My first thought was "Well, when I saw Colion Noir on the show floor I was too shy to go up and introduce myself for fear of bursting into unseemly fangirl squee. Does that count as 'afraid to talk to black folks'?"
I notice that the media line on the NRA is pretty entrenched among Televison-Americans, and even people who should know better.
Notice how Amos Brown has seemingly uncritically absorbed the implication that the NRA is some kind of trade organization dancing on the puppet strings of the big bad gun industry. (A claim which is hilarious on its face, since the 'big bad gun industry' is a fraction of the size of, say, the big bad breath mint industry or the big bad athletic shoe industry. Heck, Nike's ad budget alone would probably buy the whole Remington group, lock, stock, and threaded barrel.)
The other entrenched meme is that the NRA is a partisan right-wing SoCon organization that happens to dig old movie actors waving muskets and the occasional loonie statement from crazy old rock stars who like to hunt. This was a meme I bumped into myself in the week leading up to the convention.
"Hey, you coming down to the show?" I asked the waiter at my local hipster in-town brewpub. I knew he liked guns; he'd just gotten his first AR-15 and often helped man a table at the big Indy 1500 fun shows.
"Nah," he replied, "I'm not an NRA member. I'm pro gun, but I'm a liberal," as though setting foot on the convention floor to look at Aimpoint scopes and the Magpul bus would be like signing on to support everything from the invasion of Iraq to HJR-3.
"Dude, it's the National Rifle Association, not the National Republican Association," I wheedled, "Besides, it's just like a big gun show; you'll love it. It's not all politico-religious or nothing; just guns."
Saturday night at Thr3e Wise Men, hanging out with the blogger crowd, my phone buzzed in my shirt pocket. It was a text from Caleb, who was down at the big stadium shindig:
"Sarah Palin just said "waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists" word for word"Thanks, Sarah. Thanks a lot.