Two significant events, one tonight (Thursday) in Washington State and the other slated Saturday in North Carolina are signals that gun owners across the map are getting more interested in Second Amendment activism by taking time to review legislative activities, and start planning ahead.
Both events are something of social gatherings, which translates to opportunities for grassroots rights advocates to listen, learn and share perspectives.
The Evergreen State event this evening is headlined “Gun Owner Outreach” and will be held at the Tacoma Sportsmen’s Club near Puyallup, southeast of Tacoma. It features panelists Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation and—important to this event—chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, and Aoibheann Cline, Northwest regional director for the National Rifle Association.
Described as a “legislative wrap-up workshop,” the panelists will discuss the recent Washington legislative session and “how you can get involved to flip the legislature to representatives who will support and defend your Constitutional rights,” according to a flyer advertising the event.
Jump east 2,900 miles to Polkton, N.C. on Saturday and Grass Roots North Carolina is hosting a “Guns & Candidates” event with scheduled appearances by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, U.S. Reps. Ted Budd and Dan Bishop, Judge Richard Dietz (running for the North Carolina state Supreme Court) and Judge Michael Stading, now running for the North Carolina state Court of Appeals. Also scheduled to attend is Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America. This is a daylight event, beginning at 10:30 a.m., at Hyatt Farms Shooting Complex, 990 Burnsville Church Road in Polkton.
According to a notice from GRNC President Paul Valone, “Featuring not only Representative Ted Budd, candidate for U.S. Senate, but also Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Rep. Dan Bishop, GOA director Erich Pratt and several judicial candidates, GRNC’s ‘Ring Steel for Freedom’ steel plate match and BBQ on April 9 will raise money for the GRNC Political Victory Fund to elect candidates who support the Second Amendment. This year, GRNC’s highly successful election effort will focus on judicial races which have proven critical in defending gun rights.”
Why are such events important? According to various activists, the time for lethargy has passed, and gun owners determined to protect their rights need to start working now because this year’s congressional midterm elections coincide with state legislative and at least some judicial elections. The importance of electing pro-rights candidates and conservative judges and state Supreme Court justices also cannot be over-stated, activists observe.
In the past, Washington saw an annual event called the “Legislative Shoot-Out” held during the legislative session, bringing together gun owners and pro-gun lawmakers at a gun range near the state capital of Olympia.
Over the next few months, local Second Amendment groups will likely be organizing their own similar events. Such activities may be advertised on social media or gun owner forums, local gun shops, local or regional gun shows, or at shooting ranges.