hava fundraiser, more details

In just the few days since my last update, I have some more good news for you.

First, I will be giving away an Ally .22 Silencer from York Arms. All National Firearms Act rules and state laws apply, so you will have to pay the $200 tax stamp and fill out the paperwork, and if you live in a state that does not allow you to own such things, you are kind of out of luck. But for those folks who live in free-er America, this a user-disassembleable, 3.1 ounce, full-auto rated suppressor that usually retails for $275… that you could win for a $5 donation. I am actually a fair bit jealous of you all.

Second, Brownells will be supporting the giveaway side of the fundraiser; I do not have specifics yet, but, really, what from that store would you not want?

Third, Ranger Up! will also be generously throwing two t-shirts, of the winners’ choices, into the mix. I admit to being partial to The Purpose of the Constitution and Earn It, but you will get to decide for yourselves.

Fourth, another generous, anonymous donor has pledged to match all funds up to $200… and then his employer will match his donations. In other words, if you donate some of the first $100 to Honored American Veterans Afield, you will actually end up being part of a $400 total donation to that organization, thanks to this match and a previous one. If you are part of the second $100 of donations, the organization will actually receive $300. Where else can you triple and quadruple your money so easily?

Finally, I have concluded the HAVA fundraiser will start on the 15th of February and end on the 31st of March – that will give people time to tend to their Valentine’s Day plans on one end, and their taxes on the other; as I have been realizing, there does not seem to be an ideally "good" time for fundraisers any more.

Last year, you awesome folks raised over $2300 for Soldiers’ Angels; think we can beat it?

starting to make this a regular event

Now that I have had time to recover from my thoroughly successful (if a bit stressful) Soldiers’ Angels fundraiser, and since some folks have been prodding me about when I would be running my next one (and offering up promises of prizes to encourage people to donate), I have started considering what organization might be the best recipient for our collective generosity. Soldiers’ Angels is unquestionably an awesome organization, but it does not hurt to spread the good will / money around when you can.

Back after I closed the doors on the last fundraiser, I was giving serious consideration to making the Wounded Warrior Project the target for the next one; however, after they have made it repeatedly clear that they do not want my money and they consider any money from firearm-related fundraisers to be somehow bizarrely tainted, I dare say that WWP is off the list.

So how about Honored American Veterans Afield? They are corporately sponsored by no fewer than 12 firearm-related companies, so I seriously doubt they will have any trouble accepting our money, and, well, read the opening paragraph of their Chairman’s letter:

Thank you for your interest in Honored American Veterans Afield [HAVA], a 501[c]3 non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of the returning disabled veteran whose healing and re-integration into American life can be substantially enhanced by participation in hunting and shooting sports. It is organized and is controlled by a group of Sustaining Sponsor companies from the shooting sports industry whose sole interest is in assisting the disabled veteran with his or her return to a normal life. HAVA events are conducted according to the highest ethical and safety standards, and much of the money, equipment and venues for HAVA activities are donated by the Sustaining Sponsors, other sponsoring companies, individual contributors, and other interested people who contribute to the HAVA mission just for the satisfaction of helping those to whom we owe so much.

Likewise, this sentence from the same letter may interest people who are less-than-impressed with WWP’s business practices:

HAVA is a small organization of volunteers with no employees and much lower overheads than most charities – in order to maximize benefits to the veteran.

I dare say I would be amenable to sending them some money.

That said, I am not launching the fundraiser/giveaway yet; give them money if you like, but I have no giveaways for you to win. This fundraiser deserves your attention at the moment, and by the time that has wrapped up, everyone will be more concerned with Christmas than anything else (a reality I learned last year). Plan on an official announcement regarding the start date of the fundraiser somewhere around the beginning of January, and plan on me harassing contacting generous corporations / organizations / individuals between now and then to see what I can rustle up in the way of prizes (I already have one book lined up, and I am pretty sure I have some stickers/t-shirts laying about somewhere). If you have any suggestions in that regard, or have an item/company you want featured in a fundraiser that raised over $2000 for our military members last year and was seen by thousands in our community, let me know.

wounded warrior project zumbos themselves

Well, since the Wounded Warrior Project does not want my money or any money from firearm owners or firearm-related corporations, I guess I will be donating more to Soldiers’ Angels in the future. 

Of course, if Leslie Coleman, the “public relations director” for WWP wants to explain how this sentence: 

WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.

… ,wherein she successfully alienates a not-insignificant fraction of their donors and supporters, is a good idea in any universe, I would be all ears. 

I will not be holding my breath, though. 

