2018 NRA Convention – Dallas, TXSteven Lieberman
NRA 2018 Dallas.
Typically I go to SHOT Show every year, and Sandy gets to go to the NRA Convention. This year was a little different. It was decided about a month ago that Cosmo, my law partner, and I would go to the convention primarily to take part in the day-long legal seminar that the NRA puts on every year. Sandy, being the rational person that she is, suggested that it might be more efficient for Cosmo and me to go alone this year and spend our time doing lawyerly-like stuff without her worrying about the two of us getting lost or getting into trouble.
So, with cigars packed in our suitcases, Cosmo and I headed out to Texas for what would amount to a day-long continuing education seminar for lawyers, and a brief opportunity to wander the show floor before heading home.
The legal seminar was put on by the NRA’s chief legal counsel, and opened up with a “State of the Second” lecture by famed law professor Michael O’Shea. Those who have read the original Peruta decision (a spectacular treatise authored by Justice O’Scannlain) basically read a chunk of the work of Professor O’Shea.
There was nothing particularly “new” in his assessment, but he did offer some interesting ways of thinking about the jurisprudence of the Second Amendment that, candidly, had never crossed my mind. I am still digesting his law review article… and I can assure you that I will be bringing more of his brilliant legal thoughts to bear on my own analysis of Second Amendment issues.
Next was Cosmo’s favorite, Gerald Goldstein. Mr. Goldstein is one of the partners of Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr, and, like Cosmo, is a criminal defense attorney. He is a very funny and articulate attorney and, though he self describes as an “old, Jewish Texas hippie,” he is a fierce protector of the Constitution, and is, interestingly enough, both fascinated and deeply impressed by the Supreme Court’s newest Justice, Justice Gorsech. His musings on the Fourth Amendment were both illuminating and instructive.
These two were followed by several other lawyers and one appellate court judge. We started promptly at 8:00 am, and finished right at 5:30 pm. One highlight was the opportunity to meet with the attorney representing the young plaintiff in the Michigan Dick’s Sporting Goods lawsuit, alleging age discrimination in preventing the plaintiff, who is 19, from purchasing a rifle.
After an excellent dinner, some whiskey and cigars, and what seemed like an all too brief night’s sleep, it was off to the actual convention to see “some stuff.”
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
For those of you who have read my post, “SHOT Show”…. you pretty much are up to speed on the NRA Convention. The moment I walked onto the show floor I felt as though I was in Vegas…. the same vendors, using the same booths, showing the same stuff that was previewed at SHOT this last January. The only major difference was the option to actually buy stuff at the booths.
Cosmo finally got to meet Colin Noir, and take a picture with him. (I am sure that Mr. Noir was as excited as Cosmo was).
The highlight, though, for both of us was meeting with Sheriff Jim Wilson.
For those of you who read a lot of gun porn, especially vintage gun porn, you have undoubtedly read Wilson’s stuff.
I could have honestly spent hours with Jim just listening to him. Those of you who know my proclivity for talking, realize what a statement this is.
Jim is an anachronistic character… a truly gifted writer who evokes the stylistic flourishes of Robert Ruark, a singer with a baritone voice, who is both rich and accessible, a law man… and, most of all, a cowboy.
Sheriff Jim spent most of his life in a small, rural county in Texas, ultimately becoming the sheriff of that county.
Sandy met Jim at Gunsite a couple of months ago, and the two became instant friends. She called me after she had met him; she described Jim, and mentioned that he was a writer.
That was when I realized she was talking about Jim Wilson.
She told Jim that I had read just about everything he had written, and I was jealous that she had the opportunity to meet him.
His response was pure Jim Wilson. “Gosh, Mrs. Lieberman, you tell your husband that I am honored and touched that he appreciates my writing… but I am dubious about his taste.”
When you think of the stereotypical honored cowboy, the quiet man who lives by a code of honor, you are, in reality, thinking of Jim Wilson.
When there are no lady folk around, Jim also has no problem being a little freer with his language.
We were talking about Colonel Jeff Cooper. Jim and Jeff Cooper were close friends. He said that Cooper never, ever used swear words. Cooper, who was a Marine, was also a Stanford graduate. Jim said that Cooper once told him that he refused to use swear words because he had paid a lot for an education, and he did not need to use curse words to express himself.
Jim kind of smiled to himself and said, “That guy was f#@ing amazing.”
So, all in all, the show and the seminar were outstanding…. but as always, it is good to be home!