The Violence Policy Center is one of the more interesting citizen control cults, with a somewhat deranged penchant for describing Second Amendment supporters as “insurrectionists.” Somehow, they find an insistence on honoring and preserving the Bill of Rights to be treasonous.

The VPC held a media call yesterday, hoping to shape the coverage of the NRA Annual meeting.

Their email announcing the call began:

This week, April 25 through 27, the NRA will hold its annual meeting in Indianapolis. Featuring “spectacular displays of firearms” and “products from every major firearm company in the country,” the event reveals not only how the NRA is changing from a shooting sports foundation to a gun industry trade association, but the changing nature of the gun industry itself: its abandonment of sporting firearms for a militarized product line featuring assault weapons and high-capacity concealed carry pistols.

I’ve been out of the floor of the NRA Annual Meeting for the past two hours. What the Violence Policy Center says about this convention is—to the surprise of no one—based upon deception and spin.

"The Rough and Ready Short 44s." A popular collection of original Winchester 1873 and 1892 short rifles and carbines on display at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting.
“The Rough and Ready Short 44s.” A popular collection of original Winchester 1873 and 1892 short rifles and carbines on display at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting.

There are indeed modern sporting rifles on the Indiana Convention Center Floor. These half-century-old designs are incredibly popular among American shooters do to their modularity, their versatility, and superior ergonomics.

Unfortunately, the VPC doesn’t grasp the basics of supply and demand any better than they understand the Second Amendment. Firearms companies don’t drive demand for firearms, consumers do. Companies simply meet that demand.

Far from “abandoning” sporting firearms, shooters have done what they have always done. They have adjusted to incorporate the new with the old. Rifles like the old Winchesters (pictured above) and their modern variants sit side-by-side with more modern designs. If a cursory examination of booth traffic is any guide, they are all equally popular.

It is quite obvious to anyone in attendance here in Indianapolis that what the VPC obtusely mislabels as “sporting firearms” are simply the military arms of prior generations, and these firearms are here in droves, and among the most popular exhibits. There are muzzle-loaders from the Revolutionary and Civil War, lever-action rifles and revolvers from the Civil War and the various conflicts of westward expansions, bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic pistols that were the backbone of the world’s armies in the First and Second World Wars, and semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic variants of selective-fire rifles from the Second War War until the present.

The only thing that has been “abandoned” is the VPC’s  grasp of history and reality.

Is it really that surprising to the VPC that centuries of servicemen have adopted the rifles, handguns, and shotguns that served them in wartime for civilian use? We, the People, have not changed. We have, as we always have, adopted the tools of war to peacetime enjoyment of the outdoors, and for the defense of our families and our rights.

You would think that an organization that has foundered in their struggle against the Second Amendment might somehow, even accidentally, learn something about the millions of Americans that they revile as “insurrectionists.” you would think that… but you’d be wrong.


How successful was the Violence Policy Center’s attempt to “spin” the NRA mission during their call?

It’s actually very difficult to gauge.

During the “question and answer” portion of their call, only one journalist asked VPC’s Josh Sugarman any questions, and those questions were simply asked to expose the shoddy nature of the group’s research.

Then again, maybe I was the only person who bothered to call.