Trying to exist in a world that’s hostile towards firearms, firearm related topics, and the Second Amendment is challenging. It’s not that every person is “against” what I’ll label as “us”, with just around half of all American households having firearms in them, but as I noted recently to a friend, the establishment wants it this way. With that comes access to information, media, and further, resources for those that create content like you’re reading right now. A number of years ago, content creator and now Deputy Director of New Media over at the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Paul Lathorp started an event tailored to serving Second Amendment linked media types called the Alternative Mass Media Conference, or AMM-Con. AMM-Con 2022 is right around the corner, on September 30th and will be held at The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 West John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, TX 75063.
Full disclosure, I was invited to participate in AMM-Con last year via video submission, and I am scheduled to speak there this year. To be included in this program, to me, is an honor and I look forward to getting to interact with all the other writers and content creators out there who are working towards advancing the Second Amendment. And that’s exactly what the conference is about. I had a chance to catch up with Paul Lathrop and chat with him about the upcoming conference, and he echoed that sentiment, “Basically it’s a way for Second Amendment media to get together and we discuss best practices. And we learn from each other to make our media better.”
I had remembered talking to Lathrop once about the inception of the event and found the Genesis story to be quite telling of our current society. Lathrop credits the idea to professional competitive shooter and content creator Gail Pepin. Pepin had recounted to Lathrop a story about attending a conference for podcasters, and Lathrop relayed that to me.
“Gail Pepin went to a major podcasting convention in Florida. This is one where you pay several hundred dollars to go to. It’s over a weekend. And when she went it was really interesting. She said that she learned some but every time it came to do networking, when somebody asked What’s your podcast about? She said guns and gun rights. And then everybody shut down. And they…everybody treated her as a pariah and wouldn’t talk to her anymore. And when she was talking to me, she goes, wouldn’t it be great if there was something for pro gun podcasters where they could learn and not have to worry about what they do. That it’s a friendly environment. I said, ‘Hey, that’s a great idea. What would it take to get that started?’ And I reached out to Andrew Gottlieb, who works for the Second Amendment Foundation…I did not yet work for them. But I reached out to Andrew and said, ‘Look, this, I think this is a fantastic idea. We’d like to do something kind of like this, but I don’t know how to get started.’” – Paul Lathrop
It was after that conversation with Andrew Gottlieb that led to Lathrop talking with SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb about the conference. Gottlieb offered to have the Second Amendment Foundation sponsor the first few years of the program and then eventually fully adopted it as an event produced by the SAF.
On the AMM-Con homepage, they distill the goals of the program:
The Polite Society Podcast and Self Defense Radio Network, and the Second Amendment Foundation are very proud to host the 6th annual Alternative Mass Media Conventions (AMM-CON) 2022 workshop.
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for so much of the information that our 2nd Amendment community receives. We MUST hold ourselves to a higher standard than that of the local and national media so we have set aside a full day that will be dedicated to Podcasters, Bloggers, YouTube creators and anyone else in the NEW MEDIA that has a connection to the 2nd Amendment Community.
Our event goals are to offer top industry speakers that will help improve the effectiveness of media through our attendees:
Offer guidance on how to better connect with their consumers Improve journalism with fact checking and WHY it’s important to GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
- Advise on the effectiveness of new technology and products available to the 2nd Amendment media
- Interview Techniques
- Investigative journalism for the citizen journalist
- Monetizing your media
- Turning the consumer’s of media into ACTIVISTS
- Roundtable discussions.
I asked Lathrop for a sneak peek at who all the presenters were going to be for this year. He said to me that the list was not 100% finalized, but he did tease to me that journalist from Breitbart News, AWR Hawkins, is scheduled to deliver the keynotes. Lathrop also teased about a few other speakers, and stated that the full list of participants and topics would be released soon over at www.ammcon.org. Lathrop did run down a list of past presenters that included most of the big personalities in Second Amendment media such as Tom Gresham from Gun Talk Radio, and Mark Walters from Armed American News.
I reached out to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb about the conference and he shared the following with me:
“AMM-con is a very important arm of the gun rights movement. When Paul Lathrop first came to me and asked me to participate I was thrilled by the idea of bringing bloggers, talk show hosts and new media people together to improve the communications supporting 2A Rights. At the time it was a totally volunteer organization. Over time there was a need to help expand it and I was proud to help bring it under the wing of the Second Amendment Foundation. It is now a great part of our Gun Rights Policy Conference held every year. The networking that happens at the event is the most important part. It is my hope that in the future it will continue to impact how the gun rights movement is better able to compete with the anti-gun rights legacy media.” – Alan M. Gottlieb
Are you interested in the 2022 AMM-Con? I asked Lathrop who can attend the event, and he noted to me attendees are invited to come to the event for free, expanding “We do ask that you are either a member of the Second Amendment media or you have an interest in becoming Second Amendment media.” Lunch for attendees and speakers will be provided by the Second Amendment Foundation, the organizers just require that everyone register to attend at their eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/amm-con-2022-tickets-312227931147
The 2022 AMM-Con will be held at The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 West John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, TX 75063, and starts at 08:00 am.
Want to listen in on my full conversation with Paul Lathrop from the SAF? Tune in to the embed below or click HERE.