Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Second Amendment Foundation
I’d been attending and speaking at the Gun Rights Policy Conference for 5 years. But I was at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in Pennsylvania and ran into Alan Gottlieb and Julianne Versnel. I got a handshake and a hug. That’s when I knew that the firearm community is family. I’d met Alan and Julianne several times at GRPC over the years, but I didn’t know they remembered me until that day.
With this past weekend being GRPC weekend, it seems fitting that I line up Julianne’s interview. You can watch Gun Rights Policy Conference 2021, which is all virtual, on the Second Amendment Foundation’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. There’s several speakers from all over the country and the world, talking about what’s going on in the gun community. And yes, if you’re not a member of SAF you can join at saf.org.
I was excited to have Julianne in the passenger’s seat, well, it was HER car. We spent some time surveying the buildings around Bellevue, WA, and some of the devastation from the riots last year. We also talk about Alan liking Cracker Barrel and Julianne liking Steak N Shake. We also talk about GRPC’s of the past, how it started with a small handful of speakers and how it’s grown to over 90 speakers and 1,000 attendees in the last in-person conference in 2019. She also tells us that organizing the conference can be stressful and that once they thought of getting everyone gift cards for coffee since the hotel coffee is about $80 a gallon. Plus tax. And tip!
Firearm ownership ran in Julianne’s family. Her father was always a hunter and he had to save all his shotgun shells to reload them. And when her mother was pregnant with her, she was out hunting deer, and Julianne still has those antlers in her office. For her father, guns were just a part of life and a part of what people did as much as it was a civil right to do so.
Julianne tells us when she met Alan when they were working in Washington, DC. He convinced her to help SAF with some things, which led to them getting married a few years later. When they married, she kept her maiden name. She also stayed at home for a number of years to raise their children. When the children were older, she started doing more with SAF, traveling internationally for some groups that SAF works with. Julianne is the only woman on the committees, which gives Alan time to spend time hanging with the wifes of the others in the group.
She has been involved in working with the United Nations for 4 weeks every summer. She has great insight on how things work there. She gives us concerns about the Arms Trade Treaty and that if things don’t go well, the Treaty will be considered a convention and the Biden administration will agree to it.
I really enjoyed the time with Julianne. She’s a wonderful woman with amazing connections around the world. I’m honored that she took the time to share some stories with us and to pull the curtain back a little about GRPC. I love running into her and Alan at other events besides GRPC.
If you’re not a member, join SAF. If you are a member, consider becoming a lifetime member.
“I’d take my father’s revolver and put it on the night table.”
“I grew up this way. And we just moved the revolver.”
“My father was, what would be considered very conservative, but I didn’t know that at the time.”
“Back in the old days, nobody was trying to take away your firearms.”
“I grew up with sort of everything about that, but I never thought there was anything odd about it.”
“Without the United States, there was no funding.”
“The United States spends a hugely disproportionate amount of their money to people who hate us!”
“It’s hard to get the gun, but have the silencer.”
Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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