"CounterAttack" Report


rock jock
February 10, 2003, 05:46 PM
Well, I was waiting for either Jim March, drizzt, or Jeff OTMG to post their review of the CounterAttack Conference this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. But, since they are still recovering, I'll give it a shot.

For those of you who aren't familiar with CounterAttack, it was a first of its kind national symposium on political activism for gun rights. The focus was on tools and tactics to use at the local, state and national level for countering gun-owner stereotypes and anti-gun organizations, using the legal system to challenge gun control laws, and educating ourselves and others about the origins of gun control and why it is harmful.

Personally, I didn't know what to expect, but let me say that I was extremely pleased with what I found. The conference was very well organized and professional. The material was superb and consisted of several keynote speeches by well-known activists in the gun rights movement and twelve different workshops by nationally known speakers, including Ken Blanchard ("Black Man with a Gun"), Neal Knox, Clayton Cramer, Michael Bane, Rick Stanley, Jim Hinter (president of the Canadian National Firearms Association), Michael Badnarik, and our own Jim March. The workshop topics ranged from some very interesting historical research by Clayton Cramer on the roots of concealed-carry bans in the early 19th century to the very lively presentation by Michael Bane on the NSSF's successful PR campaign to introduce nationally-recognized members of the media to the shooting sports in a positive light. Total number of attendees was about 40-50, not including speakers and organizers. Saturday started with a breakfast and opening address, followed by eight separate workshops (attendees had their choice of attending one of two separate workshops during each slot - choosing only one of the two was no easy task), lunch, and a catered dinner with a talk by Ken Blanchard. After dinner, the whole group went to the DFW gun club where we had the place to ourselves. Drizzt and I shared a full-auto MP5 and Jim March set up shop to make some Kydex holsters (including one for my Kimber Compact). I rented a Sig 229 (didn't like it), and several of us also shot our own CCW weapons. Sunday started with a talk by Rick Stanley on his well-publicized civil disobedience efforts in Colorado, and two more workshops.

All in all, it was a great experience. The topics were timely and informative, the speakers were as good as any I have ever heard, and the fellowship with other shooters and gun-rights enthusiasts was invaluable.

There is much that I missed, so I am sure some of the other attendees will chime in (and I know that drizzt has several good pics he took). The plans by NorthBridge Training Institute are to do this again next year at several different locations. I would encourage everyone to attend that can make it.

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Jim March
February 10, 2003, 07:10 PM
I just came staggering home :).

My, what fun. I think we had a bit more folk than Clayton figured, about 70 all told Saturday, a hair less Sunday as some had to take off.

See also Clayton's blog:


His first impressions are up, with probably more to come.

It was worth it to me just to meet Neal Knox, Kenn Blanchard and others, to see Clayton again (he used to live fairly close to me in California).

I think the "public records session" will turn into a more organized paper treatment of the subject that I'll try and sell somewhere, and probably provide the basis for a 2-hour class on the subject that I'll try and organize in the SF Bay Area somewhere soon.

The sociology grad student that was running "studying our tribe" interviewed me in some detail, Clayton, David Rostcheck and I assume others. Knox, I hope, though I don't know. She interviewed David late Sunday in my hotel room, while I was in the bathroom making David a holster for his Kahr 40 :D - every once in a while I'd pop out to do some more fitting, and when it was done we kept talking until...jeez, just before midnight.

I *hope* she comes to understand us as well as she seems to. I don't *think* we're going to see a paper like "my time with the FREAKS!" but there's always that risk :D.

February 10, 2003, 09:54 PM
If I can find somplace that will allow me to reliably share photos, I'll post some.

I thought it was all really worthwhile, and was very interesting. If you ever get the chance to hear Kenn Blanchard speak, take advantage of it.

Right now I'm trying to figure just how much of my stuff I've gotta sell to get me one of those MP-5s.

rock jock
February 10, 2003, 11:11 PM
They were addicting, weren't they?

Jim, who was the grad student? The tall redheaded chick?

rock jock
February 10, 2003, 11:15 PM
drizzt, how about posting a few pics on this thread, with one pic per post?

Jim March
February 10, 2003, 11:20 PM
EMail me any and all pics, I'll upload 'em to my server space, get back to you with the URL.

Here's one Clayton sent me:


February 11, 2003, 12:27 AM
Sounds cool, especialy the MP5. Would have liked being there. I'm very interested in gun rights and right to carry. Been busy of late trying to turn my leaf over, it's a heavy one. Later, I'll get more involved with local gun events, meetings, NRA, Calif Rifle and Pistol Association doing and such...


