Where did the baby feet in a jar on Glenn’s radio desk come from? Well, here’s your answer:
The following is part of an ongoing chronicle of what is happening backstage at the NRA in Houston, TX. Mark Mabry, a member of TheBlaze and The American Dream Labs, will be telling not only the story of Glenn Beck’s time at the NRA, but of the everyday Americans making a stand for their rights. Earlier entries can be found further down the page.
by Mark Mabry
At breakfast I sat across from a man I’ll call “Joe”.
He was probably in his seventies (sorry if I’m off Joe). The quality of his suit, which was sharp and natural, combined with the pin on his right lapel bespoke… sway.
I put down my bran muffin.
“Great conference, eh?”
Joe probably thought I was hitting on him.
“Yeah, they all start out that way…” He was genuine.
“Nice pin, I realize that you’re probably more important than I’m aware off, so I apologize for my ignorance, but…” and I proceeded to interrupt his breakfast.
He was important. Joe, who asked not to be named, indulged me patiently, even generously it turned out.
After exchanging pleasantries we got down to talking. Joe had a Southern drawl, he lives in Virginia. And while he didn’t talk a lot, he said a ton.
We talked about the 2nd amendment, about people that attend a conference like this, about the state of childhood education. His grandkids were older than my kids. He dropped a few gems on me…
“Intolerance used to be a virtue. But our kids are taught differently than I was, then your parents were, or even than you were…” (He correctly pegged my age at “the sunny side of forty”).
Now, Joe isn’t a bigot. We didn’t get much into politics, but I suspect that having said that about intolerance that he meant something completely different than how we define the word today… that is, he wasn’t speaking in terms of sexual preference.
His thoughts were deeper. They dealt with discernment. He seemed concerned that our kids weren’t even being challenged to make their own decisions between right and wrong.
Then we got to the second amendment.
“Most people haven’t been to a country that is oppressed. They don’t understand what it feels like to be helpless.”
And with that word, “helpless”, Joe had found his sweet spot.
“I’ve talked to people who have looked down the barrel of a gun… the wrong side. They feel helpless. So they become gun people. They do to it to never feel that way again.”
Joe was matter of fact, but there was depth to his words. There were seventy-something years to his words.
To him, guns are about avoiding “helplessness”.
Or in Blaze terms…
Being out of Control.
by Mark Mabry
I came to the NRA National Convention last year with Glenn Beck. This year he asked me to come back and be a fly on the wall again… to write some of my impressions of what is going on.
Before I start on this year though, I have to expiate last year’s stories, because they matter. They’re relevant.
Scene 1: NRA Convention St. Louis
Glenn was down that week. Heavy.
“Are we even making a difference?”
Sometimes he would email this question in the middle of the night to people in the company.
We hit the NRA trade show floor right away. Not wanting to detract, Glenn threw on a ball cap… (evidently he felt that his only distinguishing physical feature was a shock of white hair and that being 6’4 with a face that had recently graced the TVs of most redhouseholds in the nation wouldn’t give him away).
Walking through a cafeteria of about 2000 people, someone said quietly to his friend…
“Is that Glenn Beck?”
One guy stood up and started cheering. Soon the entire hall was cheering. I looked over at Glenn who by now had removed the hat.
He was wiping his eyes.
Question answered. A difference was being made.
Scene Two: Preparing for the Speech
Glenn was knocking them dead in speech rehearsal with Stu and Pat in his room.
In the car to the stadium Glenn says, “This is the funniest talk I’ve ever done.”
Then he asked, “Who is speaking before me.”
“Larry the Cable Guy, sir,” came an answer from the front seat.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Glenn suddenly didn’t feel so funny.
Talk notes be damned.
Scene 3: Glenn’s Green Room
Larry the Cable Guy was killing it and the crowd was roaring. Glenn was watching the green room TV- crossing out jokes on his talk.
A knock at the door. It was Ted Nugent and his beautiful wife.
Ted was dressed in camouflage shorts, a t-shirt, a cowboy hat… and flip flops if I remember correctly. Glenn was in a suit.
Ted ran in and gave him a hug. The hug itself isn’t totally relevant, but the type of hug is why I mention it at all.
This was a mutually empathetic hug. It was quick, but weighty.
It was a moment between two men, who at the time, were under attack by some of the best PR guys in the business. To marginalize either Glenn or Ted would be to marginalize a whole swath of people.
Bible, Guns, and Religion people.
Nugent sat on the couch and launched into a story about Chesty Puller,
“the baddest F–er to ever put on a Marine uniform.”
Then he tried to do what I’d seen congressmen, businessmen, and well meaning conservatives try to do for the prior 6 months. He started,
“Glenn, what’s your deal with Romney?”
Glenn’s answer isn’t the important thing, because he had given it on air a hundred times. But Ted did something different.
With no double-speak, no agenda, no pending appointment in DC; Ted said to Glenn,
“I have sat knee to knee with Mitt. He’s the real f—ing deal.”
“Where is he on guns?” Glenn asked.
“He’s right. He’s with us.”
Ted had tears in his eyes at this point.
“Glenn, he is for real. Trust me.”
Ted gave the best pitch I’d ever heard on Romney… and possibly the only one that would have been rated R.
2012 was do or die time, we all knew it.
We knew that the Second Amendment was hanging by a thread and that with a Democrat congress and Obama back in office, we’d have to go through hell to keep it uninfringed upon.
Welcome to hell.
Any question that we had in 2012 is now a reality.
The next three days will be historic.
Hall of Fame football player Deion Sanders was in Dallas, TX on Tuesday and happened to stop by the Glenn Beck Studios!
@glennbeck great meeting you today my man. Your set is awesome and you’re a good dude. God bless you and All you do. Truth
— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) April 30, 2013
We’re sure Glenn will have more on radio tomorrow, and will be sure to rub the encounter in the face of Stu and Pat.
Friday in New York City, Glenn was given the Disruptive Innovation Award at the TriBeCa Film Festival. Here’s a look behind the scenes with Glenn at the event.