So! Gun Blogger Rendezvous #9 is in the record books, and as they go, this was a pretty good one. Attendance was down this year. A lot of regulars couldn't make it for economic or work- or school-related reasons, but we did have appearances by former attendees who hadn't made one in a year or six. The former DirtCrashr who now resides at Not Clauswitz made an appearance, though his wife declined to come at the last minute. The not-blogging-much Conservative UAW Guy (and now partner in a gun shop) came and brought his lovely better-half. Namer of the Blogosphere Bill Quick of Daily Pundit put in a repeat appearance, as did Billll of Billll's Idle Mind. Engineering Johnson, who contributed a refurbished Model 74 Winchester rifle and a custom holster for the Ruger Mk III Hunter also repeated. Unfortunately, his dad True Blue Sam couldn't join him this year. Mr. Completely and KeeWee, our hosts rounded out the bloggers who came, at least those whose names I got.
This year we had a lot of local attendance, with a repeat by the Wilson family and friends, who somehow managed to take home most of the top prizes (including three of the four guns given away.) And we had a repeat appearance by local manufacturer and Special Occupational Taxpayer Richard Brengman of Special Interest Arms, and his distributor Brian Borg of SilentCarbine.com who brought an assortment of suppressed firearms and a squirt-gun to play with to the Friday range trip followed by the Friday night Show-n-Tell.
I kinda lust after one of their De Lisle carbines. As Billll said about one of his other suppressed weapons, I've handled office staplers that were louder. I just need to win the lottery....
Breakfast on Friday was supplied by the National Rifle Association, and their representative spoke to us about current strategy and concerns. They're quite concerned about Bloomberg and his personal fortune. The NRA isn't throwing a lot of money at Washington state's I-594 initiative - at least not what Bloomberg's throwing. Her argument, condensed, is that the NRA has a more limited war chest and must fight on a broad front. Bloomie can pick and choose, and throw as much money as he wants at something, not that doing so will guarantee him a "win" (see Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke's victory in the face of $150,000 of Bloomberg's money - more than both candidates spent in total.) Still, gun-rights supporters in Washington are not pleased by the NRA's apparent lack of involvement, and the organization was so informed.
As is traditional, we held the raffle on Saturday evening, and we raised, even with light attendance, right at $4,000 for Honored American Veterans Afield. I'd like to thank the manufacturers and their reps, distributors and retailers who contributed to the Rendezvous so that we could raise that money:
- Ken Jorgensen of Ruger - for the Mk III Hunter
- MKS Supply for their nine years of support and the .45 Carbine they donated this year, plus shirts and hats.
- Osage County Guns and Kevin Creighton for the Sig 1911-22 they donated. This was their first year.
- Lori Yunker of Burris Optics for the AR-F³ sight they donated.
- Allen Forkner of Swanson Russell and Redfield for the Battlezone 6-18x44mm scope they donated.
- Eric Harvey of Dillon Precision for providing one of their "Ammo-shift" bags.
- Larry Weeks of Brownell's for providing once again one of their top-of-the-line range bags and five tactical flashlights. Brownell's, too, has been a sponsor from year one.
- Crimson Trace for a pair of laser sights for Glock pistols.
- Cabela's for the donation of a rod-n-reel, shirts and hats.
- Tom Tayor of Mossberg for the donation of T-shirts, tactical pens and a very nice Schrade lockback knife.
- Bear Bullets for the donation of a tub-o'-.22 ammo. (A Remington Bucket O' Bullets - 1400 rounds worth!)
- WGM Tactical Precision for the donation of a stripped AR lower (which I guess qualifies as the FIFTH firearm given away), and a lifetime membership to Front Sight
- Front Sight itself for a certificate good for a four-day training course, or two two-day classes.
- Special Interest Arms for the donation of scope mounts for a No. 1 Mk III and a No. 4 Enfield
- Engineering Johnson for the Winchester Model 74 and the beautiful hand-tooled holster for the Ruger.
Once again, thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation for their sponsorship (they bought our pizza Saturday night).
If I missed anyone, please let me know and I'll be sure to include you.
And yes, I ended my eight-year drought by winning... the Hi-Point.
I think I'll steam-punk it.