Member in good standing:

National Rifle Association
NRA Second Amendment Task Force
California Rifle and Pistol Association
Gun Owners of America
Gun Owners of California
North American Hunting Club
Wildlife Forever
Second Amendment Foundation

I support:

United States Shooting Team
Civilian Marksmanship Program

Mark Benningfield
February 11, 2003, 12:56 AM
Hello All.

Wow!!! Had a GREAT time! I learned a TON of stuff, and some of the ideas I had before the conference are really firming up, plus a whole herd of new ones that I got while I was there.

Ditto on the MP5! I may have to hock my house to get one of those babies! :D While a lot of the attendees groused a bit at having to choose between workshops (including me at times), on reflection I think it worked out well because it forced me to FOCUS on particular paths. One of the MANY things I learned over the weekend was that before you attempt any grassroots activism activity, you MUST decide on what you want to accomplish and focus on that.

I want to thank the speakers for their time and efforts, because I am firmly convinced that the information and advice I got was worth several times what I paid for it. We DEFINITELY need to do this again and more often. The more we can connect face-to-face and pool our talents and information, the better we can all come to understand that this is a national effort, and that we're all in it together.

February 11, 2003, 02:20 AM
My knowledge level went up several notches as a result of this weekend.

We snapped a few picks at Counter Attack but due to a technical problem and being unable to charge the battery we were only able to use the camera Saturday night.

some pics (http://www.dfwgunsafety.com/stuff/CounterAttack/counterattack.htm)

The student conducting the research is Christy Allen and she is to my left in the first photo on the page. I will be organizing these better but for now I have these pics on the site, if you have more pics I would like to sync up with you offline to exchange them.

Jim March
February 11, 2003, 03:04 AM
OMG I came out lookin' completely whacked on that second pic with me in it (holding the holster-in-progress).

In the first picture in the set Greg Lirette linked to, the gal name of Christy Allen is the sociologist. She's gone from "vaguely anti-gun, because of general conditioning" to at least thinking we're sane and not being freaked out at all about guns and realizing there's something right about what we're up to, and wrong with the grabbers.

February 11, 2003, 11:25 AM
Here's Jim Hinter with the MP5....

February 11, 2003, 11:26 AM
Here's Rock Jock....

February 11, 2003, 11:28 AM
I don't know who this goofy-looking guy was, but he seemed to be having a lot of fun.....


February 11, 2003, 02:51 PM
Another big bonus we had, that turned out a lot better than I expected, was that there was a Mary Kay Cosmetics conference going on in the room across the hall. Our Second Amendment Sisters table got a lot of attention from them, and it was generally quite positive. Several of the ladies confessed to being CHL holders, and were quite adamant that nobody better try takings their guns away. Looks like the SAS might be getting a membership spike after this....


rock jock
February 11, 2003, 06:38 PM
you know, I really expected to see a lot more pink Caddy's in the parking lot.

February 11, 2003, 08:16 PM
and thanks to Jim March for a fine holster.

Good thing I had that Surefire along after the tactical Vidal Sassoon (sp) kydex flexinator blowed up the breaker.


Jim March
February 11, 2003, 10:01 PM

Ya, my friggin' hairdryer blew a circuit breaker in one of the range's back rooms, and they couldn't find the breaker switch. Jeez. It's only a standard 1800watt hairdryer (in TACTICAL black...ehhh...with purple trim. :scrutiny: Sigh. Hey, it was ON SALE! :D. And it's enough to "flexinate" .060 grade kydex. For the .090 grade belt connections, it takes too long so I use a Bic lighter.)

We had to pack up and move to another room. Definately embarassing. At least the other room's wiring didn't give out.


Hey, my holsters may be funky, but on 1911 models I can carve a safety stop specific to that gun and safety and desired grip angle, so that they can't come off-safe in the holster.

rock jock
February 12, 2003, 12:11 AM
Two big thumbs up on Jim's holsters. They are simplicity defined, but entirely practical.

Jim March
February 13, 2003, 06:07 PM
More pictures:


Another thing: David Rostcheck has set up a "Counterattack mailing list" just for attendees, invitation only. If you're an attendee and haven't signed up yet, DO SO. Quickly. There's going to be some neat stuff float around on there, that will appear before it shows up anywhere else.

If you enjoyed reading about ""CounterAttack" Report" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!