Don't make assumptions.
I'm not saying "Get Off My Side!", but I'm damned close to it.
I went to the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, a week and a half ago. It was a great time. I met lots of friends, old and new, and wished that I had showed up earlier, and could stay later.
While there, I saw some news media types on the sidewalk, and about halfway hoped that they would ask me for a quote. Of course they didn't, and probably wouldn't have even if I had not been wearing media credentials.
What I would have said was, "70 to 80 thousand NRA exhibitors and attendees have come to town. Most of us are armed. And come Monday morning, if you're honest, the lede for your story will be '70k Armed People Invade Indianapolis: Nothing Happened.'"
I skipped the political speeches. I barely even watched them on the live CCTV feed in the media center.
Then I saw some politico talking about ObamaCare at the NRA Annual Meeting, I question what he's doing there. Is he likely to find a welcome ear to such discussion? Sure! But he was crossing the streams. Why should I be beleaguered if I wasn't on board with that?
"They're winning!" declared a political candidate, declaring that we are, despite our advances in the Supreme Court to recognize the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, despite the advances of more and more states expanding rights to concealed carry or even open carry, are basically losing the battle for our rights to be armed. (By flying with a pistol to Indianapolis, it had cost me precisely one extra minute, to open my suitcase, open my locked gun case, show unloaded, and pitch in my personal ownership card to the case. One minute.)
Then another political candidate came up and gave his stump speech. And another. And another. Sarah Palin came on, and I heard the occasional odd silly catchphrase from her, but ignored her. I heard some talk about the Democrats and the progressives.
I bumped into Tam, and she showed me the text that she had just gotten from Caleb: "Sarah Palin just said 'waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists' word for word." Don Gwinn was there with me, and we gave forth the stereophonic sound of simultaneously striking our palms against own foreheads.
What if I don't believe in torturing people?
What if I don't go in for any type of baptism?
What if I don't have anything against progressivism, but do want to advance the cause of the Second Amendment?
I didn't get as much time as I'd like to hang out with a fierce proponent of the 2nd Amendment who is gay. I'm sure that lots of pro-2A people there don't approve of his "lifestyle," but that's a red herring; he's on their team. I didn't get to have a drink with Ken Blanchard, one of "those people"* from Detroit, like I did at the 2012 Annual Meeting in St. Louis. I shook hands with a renown gunwriter who has, tongue in cheek, taken on the nickname of "The Camelback Kid" for cowboy action shooting. I spent some time in the company of person who exhibited phenotypical male characteristics, but preferred the female pronoun.
What if these don't meet with your idea of who ought to be there?
Tough. They're on our side. So stick to the issue at hand.
You may just find that this is a theme of mine: Don't Cubbyhole Me.
I am not a peg; quit trying to make me fit in the shape hole of your choosing.
I don't care about RINOs at the NRA convention. You know why? Because it's not Republican convention.
When you mix your other politics into this issue, we end up with people making assumptions about the lot of us, and making ad hominem attacks on speakers with otherwise really good points about our liberties.
Feel free to talk about your issues elsewhere, but at this convention, you're confusing the issues, and being divisive, by trying to be OVERLY inclusive in too narrow a world view.
My name is Matt G, and I was there to talk about guns. Period.
*He's not gay; he's black.