On Thursday, a friend mentioned they were driving down to Houston on Friday, to take in the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston. We got invited along, so suddenly I found myself at the registration desk. What a pleasant surprise to find out that our NRA life memberships got us free admission to the expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

What was even more pleasurable was finding out that the convention center allows concealed handguns for “individuals licensed by the State of Texas.” This policy was affirmed and supported by the NRA, so I got to walk around like a citizen. After registering, we just entered the expo: no security checkpoint, no law enforcement looking us over. There were lots of Houston PD and Harris County deputies, but I saw officers shopping, too.

I even got to say hi to my friends at NRA News, who had a booth in the expo floor.

I get this curious reaction from some of my California clients about living in Texas, the alleged home of rednecks. These clients are intolerant of differing views, often reacting with anger because they feel you’re crossing them for disagreeing. If you haven’t ever done so, I encourage you to discuss the civil right of self-defense with a California liberal.

“Redneck” is synonymous for “narrow-minded, racist Caucasian.” This is a very interesting reaction from well-meaning people, but let’s remember that Marin County, where we moved from, quietly settled with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for failing “to attract more low-income people and ethnic minorities to the affluent county.” I experienced this closet bigotry after renting to a hard-working Hispanic American lady who pursued the American dream by working three jobs and investing in real estate.

Corporate media encamped across the street from the convention center, apparently looking for a story. One person finally got out of bed to make an appearance, and the news vultures were on it. Contrary to media propaganda, the violent people — that could exercise themselves enough to make it downtown by 11:30 AM — were outside protesting against the NRA’s promoting the civil right of self-defense. States with the most gun control have higher black homicide rates, and higher overall violent crime rates.

A crew from Australia videotaped the Bushmaster sign for a while, as if a longer video would make some point, a la Andy Warhol’s Sleep. I wanted to ask the woman reporter if she felt safer now, since female rape skyrocketed after their 1997 gun ban.

But today’s corporate media operates on this maxim: “Don’t let a truth get in the way of a good story.”

I operate on this maxim: “The truth shall set you free.” Slaves don’t own the means whereby they can defend themselves against predators…high or low.

Also read:

Evolving on Guns: Considering the Morality of Gun Ownership Now That I Refuse to Be a Victim