[ETA]  So I guess Playboy is not a company wherein the product or message is sexual in nature?  Is there any way that statement was not idiotic?  [/ETA]

gun blogger rendezvous

Speaking of things I will not be able to attend this year, the Gun Blogger Rendezvous is this September 6th through 9th in Reno, Nevada, and you really should try to make it if you can:

Once a year Gun Bloggers and Gun Blog Readers from around the country gather in Reno at the Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino to visit, compare notes, discuss everything firearms related, and get in three range days covering everything from long range rifle, steel shooting, Cowboy Fast Draw, and more. At the Gun Blogger Rendezvous there is something going on from breakfast in the morning to well into the night! 2012 will be the Gun Blogger Rendezvous’ Seventh Anniversary.

The Rendezvous also raises money for Project Valour-IT, a division of Soldiers Angels, through a raffle of firearms and shooting sports items donated by our sponsors. Project Valour-IT buys voice actuated laptop computers for injured servicemen, who, due to the nature of their injuries, are unable to operate a computer using a conventional mouse and keyboard. This allows them to communicate with their family and friends, directly from their hospital beds, and has been shown to significantly increase their rate of recovery.

We also give out a large number of door prizes of promotional items to our attendees. Our sponsors, in return, get a lot of positive Internet exposure through the Gun Blogs and stories about the Rendezvous.

Some of our sponsors from last year include Para-USA, GunUp.com, Cabelas, MKS Supply/HiPoint, Crimson Trace, Springfield Armory, Dillon Precision, Brownells, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), The NRA, GLOCK, and more.

Last year we raised over $7,000 for Project Valour-IT, and this year, we hope to meet our goal of $10,000 dollars. Every penny we can make from the Rendezvous goes to Project Valour-IT.

However, if you are going to attend, please get your registration in soon. I know the event is still fifty-odd days away, but Mr. C. is able to attract all of the awesome sponsors, guests, prizes, give-aways, and freebies only because he promises to expose those things to a certain number of people, and if he does not know what that number is, or only has a lower number, the stuff in question might not be as awesome as it otherwise could have been.

I had the pleasure of attending once before, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time, including the pleasure of shooting a Barrett .50 caliber rifle for the first time. And, trust me, the GBR offers one of the highest concentrations of “interesting guns to shoot for free” you are likely to find this side of Knob Creek. So what are you waiting for? Go forth, register, and take pictures, so we boring folks can live vicariously through you!

support starbucks; support our troops

As I obliquely mentioned while exposing the "National Gun Victims Action Council" for being the gun-grabbing bigots they are, the anti-rights cultists are organizing a boycott of Starbucks, not just because the coffee company abides by the laws of whatever states their shops are in and thus allows open carry in their stores, but also because the NGVAC wants to extort massive amounts of money out of Starbucks:

[Elliot] Fineman said his organization plans to boycott large corporations, including Starbucks and Nike, unless they change their stance on gun violence.

Starbucks, which allows people to openly carry firearms in its stores, must ban the practice and commit $10 million each year to getting sane gun laws passed, he explained, adding that Starbucks made $550 million in profits in 2009.

As a reminder, Elliot Fineman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the NGVAC, along with being a senior member of the Brady Pac-Illinois. Apparently his vast marketing experience and education somehow neglected to teach him that blackmailing corporations in order to "encourage" "donations" to your organization is not exactly legal, moral, or socially acceptable any more.

Friendly folks, that.

Predictably, we defenders and supporters of individual rights and freedoms have organized a counter-buycott, which currently has somewhere around 10,000 confirmed attendees, which should have no problems making up for the <200 people who have signed up for the boycott (in an unsurprising turn of events, once the bigots at NGVAC realized how badly they were losing the numbers game, they hid the total number of attendees to their event).

But what about folks who are not near a Starbucks… like our servicemen and women doing their part overseas? Barron Barnett has you covered:

Let’s hit two birds with one stone. Lets send our troops overseas a little taste of home. I’m currently working on contacting Soldiers’ Angels to get the details on where to send donations with no firm destination.

If you are stationed overseas and would like a delivery, please contact me with your APO or FPO address. I will mail any requests personally directly to you or your unit. I have no idea how much traction this little idea is going to get, my hope is it gets a lot.

If you would like to participate or donate please contact me and I will keep you filled in with the details. I want to ensure we fill requests from troops overseas first before sending it to Soldiers’ Angels. So, just because you don’t drink coffee yourself is no excuse, you can buy a bag of roasted beans and send them to some one overseas who will greatly appreciate it.

So, recap time:

Various states legalize open carry, or, in Tennessee’s case, simply remain silent on the topic, rendering it de facto legal.

Starbucks, exhibiting sound business acumen, decides not to irrationally and unnecessarily limit its clientèle, and remains silent on the issue.

Open carriers meet at Starbucks for social or activism events.

"Gun control" extremists lose their collective gos-se at the sight of law-abiding citizens peaceably exercising their rights, and launch a boycott / extortion racket.

