they are typical of most anti-gun types that I have met: their hearts are in the right place, but they know not of what they speak. And, worse, when pushed they’re not really sure what they think.
Above, I have cut together a video showing some of my conversations with protesters. Notice the meandering agenda, the lack of detail, and the tendency to mask a bigger agenda in the cloak of “background checks.” This was typical. By contrast, the National Rifle Association’s members are formidable. I have been genuinely impressed at the sheer depth of knowledge that the average attendee boasts — not just about firearms, but about firearms law and about American history. It strikes me that if the gun-control movement is to improve its performance, step one will be to master the issues. Without doing so, they will continue to be left in the dust; well-intentioned but railing at clouds.