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Guns in Kids’ Bedrooms: Red Herring of NRA Show

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  May 9th, 2013 5

I worked at the NRA for 20 years, and during most of my time there, the gold standard of NRA Annual Meetings attendance was a show in Portland, Oreg., in about 1974 where around 35,000 attended. Generally, attendance of 25,000 was thought to be just fine.

Since I left, NRA has gotten a lot more interested in making money (wish they could have had that attitude when I was there) and promoting the Annual Meetings. The number of exhibitors and attendees has steadily grown, to where attendance in the 60-70,000 range is no big surprise. As you would expect, the superheated political environment surrounding this year’s show meant record attendance of more than 86,000.

NRA used more of Houston’s Brown Convention Center than it did in 2006, so the show aisles, while bustling, weren’t packed as they have been sometimes in the past. But Mr. Magoo could see that the crowd was very, very large and enthusiastic.

You would have thought that fact might have led coverage of the event, but instead, an offhand remark made at a convention session seems to have hijacked the attention of the large national media contingent.

Rob Pincus is a firearms trainer and TV personality who has been on various shows, including IMO’s own Personal Defense TV. While discussing home defense use of firearms, he innocuously said that a child’s bedroom can be a good location for a gun safe, since a parent’s first reaction in a crisis is to run check on the kids.

If the gun, securely stored, is there when you arrive, there’s less running around with a gun in your hand when you haven’t necessarily located the intruder. Makes perfect sense to me.

Well, the national media latched onto that one comment, made at one session at a show where there were dozens, and ginned up a couple solid days of outrage, conveniently ignoring the big turnout (and the miserable turnout by anti-gun demonstrators).

There were those who thought Pincus shouldn’t have said what he said in such a public forum, but if he hadn’t, the press would just have latched onto something else. The antis would love to get NRA back to the meek, scared, overly cautious organization I joined in 1976. Harlon Carter and Neal Knox changed NRA’s direction the following year, and it has never looked back.

You can argue if you want that Pincus’ advice is not tactically sound, but not that he should have been afraid to present it. When you are under attack, it’s time to be loud and proud. The only thing we can ever say to satisfy the anti-gun press is “we surrender.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.pincus Rob Pincus

    Thank you for your thoughts on this, Sir, When I was thinking about what to say during my presentation, it never occurred to me that I should “be careful” about what advice I gave because it might be twisted. I was there to give out the best information I could to people interested in keeping their families safe. Similarly, In the aftermath, it has never occurred to me that I should “take it back” or apologize.
    -Rob

    • http://www.downrangedefense.com/ Matt Kaufmann

      Rob, I understand your logic and I as a responsible gun owner and instructor I don’t think this piece of advice is nearly as controversial as people who don’t understand the workings of gun safety, proper gun storage and teaching kids about guns so they aren’t taboo.

      However, if I was a parent I personally would prefer to have a gun the instant I detected an issue rather than hoping I can reach the kids room before getting caught at the pass by a bad guy. Heck, even as a non-parent I feel the same way.

      I’m sure that having words manipulated by the media is upsetting but keep in mind that it means you were noticed. Keep fighting the good fight.

      • Daniel Reed

        Even though what you said was twisted, and we shouldn’t have to worry about what we say, sometimes it’s better in the long run to think first before engaging the mouth. It’s just easier in the long run. Best of luck with these bastard one sided reporters.

      • NeoPrudentist

        All true, but then my answer would be to buy two or more guns (even all the same model if you’ve practiced and become well versed in a particular make and don’t want to translate in a crisis). Put one in the nightstand in a box, and put another similar box in the kid’s room. Spread them through the house as much as space and money allow.

        Then, wherever you are, the gun is that much less far away…

  • James Davidson

    Sir I agree with your statement. I have two safe system. one in Mom and Dad’s room. 2nd in girls room. this was started 18yrs ago with first child. living in not a great area. worked late night over night. Wife home alone she spent most nights in the girls room. To me a safebox was the right thing. over the years my girls see it as back ground. HAVE NEVER tried to mis-use or play with the firearm. nor any guest either. if any questions were asked girls told there friends it was a protection box and not to touch it. it is also why we have landline phone in each bedroom and major rooms in apt. as well as cells. flashlight and ETC. your comment was right on target. I’m glad you said it maybe more folks will think more about family protection. were and what should be placed in there home. Thank you again.

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