NRA Convention Wrap-up

As I’ve mentioned below, I just got back from the NRA Convention/BlogBash – a great time. Below I’ve got a little weekend wrap-up, gun porn, and pictures that just don’t fit anywhere else.

Friday: Mrs. Ahab and I got in Friday, got all checked in and then got to the Expo Center just in time to miss Mitt Ronmey and with not enough time to hear John McCain, although I understand that I didn’t miss very much. I was able to get my new “Gunblogger essentials kit” put together, as you can see below.

Everything I need to be a successful gunblogger is right there, my press pass, Blackberry, camera (in the bag), Red Sox hat, and Beretta Jetfire.

After we got done at the session on Friday, all the bloggers and some readers headed over to Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville, IN where we were treated to drinks by Michael Bane, who brought along Todd Jarrett – the fastest gun in the West, so to speak. After drinks we settled in for dinner at the restaurant in Bass Pro, where I had the pleasure of meeting one of my longest running commenters, ParatrooperJJ. He comments here very often, and I was a neat thing to meet someone who actually reads what I write.

While enjoying dinner, I had the misfortune of getting really excited while talking about the politically incorrect hog hunt I’m putting the details together for this coming summer and made an unfortunate and unintentional pun about sausage, which Pipsqueak was kind enough to record online for posterity.

Friday night I met up with Uncle, Sebastian, US Citizen, Rusty, Kevin, Joe Huffman, Squeaks, TD, Robb, and Bitter and we pretty much sat around the pool at their hotel and drank Jack Daniels – odd that we’d drink Tennessee whiskey in the heart of bourbon country, but whatever.

Saturday I hit the show floor running – I had pictures to take and stuff to blog about those pictures. In addition to the pictures that I have up here, I took a bunch more that I’m going to use for a couple of different series’ I have coming up.

Beretta 90-Two, the “Next-Gen” Beretta pistol. Like all Berettas 92-type pistols, it has a pretty beefy grip, but if your hands are large enough to reach the trigger you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic double action trigger pull. Plus it’s all cool and futuristic looking.

While at the Beretta booth, Mrs. Ahab also snagged this photo of me packing around a Beretta Storm Carbine – I’m locked and loaded and ready to kill some frakin’ Cylons (nerd reference: the Colonial Forces on the new Battlestar Galactica use Beretta Storm Carbines).

I actually really like the forward handgrip on this rifle – because it doesn’t have a true pistol grip stock the forward handgrip really makes for a more stable hold (at least for me) when you’re dry firing the crap out of it at the Beretta booth.

It was also pointed out to me that with my green shirt and satchel bag, I look like I’m preparing to lead some kind of people’s revolution or something like that.

Don’t worry, I’ll have even more gun pictures coming up in a bit – but first back to the wrap up.

After we finished the show floor on Saturday, Mrs. Ahab and I went back to the hotel where we got ready for the Banquet, where Glenn Beck was the keynote speaker. There were several speakers before Glenn, one of whom was the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal. After hearing Gov. Jindal speak, my one thought was “holy shit why aren’t we running this guy” – but I’m content to let him build a great track record and then have him run in 2012 or 2016.

As keynote speaker, Glenn Beck was pretty awesome. His speech hit a lot of conservative hot button issues, from our dissatisfaction with current presidential candidates to gun control issues and immigration. It was an excellent speech – as a sidebar I’m hoping someone got a picture of Glenn’s cummerbund – it had a skull and crossbones on it.

After the banquet, a bunch of bloggers hit the 4th St Live area, which is kind of like an alcoholic’s paradise: you get carded to get onto the street then you can just roll in and out of the dozens of bars in the area. We ended up in the VIP area at the Maker’s Mark Lounge (thanks to USCitizen), and commenced with drinking and carrying-on. We were later joined by Cam Edwards, who hosts Cam & Co. on NRANews.com. It was nice to meet him in person after having been on his show a couple of times. In addition to being funny and spot on, he’s also a life-long Red Sox fan, which makes him okay in my book.

Here we’ve got Squeaks, Joe, Uncle and Robb Allen sitting as we engaged in some kind of unholy camera wars – flashes were going off left and right.

The shenanigans continued as the night went on, we had a great waitress who was so fast I once had a beer that I didn’t even remember ordering.

Sometime around 2am, we all drifted back to our hotels…well, I stumbled since I was staying a block from the bar, and got some shut-eye before Sunday morning.

Sunday morning, we had an informal meeting with the President and founder of GunsAmerica.com, a lot of what we talked about was the state of the industry and the future of online gun sales.

I was able to get most of the session recorded – there was a lot of good information about the future of FFLs, supporting your local stocking dealers, and what we can do as consumers to support the firearms industry and keep us and our children shooting well into the future. I haven’t even yet started in editing that audio, so that post will be forthcoming later this week. That session was one of the highlights of the weekend for me, just because it was such a great way to pick the brain of someone who has been on the cutting edge of firearms retail technology since the mid 90’s.

Sunday was my last day, however before I left I managed to get one photo that needs to be recorded for posterity. As you know, Bitter had broken her foot the first day in town, but she managed to get her hands on an electric scooter for buzzing about the show floor – I got a picture of Sebastian playing on her scooter, which led us to wonder how many ATF regs we’d be breaking if we mounted a gun on the scooter.

I had a fantastic time – meeting other bloggers was great, having almost unlimited access at the NRA con was double great – I cannot express how excited I am for next year in Phoenix. I have a gun porn post I’m working on, as well as a post on itty-bitty carry guns for the ladies, and a bunch of other content I picked up from the show.

Before I close out, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Bitter, who was able to put all of this craziness together. She really did a bang-up job of herding a bunch of crazy ass bloggers and generally getting us to not wreck the joint. Without her hard work and dedication to the BlogBash and this project, none of this would have happened. Bravo Zulu to you!

10 thoughts on “NRA Convention Wrap-up”

  1. Dunno if you’re concerned about such things, but your last name is visible in your press badge.

    Nice pics and coverage, Caleb!!!

  2. Not too worried – since it’s an image it wouldn’t turn up in a google search for my name and if someone really wants my name there are a lot of other places to find it.

  3. Still, its something I’d white out if it were me. Good catch Jay G

    In other news – boy I wish I were there. Too much travel though.

    Tell us more about the hog hunt.

  4. Yeah, I’m not too concerned about my name, a lot of people know I’m a blogger and I don’t have nearly enough traffic to worry too much about that sort of thing. I’m planning the hog hunt for mid-late July (around my birthday). The theme is going to be “hunting with an assault weapon”, because I want to take an SKS hunting as a blog post/article.

  5. “he’s also a life-ling Red Sox fan”

    Is this in the Chinese baseball league?

  6. I think you linked to the wrong post on Squeaky’s blog. I think this should be it.

    I’m not sure that SKS would count as an “assault weapon” since it never met the AWB definition (the anti re-definition, however, includes it by name).

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