The last couple of days have been hectic. I got the call on Thursday at about noon-thirty that the Gunwalker T-Shirts were complete and ready for pickup. I dropped everything and rushed over to the printers to get the shirts so I could start packaging them up for shipping. I want them in everyone’s hot little hands by the time I go on vacation.
I rolled in to take delivery of the shirts, and right before I packed them in the trunk, the boss man checked the shirts out one last time. He rejected them, and said that they needed one more pass through the dryer before he was comfortable letting them leave. He didn’t want the paint flaking off in the wash. He asked me to give him an hour. So what could I do? It was about an hour round trip home, so I went next door to the Applebee’s to get some lunch. Right as I came in, a bunch of guys in suits showed up. I didn’t think too much of it. A man’s got a right to wear a suit to work if he wants. And if they all want to go to lunch in a pack, who am I to object?
It got interesting when I was seated right next to them and I started to overhear what they were talking about. Redistricting. I quickly figured out that I was seated right next to a Republican group intimately involved in North Carolina’s redistricting process. I finally interrupted them and asked who they were. Only one was willing to introduce himself, the one guy in the group who was actually a practicing politician. It was Representative David R. Lewis, of Harnett County. I explained that I was a blogger, mostly about guns. Rep Lewis asked if I was a Pro-gun or Anti-gun blogger. When I explained I was very pro-gun, he said that as far as he could tell, there weren’t very many Anti-gun bloggers. I told him that as far as I could tell, there weren’t that many Anti-gun people either. They just got their voices amplified because the media supports them.
They asked me not to eavesdrop, and I did my best not to listen to anything they said. Honestly! And even if I did hear anything, I wouldn’t tell anyone anyway. I decided to do a little research on Representative Lewis. Luckily, the NCGA has everything online, and my Droid 1 is slow, but still capable of getting me the info I need. (Verizon, help a blogger out. Give me a Droid 3!) I checked and he has a 4 star rating with Grass Roots NC. Next I started checking his votes.
I was ready to go back and get the shirts, so I got up to leave. They noticed and made polite sounds of farewell. I said to them, “I’m sorry to interrupt again, but I wanted to say, Representative Lewis, I just looked up two of your votes on the issues I am most concerned about, HB111 Restaurant Carry, and HB650, the vote on the Amendment that stripped out Parking Lot carry. I’m glad to see that you voted correctly in both cases, thank you.” I shook his hand and wandered off to get the shirts.
It’s all well and good to call, write, and blog about how you want your representatives to vote. But here I was, face to face with a Representative, it just made sense to research him and find out if he was really on my side or not. I’m glad that he turned out to be on my side. Had he been wrong, I’d have told him so. He’ll remember this, I’m sure. Hopefully it will mean he’s more likely to vote my way.
So there are some lessons here. One, you never know who you are going to run into. Luckily for them I wasn’t some liberal blogger. Maybe Applebee’s wasn’t the best place for this sort of discussion. Secondly, with the dawn of smartphones, the average well informed citizen can pull up your votes on specific issues and tell you what he thinks of those votes. That’s got to be a scary concept for a pol. And lastly, I learned that Representative David R Lewis is comfortable with me sitting right next to him in Applebee’s, within sight of the bar, carrying a gun. Clearly he’s comfortable with that because he voted specifically to restore my right to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. A man who trusts you with deadly force is your friend.
Now if only the Senate would stop messing about and pass the law so I can actually start carrying in Applebee’s.
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