- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 1, 2021

Life goes on. While the media grows ever shriller and as arguing over political topics continues in the nation’s capital, the National Rifle Association is quietly planning to mark its 150th anniversary during an annual meeting in Houston, set for Sept. 3-5.

This is a mammoth event, described as a “celebration of freedom” by the organizers and staged across 14 acres of display space. Among many other things, the big gathering will include a cigar-and-bourbon reception, a “wall of guns” for public perusal, a woman’s leadership forum with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, sessions centered on firearms law, a prayer breakfast and an auction.

As many as 87,000 people have attended the annual gathering in recent years.

“The event, to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, will feature a bigger-than-ever exhibit hall with more than 800 exhibitors and acres of the latest guns, knives, optics, ammo and accessories available,” the organization advises, also noting that its annual leadership forum will showcase the nation’s most “influential lawmakers, thinkers, and Second Amendment advocates” and feature a formidable speaker’s roster.

“Patriotic performances from music legends Lee Greenwood, T. Graham Brown, and other artists set the stage for fellowship and fun that will affirm your commitment to our great country and our great association. Together we’ll celebrate America and the freedoms we love by making for a truly memorable evening,” notes an advance advisory.



And yes, the organization is celebrating its 150th birthday, and sharing the origins.

“Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to ‘promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,’ according to a magazine editorial written by Church,” says a brief online history of the organization.

“Our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly five million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs. As former Clinton spokesman George Stephanopoulos said, ‘Let me make one small vote for the NRA. They’re good citizens. They call their congressmen. They write. They vote. They contribute. And they get what they want over time’,” the history advised.

Curious? For more information, visit Nraam.org or Nra.org.

REAL SENTIMENTS TOWARD POLICE

Law enforcement officers are subject to hostile press coverage from time to time, and have been vilified in movies or by assorted political campaigns.

How do Americans really feel about the police? A new Morning Consult poll reveals all. Here are the numbers:

71% of registered U.S. voters have a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of the police; 89% of Republicans, 68% of independents and 59% of Democrats agree.

23% overall have a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable view of the police; 9% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 36% of Democrats agree.

5% overall have “no opinion”; 2% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

The poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters was conducted July 28-29.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Kiss my mask.”

This is an informal rallying cry among some Republican lawmakers who are troubled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s edict that lawmakers must wear facial masks while attending to their legislative duties within the U.S. Capitol.

“If we cave on our freedoms in the halls of Congress, what hope do the people have across America?” Rep. Lauren Boebert asked during a recent appearance on Fox News.

“I will not comply with Pelosi’s anti-science mask mandates, She can kiss my mask,” the Colorado Republican said.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, called the renewed mask mandates a “socialist takeover of America” led by Mrs. Pelosi and President Biden.

“The Democrats are back at it again — whatever it takes to put you back into lockdown,” Mrs. Blackburn said in a video shared on Twitter.

FATE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Whatever happened to the idea of the “moderate” Democrat? It would appear that this particular political calling is becoming a rarity indeed.

“The radical left wing of the Democratic Party is running a radical agenda that is not in the mainstream interests of American voters. The Biden administration has bought into these liberal policies, killing the hope that he would govern as a moderate Democrat. This is not your parents’ Democratic Party,” advises Saul Anuzis in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

He is former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, and current chairman of 60Plus, a nonpartisan organization addressing concerns of senior citizens.

President Biden is in crisis, and the situation is becoming America’s nightmare,” Mr. Anuzis says.

“Day by day, the average American is starting to feel the pain of Biden’s reckless policies, pushed by the radical leftists in Congress,” he continues, citing new public concerns over inflation, proposals to defund the police, unnecessary racial divides and illegal immigration among other issues.

“Biden’s crisis is becoming America’s nightmare,” Mr. Anuzis adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 57% of registered U.S. voters now think that “things in the country have seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”

• 85% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree; 61% of women and 52% of men also agree.

• 62% of White voters, 46% of Hispanic voters and 36% of Black voters agree.

• 43% of voters overall say the country is going in “the right direction.”

• 15% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 74% of Democrats agree; 39% of women and 48% of men also agree.

• 38% of White voters, 54% of Hispanic voters and 64% of Black voters also agree.

SOURCE: A Morning Consult poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters conducted July 28-29.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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