Boycott / extortion racket fails; Starbucks continues to neither support nor forbid open carry (or any other form of carry), instead defaulting to whatever the state laws are.

One year later, same organization that lead the failed boycott / extortion racket tries it again, under the "do it again, only harder" theory.

Boycott / extortion racket gets laughed out of the room, with somewhere north of 500x more people signing up to support Starbucks than those signing up to harm it.

And, in the end, we, pro-rights activists are supporting American business and the employees paid by that business, along with military members overseas now, while the anti-rights cultists are… well… getting more hysterical as they see the writing on the wall.

Oh, and regarding Starbucks official stance on this entire debacle, I emailed them thanking them for respecting my individual right to self-defense, and received this response:

Dear [Linoge],

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

Thank you for your feedback regarding Starbucks’ policy on open carry laws.

At Starbucks, we deeply respect the views of our customers and recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. We are proud to comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve. Our long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged and we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states. Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.

As the public debate around this issue continues, we encourage customers and advocacy groups from both sides to share their input with their public officials. We are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society and believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both our store partners and customers.

Sincerely,
[Name]
Customer Relations

Personally, I would prefer if they remained sensitive to all violence in our society, but I will spot them that given the nature of the debate and how badly the anti-rights cultists have perverted and misappropriated the language involved.

And, really, folks; what is so darned wrong with a company choosing to abide by the laws set forth by the states they are in? And why do you feel so disturbingly self-righteous about not only demanding that other people acquiesce to your narrow-minded bigotry and phobias, but also demanding they give you money against their will? That is just sick.

out of my hands

Alright, if you were one of the lucky winners in the Soldiers’ Angels Fundraiser and Giveaway, and I was responsible for your prizes, they are in the mail: 

IMAG0396

Sorry for the delay, but consider yourself lucky that one of those “helpers” did not end up in a box to someone…  Though, speaking of, if I crossed my wires somehow and you got something you were not supposed to, or did not get something you were supposed to, please let me know.  I lack a dedicated shipping department, and those little grey blurs do not help. 

If your prizes were coming directly from a manufacturer/dealer, they should already be in touch with you; if not, please let me know. 

Once again, I would like to thank Dragon Leatherworks, Michael’s Custom Holsters, Crimson Trace Corporation, Militec, Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT), Elzetta, FlipSide, Armory Racks, DIPSTIX, Sean Sorrentino, Say Uncle, and Empty Mags for supporting this fundraiser with awesome prizes, and thank our donators for giving so much money to Soldiers’ Angels.  I dare say this half-baked idea of mine was a success! 

soldiers’ angels fundraiser – impossible without you

Now that the Soldiers’ Angels Fundraiser and Giveaway is concluded and the winners have been announced, it is time for a few "thank you"s.

First, I would like to thank Better Half – this shindig has taken up a lot of time, with more to come, and shipping out all of this stuff is going to be a borderline nightmare. However, she supported me and my crazy ideas, and here we are.

Secondly, I would like to thank our sponsors, but most especially Simon and Schuster – it may have been lost in the noise, but their sending me a couple of copies of Soft Target to review/give away was the seed from which this entire fundraiser exercise grew. However, I would also like to thank, in no particular order: Dragon Leatherworks, Michael’s Custom Holsters, Crimson Trace Corporation, Militec, Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT), Elzetta, FlipSide, Armory Racks, DIPSTIX, Sean Sorrentino, Say Uncle, and Empty Mags. Without those companies’/folks’ generosity and trust (you would not believe the dollar value of stuff CTC sent me just because I asked for it!), we never would have been able to raise nearly as much money as we did.

Third, I would like to thank our donators, who graciously gave $2355 to Soldiers’ Angels. Two thousand, three hundred, fifty-five dollars. Wow. Donations ran the full range from $5 all the way up to $300, with people using pretty much every avenue available to them to get money and supplies to Soldiers’ Angels, including a few I did not even think of. For the heinous crime of daring to stand up for our rights, our safety, and our lives, we gunbloggers, guncommeters (new word?), and gun owners have been called a lot of rather disrespectful names, but a few that will never hold water ever again (not that it ever did to begin with) are "selfish", "greedy", or "self-centered".

Last, but far from least, let us hear it for Soldiers’ Angels – those folks do an amazing amount of good in their never-ending quest to see that all soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are cared for and looked after. They are not part of the government (I do not think they even get any funding from the feds); they simply saw a need, and concluded they could fill it. Here is to the power of like-minded individuals voluntarily working together to a common goal!

And with that, I think I am going to gracefully step down from fundraising for a little while… Turns out, that is pretty damned hard work, and stressing over keeping the donations / tickets / prizes / etc. straight probably cost me a few of my very few remaining hairs. Thank you all again, and good night!