Photo by Nicholas Phillips
Some 500 booths were being set up today for the NRA conference
Whoowee! The America Center was all a-bustle yesterday with fork lifts bleeping, booths erecting, gun-lovers registering, and Daily RFT
trying not to have an over-stimulated panic attack.
Today begins the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits; last time this happened in St. Louis, more then 64,000 people showed up. Organizers are expecting 70,000+ this year, not to mention some GOP heavyweights (e.g., Mitt Romney) who will speechify tomorrow afternoon
But perhaps the real stars of the show will be the firearms themselves! Got a weak spot for over-the-top assault rifles? NEMO
will tempt you. Handguns? Try Glock
or Smith & Wesson
. What about shotguns? Make yourself comfortable at Bennelli
Yeah. There's gonna be guns.
But that's not all. This NRA shindig has more than 500 booths spread across 340,000 square feet
. Here's our mini-preview of some off-the-beaten-track vendors:
-- Zealous hawkers of swords, spears, blowguns, machetes and tomahawks; the video demos
will cleave your brain. Ka-Bar Knives
-- Their slogan is "Hardcore lives. Hardcore knives." It's gonna be hardcore, you guys.Mil-Tac Knives
-- They offer "Urban Survival Kits," which rest assured will go fast at this conference if/when downtown runs out of Coffee-mate. PS Products
-- Get your stun guns and pepper spray! (Think: Stocking stuffers.)Pyramid Air
-- World's largest retailer of paintball guns. Yes you CAN afford it because you're living with your parents. SABRE
-- Their pepper spray has been "Making Grown Men Cry Since 1975." Cubs fans can relate. OFFBEAT ACCESSORIESAndrew's Custom Leather
-- They boast that one of
their holsters was worn by Sasha Baron Coen
in "The Dictator" (not yet released).
One of Birchwood Casey's "Darkotic" zombie targets
-- They sell "splattering" targets that all you to shoot at zombies and human-eating beasts. (See right)CCW Breakaways
-- They make clothing-concealed holsters, like DeNiro used in "Taxi Driver," only these are pleated khakis. Conceal City
-- Their "pager" holsters may conceal your gun, but will never conceal the fact that you look like you are still wearing a pager
. FOR YOUR FEMININE/CRAFTSY SIDEPacking In Pink
-- This company offers girly firearm-related accessories. Their philosophy: "Just because I shoot like a man doesn't mean I have to look like one." Agreed.The Buffalo Wool Company
-- They use real bison wool to make hats and scarves and stuff.
African Elephant Hair Bracelets -- These are made with fake elephant hair, FYI.Bond Arms
-- They make really small guns; some are pink, for girl protection! Others are apparently used to shoot snakes.