From the Editor | A Time for Celebration

posted on April 17, 2024
Frank Miniter

May 16-19 in Dallas, Texas, is Independence Day, with all its pomp and celebration of American freedom. It is a gun show, with all its intriguing firearms and gear. It is a campaign rally—not for one political party, but, instead, for all of those who support the natural human right of self-preservation. It is a revival, a fair, a concert, even a family affair. Yes, I am referring to the NRA’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits—a yearly celebration that also includes Second Amendment-related seminars, great music, a “Wall of Guns,” speeches from prominent pro-Second Amendment politicians and more. For all the details, got to

There is simply no better gathering that celebrates the inclusive, expansive and freeing aspects of American culture. Still, the pro-freedom culture NRA members embody does display a temperament that many in the mainstream media misunderstand, disparage and outright attack, as it does not further their brand of politics; indeed, armed citizens can’t conform to or abide by the gun-control narratives marketed by the mainstream media—at least, not without accepting massive, independence-slaying contradictions in their actions and thinking.

Such is why NRA members and other gun owners’ unwillingness to see their freedom as a problem must appear countercultural to the editorial boards of the The Washington Post, CNN and other such shrinking mainstream-media institutions that behave as if they are voicing the zeitgeist of the American mainstream.

A deeper analysis, however, shows the American cultural stream to be more interesting than that. The main current in a river—located just below the surface—actually flows slightly faster than the water on top. This is why a person in a stream will move slightly faster than a drifting boat, as the boat is riding shallower. In this case, as the mainstream in American culture pushes steadily on purchasing more guns for self-defense and sport, the mainstream media, in this metaphor, are the surface currents, out of sync with the main current beneath them—no wonder so many self-described elites in the media, and other parts of society, are baffled by the popularity of Donald J. Trump.

This, of course, isn’t just metaphor, as America’s 100-million-plus gun owners are clearly a big part of the main cultural flow. This must be evident to anyone lucky enough to be one of the tens of thousands of citizens walking into and around the NRA’s Annual Meetings.

This is so manifestly true that the mainstream media, and the politicians they side with against our right to keep and bear arms, often opt not to even acknowledge this large segment of the actual mainstream; it is just too hard for the media to talk away NRA members’ cheerfulness, their families, their diversity and sameness, their NRA hats and shirts … so they choose to pretend all of these citizens simply don’t exist.

But, with all of that said, it is worth remembering that, as Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is a time for everything … a time to weep and a time to laugh … a time to mourn and a time to dance … .” The election will come in November, but now, for a few days in May, is a good time to celebrate our freedom.


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