NRA & the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show 2009

This Saturday I spent most of the afternoon at the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania working the NRA booth. This was my first time ever attending such an event.

Started off meeting Suzanne from the NRA-ILA and a couple other volunteers for lunch over at the Appalachian Brewing Company. About halfway into it I handed out my blog cards, and guy sitting across from me handed me his card. That’s when I realize that I have been sitting and talking with “Sebastian” of fame. It was great to finally put a name to a face.


After that we headed over to the show. Parking was a nightmare. Thankfully I got dropped off near the entrance way. I made my way to the NRA booth and spent the next few hours helping to sign up and renew NRA members. But my primary focus was to help enlist people as volunteers for the NRA-ILA. This is the legislative action branch. They’re the ones that send out all the alerts and updates on local, state and national legislation of concern. For many of us 2nd Amendment advocates, this is the branch we’re most closely knit too.

At first, it was a little discouraging. While I was getting a number of individuals to sign up as NRA members or to renew their membership. I think the first hour and half passed without garnering a single ILA volunteer. Our goal was to at least add 20 individuals to our rolls.

Around 2 hours into the show I finally succeeded in getting a couple individuals to sign up with the ILA. Then things got on a roll. And in the next couple of hours I think we had about a dozen and a half sign-up. Some decided to sign up after joining the NRA. Others on a tight budget, not quite ready to join the NRA, were willing to help out. And one teenager wanted to pass out bumper stickers.

All in all, it seemed like a good day and we did well both on NRA recruitment and ILA volunteer recruitment. (Especially since I’ve been feeling under the weather since Friday morning.)

I did spend the last hour, as I waited for my wife to come pick me up, to wander around the show. This was my first hunting show. And it was a bit different than what I expected. It really demonstrates how different hunters and shooters really are. I wandered around looking for guns, safes, and the occasional taxidermied animal (especially the really cool ones like leopards, and the elephant). But I was rather surprised by how few merchants with firearms were at the show. 80%-90% of the booths were hunting trips. $x,xxx to come out to our locations and hunt xxx animal. I did discover a national muzzleloader group, which might be helpful with my flintlock arriving today. I also stopped off at the Thompson/Center booth requesting that they offer the Omega laminate thumbhole stock for the Firestorm flintlocks as well.

Anyways, I will be there next week working with the Friends of the NRA.

PS – Rumor has it someone might have been wandering the show masquerading as me on Sunday. I won’t name any names…. 😛

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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