I'm glad I didn't stay at the Marriott, because this is some underhanded bullshit. If you tell me when I book my room that I may bring my firearm I fully expect that to be the case when I arrive. What the hell were guests supposed to do when they arrived only to find that management had posted "no-guns" signs at the last minute, making it illegal for them to enter the premises with their firearms?
As Breda points out, Charlotte was far from gun-friendly. I recall reading PDB's guide to North Carolina carry laws and thinking "what a clusterfuck! Why even bother?" Check out comment #19 to PDB's guide for a perfect example of this idiocy.
That reaction is exactly what the anti-gunners want. It's one of the driving forces behind all gun laws. That is, the purpose is to fashion the laws so that they are so onerous, frustrating, convoluted, potentially dangerous, and just plain difficult to comply with that those who care to abide by them just throw their arms up in disgust and say "fuck it!" It's no different than the reasoning behind poll taxes and literacy tests, and it's just as despicable.
Like Breda, I didn't carry at any point while in Charlotte. My being an outsider, and their laws being what they are, it just wasn't worth the hassle and potential risk. Think about that for a second. I am a law abiding citizen who has passed multiple state and federal background checks and has his prints on file with the FBI and state agencies, yet NC carry laws made it practically impossible for me to carry during my stay.
Do you think any of these bullshit laws kept a gangbanger or some 16 year old street thug from carrying around Charlotte? Nope, all they did was disarm a bunch of peaceful, non-felon, CCW-permit holding Americans. They accomplished their goal, to keep me from exercising my rights.
At one point I actually considered not bringing a gun to Charlotte at all. I decided otherwise, and my P6 stayed loaded on the nightstand by the couch. (the hotel screwed up and gave Weer'd and I one bed, so I slept on the couch)
Had I flown I likely would not have carried, but there was no way I was going to drive 9 hours alone & unarmed throughout the night. I hung out with the family Thursday night to celebrate my little sister's 19th birthday, then headed out at O' dark thirty for Charlotte. My father, the big worrier that he is, was not happy to find out I drove to NC alone. He knows I carry, but it's an unspoken thing and I don't know that it's really sunk in for him. My mother on the other hand merely said "Do you have your gun and cell phone?" "OK, have fun & be safe."
Mom may not be as gung-ho and enthusiastic about guns and the 2nd Amendment as I am, but she definitely "gets it." It's been a long process but I'm glad to see her personal growth. Now I've just got to get her her own gun and get her to the point that she's comfortable going shooting on her own. We've gone from her not wanting to be around guns at all, to her having little problem with guns all over the place. That's change I can believe in!
Little by little, this is how we win.
*on a related note, I sent her pictures from the Convention and she spent quite a bit of time asking about the antiques and goofy old carry pieces. I think Breda's right, there's definitely a distinct artistic appeal there. I suspect had mom gone she would've taken a thousand pictures in that area of the exhibit hall and not bothered with the rest.
She also asked who the cute little girl and the crazy looking guy were. I laughed, but refrained from describing Breda as the librarian with the most famous ass in the gun blogosphere and Jay as the crazy, bald Masshole.
I'm looking forward to Pittsburgh next year, where I'll be able to carry without worrying about a myriad of nightmarish laws.