Late on the evening of Day Two of the SHOT show, I was met by several members of the gun industry and asked to have a private and serious discussion on the Second Amendment March. They shared with me concerns that the march would fail, and that, in the process, I would weaken the gun rights movement. I listened with gritted teeth as they told me that the time was not right for a march of this type, and that the gun owners of our country would not follow it. They reasoned that I had less than 100 days to earn all the money needed and that I would never make it. Inside, I was furious. Outside, I remained calm and listened to everything they had to say.
You see, I’ve been listening to these same arguments for almost a year now. One usually expects discouragement from the enemy, but not from one’s own team members. In retrospect, I don’t blame them nor harbor any ill will. They’re just acting the way they always have – with fear and timidness. They’ve been on defense so long that they no longer remember how to lead the charge.
I’m not any better or more courageous than they are. I’m afraid too. But I have one thing that they lack — faith. And it’s not a blind, senseless faith, based on thin air and wishful thinking; it’s a belief in the American spirit, a belief that Americans still have the guts and the courage to stand up and fight for their own freedom. 2010 is going to be a fantastic year for American freedom. Yes, things look mighty bleak bright now, but isn’t that the way it’s always been throughout our history? It always seems darkest just before the dawn.
Imagine how bad is must have felt for General George Washington during the winter of 1777. Most of his soldiers had gone home. The ones who remained were starving, freezing, sick and many had only rags on their feet for shoes. Was he discouraged? Yes. Did the founder of our country give up? No. Instead, he did something bold. He attacked. Late on Christmas Day, he crossed the Delaware river in a blinding blizzard and defeated a superior force of Hessian soldiers at Trenton, New Jersey, thus, breathing new life into the American revolution. George Washington was a leader, and he led by virtue of his faith. That’s why those starving men followed him into battle. George Washington saw things that others did not. He saw freedom just beyond adversity.
That’s probably the only thing I have in common with the Founder of our Country. I have faith. I listened to those men on the eve of day two of the SHOT Show and I gritted my teeth. I knew that I would never give up. They suggested I postpone or cancel the Second Amendment March in order to avoid a public relations disaster. I didn’t understand their logic. How, after all that’s happened in the past year could I consider withdrawal or retreat? Postpone the march? Never!
I’ve told many people over the past year that I’m not the best person to lead a march on Washington, D.C., and I still hold to that. I’m not that smart. I don’t have the right connections. I’m not very sophisticated.
I think that for all my faults, I have but one redeeming quality: I never give up. I learned in the Marine Corps that I would rather die trying than retreat.
And now that brings us to day three of the SHOT Show. I started with a Starbuck’s Mocha latte. Then I met Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oathkeepers (www.oathkeepers.net) and we had breakfast to discuss the march. It was a great time and he will be speaking at our event on April 19. From there I went to the Sands Expo Center (where SHOT was located) and met a film maker named Alan Peterson who was producing a promotional DVD for us. I spent most of my day talking to industry leaders, scheduling them to be interviewed by Alan. By day’s end we had filmed Michael Bane from the outdoor channel, Stewart Rhodes from Oathkeepers, Mike Piccione from Guns & Patriots, Tim Schmidt Founder of United States Concealed Carry Association, Mark Walters host of Armed American Radio, and Kathy Jackson Managing Editor of Concealed Carry magazine.
While I was doing all that, Robert Kreisler, our Marketing Director, was speaking on the floor with dozens of people trying to line up corporate sponsorships. He received two firm verbal commitments as well as a meeting with one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world. (Since then that meeting has transpired and a second meeting is scheduled.)
All in all, it was a pretty good day. And to top it off, I didn’t get lost, not even once.
Why do I tell you all this? Simply to illustrate that if I’d listened to the naysayers on the eve of Day Two of the SHOT show, then there wouldn’t have been a day three. I would have stuck my tail between my legs and hopped a plane back home to my family. Instead, I didn’t give up. I stuck it out and day three was the best day of the march to date.
I will never give up and that is my only asset. If I have to march on Washington DC by myself, then I will. But, somehow, I get the distinct feeling that America won’t let that happen. America has my back. Never let the naysayers get you down. God bless.
Check out the march at www.secondamendmentmarch.com.
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