pounds. If there is a secret anti-gun conspiracy out there, it manifests in making plastic brochure bags with finger-strangling handles, aimed at crippling the gun hands of the entire membership--.
Observations: everyone I encountered was very polite and courteous, and there was a dearth of rude slogan bumper stickers or t-shirts such as we often see at local gun shows, either for sale or on the attendees. There were very few women. No attendees that I noticed, and a comparative few among the vendor's staffs. At least these all seemed to be definite employees and not "spokesmodels" or "booth babes" hired for the occasion.* Gray hair is very prevalent among the members, such that anti-gun forces may have hopes of outliving the NRA as a formidable lobby in a generation or so. For all that the NRA promotes itself as a
hunter's organization, it seemed that the major emphasis of guns on display ran toward assault-rifle look-alikes and high-capacity/caliber handguns, which implies that "personal protection" is expected to be a major marketing issue to the members, at least in the vendors' view (although in fairness, a lot of the big companies like Remington, Winchester, Savage, Marlin and Weatherby are best known for "sporting" arms--hunting rifles and shotguns--assault-type rifles seem more common because there are lots of accessories you can buy, and those dealers of course have the rifles or mock-ups on hand in order to display their night-sights or whatever).
Of course there were booths for safaris and hunting lodges and excursions, but these seemed to be ghettoized to the edges of the hall while guns and gun accessories (ammunition, optics, custom stocks and grips, knives) held pride of place.
*One of the more ludicous lawsuits of recent times was brought by an anti-gun group attempting to allege that gun makers lured young people into buying guns by "glamorising" gun use, much as cigarette makers did with cigarettes. It was apparent these people had never picked up a gun magazine or catalog. The typical gun ad has a picture of the gun--period--surmounting three columns of specifications in small type. No beach or cocktail parties in sight. If a human being appears in the ad at all, it is usually a craggy old curmugeon in a cowboy hat like Elmer Keith or Jeff Cooper, who, frankly, make Joe Camel seem reasonably suave and debonaire.