The NRA’s Disarming Deception

Topeka Capital-Journal – 2001

The National Rifle Association whooped it up at its national convention in Kansas City over the weekend. Members all but danced in the aisles as President Charlton Heston told them they saved the American way of life by helping elect George W. Bush, and executive director Wayne LaPierre, who really runs the NRA, declared threats to the nation’s freedom still exist.

The hootin’ and hollerin’ gun owners have reason to party right now, because everything is going their way. Membership may be at an all-time high, even without counting the dead members. There is only one major anti-gun bill in Congress, and it isn’t expected to pass.

Heston was elected to a fourth one-year term as president. He was presented a mint-condition colonial musket by the gunmen’s group, and he spoke for all of them when he held it aloft and said he would give it up only when it is taken “from my cold, dead hands.”

LaPierre and other speakers ripped the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill that would limit political ads by the NRA and similar groups two months before an election, calling it an effort to destroy First Amendment rights to free speech, thus endangering the Second Amendment’s imagined rights to own guns.

All this is so much baloney. Continue reading

The Abdows & Roye Weeks

Dick Snider
Topeka Capital-Journal – 1999

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — George and Calema Abdow and their five children were neighbors of ours for about 10 years when we lived in Kensington, Md., and during that time we saw them go from near financial ruin to riches. More specifically, they went from a busted fast food franchise to the beginnings of a business empire, and they did it the hard way.

George started over by selling flowers on a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C. By the time we moved back to Kansas he was the dominant figure in this end of the business, with other vendors working for him all over D.C. and into Maryland and Virginia. In the years that followed he became one of the biggest, if not the biggest, flower wholesaler in the area. Continue reading