Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Bits and pieces from the NRA convention. "One hundred heads, sir." Plus: "Never use a shotgun on a Zombie!!"
The SOF award.
First of all, my chauffeur was my wife Rosey, who did almost all of the driving. (I couldn't brake with my right foot so when I absolutely HAD to be a relief driver for her I'd use my left, OK for some interstate traffic but NG for city.) I didn't say who it was going to be beforehand because we didn't want to advertise the house would be empty. The trip straight up to David Codrea's house in Hudson, Ohio took 14 hours, beginning only after Rose got off work at 4:00PM. I mostly rode in the back seat with my right leg elevated to attenuate the pain (X-rays taken Monday show I have fractured bone in my right foot as well as the knee injury). Anyway, after a couple of hours sleep at David's we took off for the convention in Pittsburgh, leaving Rosey behind with David's gracious wife Maureen. (They had a great time while we were causing trouble at the NRA convention and didn't miss us a bit.)
So David, his brother-in-law Ed and me drove to Pittsburgh. The NRA was true to its word and had press credentials ready for me, which are now hanging above my workstation from the bookcase. I used a cane to gimp around until fellow gun blogger Newbius took note and asked me why I didn't rent a scooter to do the convention. That was easy, I said, because having had to borrow a considerable chunk of the gas money just to get here, I didn't have the funds. Newbius told me I ought to anyway. I got the feeling he thought I looked like excrement gimping around.
So I turned back to doing my post "I are heer. Just in time to hear, according to CBS: 'NRA's Wayne LaPierre to call for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation'" with my laptop from the Internet connections available in the press room.
Before I could finish, I looked up and was astounded to find a scooter parked right next to the table in the newsroom. Newbius had passed the hat amongst the gunbloggers there and they had rented one for me. I was stunned and came close to a Boehner moment right there. And here I am, at the Teludyne Tech Industries exhibitor booth on that rented scooter:
Teludyne Tech in Greer, Sc, makes the TTI Straightjacket Barrel System which they say "radically improves accuracy, stops the effects of heat build-up and dramatically reduces recoil." Users of their product seem to think so too.
My son Matt is due back from Germany in June or July with his family and we have assembled the parts to build a real tack driver of an AR-10 in 7.62 NATO. I think this just might be the icing on the cake.
I had never been to an NRA convention before and was happy to check out all the many displays. One that I found fascinating was the Swiss Gun Collectors Association and their display of Swiss militia weaponry and militaria. Another was Vintage Ordnance Co. of Elizabethtown KY, which offers for sale, among other items, newly manufactured Liberator pistols.
Ah, the Liberator. I have loved the Liberator from the moment I saw the first one decades ago at the Ohio Gun Collectors Show. I love the pistol and I especially love the concept. Long-time readers will recall I have written of the Liberators before in my essay, "What Good Can A Handgun Do Against an Army?"
I also took a trip down memory lane at the Charter Arms table. Way back in the late 70's and early 80's I used to carry a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special with bobbed hammer and shortened barrel on my ankle for when the 1911 just wasn't concealable. Great little pistol, the Bulldog.
Motored up and and chatted with three makers of quality black rifles and parts, Rock River Arms, CMMG and Yankee hill Machine.
Also stopped by the booth of the excellent Tactical Tailor. Matt used some of his products in Iraq (second tour during the Surge, I think) and found them well-made.
Spent some time at the Project Appleseed table. In fact, I ran into a number of Threepers while on the floor, most of whom would come up to me and thank me quietly for my work. Some wanted their pictures taken with me. One, more clandestine, came up behind me and stopped me with his hand on my shoulder and leaned over to say softly, "One hundred heads, sir." That was it, I caught just a glimpse of his face, and then he was gone. I pivoted to see his retreating form, dressed in Marpat.
Met a whole bunch of gun bloggers, some of whom I've had vociferous disagreements with, but all were most friendly and polite. Among them Newbius, of course, and Jay at SnarkyBytes, and the lovely Breda of The Breda Fallacy:
Then there was http://oldnfo.blogspot.com/Old NFO and New Jovian Thunderbolt whose business card offered the advice "Never use a shotgun on a Zombie!!"
I met both Robert Farago and Brad Kozak of The Truth About Guns, and actually dozens more from whom I didn't score a business card. If you met me and your name didn't make this blogger list, please forgive me. My memory really isn't that great when it comes to names.
Two folks I didn't get to meet: General Sebastian Snowflake and the self-described "Bitter Bitch." I asked after them and someone, looking around, said, "Well, they were here a minute ago." Someone else did a great imitation of the Three Headed Knight in Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail: "He's buggered off! So he has! He's scarpered!"
Some names of folks I met at the Second Amendment Foundation reception (Breda was the hostess) for bloggers held at the Courtyard Marriott down from the convention Saturday night: Alan Gottlieb and Joe Tartaro of the Second Amendment Foundation, Dave Workman, one my fellow SOF honorees, and John Lott, Alan Gura, David Hardy, Bob Sanders, former assistant director of ATF and now an attorney who, among other things, defends ATF victims, and of course, the editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine, LTC Robert K. Brown, USAR, Retired.
It was a great honor to receive the SOF award. The fact that LTC Brown was unable to get the NRA to provide him a room to do the ceremony inside the convention spoke volumes.
We left the ceremony early and drove back to David's, where Rosey and me then hopped back in car and drove the two hours to my mom's in Marion, Ohio, where we got six hours sleep and then returned by the same means we arrived, a slightly shorter trip of twelve hours, arriving just at dark on Sunday night.
Thus is the tale, poorly told, of my blitzkrieg on the NRA convention.
To all those who invested in me for this trip, I cannot thank you enough. I'd like to think that I did not waste your gas money, and I did a lot of talking to potential allies, Gunwalker sources and other freedom fighters who engage our common enemy on a variety of fronts which I do not report above for obvious reasons. It was humbling to have your support.
But I have to tell you, I don't want to do that again anytime soon. At least not until my various wounds heal.