Like the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, the NRA’s Annual Meetings stand as a pilgrimage every gun owner should make at least once in their lives. Think of it as a SHOT Show of sorts for every man (and woman).  It’s big. It’s fun. You meet all sorts of people and see lots more. And almost everyone is courteous to a fault in what becomes the safest place in America for an entire weekend.

I had a great time at Indianapolis for NRA 2019.

Like 81,000 NRA members, I prowled the convention floor checking things out there. I saw countless new products and plenty of older ones. History came alive in some of the collector association booths, too.  Museum-quality old guns, many with a lot of pedigree behind them in fact.

And Rock Island Auction had a genuine Gatling gun, projected to sell for six-figures.

Not only that, but plenty of celebrities, political types and positive role models roamed the floors as well.

With my press credentials, I snuck in an hour before the floor opened to the general membership Saturday morning. That allowed me to make great time cruising through maybe a fifth of the floor space in under an hour.

Fifteen acres of guns and gear. That’s 653,400 square feet. More than a grown man can cover in a single day and give it the time it deserves, even without the crowd there. Add in ten or twenty thousand people at any given time and things slow down considerably.

Among the first surprises for me…tucked into a corner of the floor, I found a vendor selling Trump 2020 gear with a constant line of ready buyers.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

And speaking of President Donald Trump, not far from the Trump 2020 booth, a company would custom-make magazines for your AR-15.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

MAGAzines. Certainly worth a chuckle.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

The NRA Convention had plenty of gear that would cause those with Trump Derangement Syndrome to melt down at every turn.

Obviously, the AR-15 reigns as America’s favorite rifle and booth after booth there sold either ARs, accessories for ARs or parts for ARs. Many of said booths were staffed by men with beards. Beards are very popular with the tactical crowd.


GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

At the same time I saw companies with ironic slogans.  Troy:  “There is only one name to remember.”  I remember them for hiring the former Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis in their training division, only to fire him the day after I wrote about it.  Yes, Jodi Weis, the political hack police chief that campaigned relentlessly to ban the products Troy sells to everyday Americans.  While Troy canned Weis, they didn’t fire Lon Horiuchi’s partner from Ruby Ridge which earned them much additional derision from many in the gun culture.

Towards the end of my Saturday pre-show sprint, I ran into a guy casually-dressed guy, sloppily concealing his gun and spare magazines and wearing one of those Secret Service-style earpieces. Initially I didn’t think too much about him until I saw another guy in a suit, with an ill-fitting jacket thanks to all the stuff on his waist and a matching radio earpiece. Somehow I knew his pocket dump would dwarf mine.

“Hmm, someone important is here,” I thought to myself. So I followed them and not twenty yards later, I ran into this guy and introduced myself just as they were about to start the National Anthem.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

A half-hour later, I ran into them again before it got too crowded.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

In talking with a couple of police officers in the press room as I waited to start the day, I found out Donald Jr. spent a day or two hunting near Crawfordsville, Indiana earlier in the week. The cops mused back and forth on the surprisingly small Secret Service protective detail traveling with him.

I chuckled and said Junior probably carries and, not only that, he probably shoots pretty well himself. In the interests of security I’ll leave the rest of the details out.  Suffice it to say, Donald Junior is one of us.

Meanwhile, among the exhibitors, just about everyone you can think of in the gun world had a booth. Of course, all the big companies like GLOCK, SIG, Beretta and others had massive, elaborate set-ups with scores of guns for people to handle along with neat displays.

Sadly, sloppy muzzle control seemed the norm for most and more than once I smiled and nodded a thank you to people who consciously avoided muzzling me.

Along with all the big companies, hundreds of smaller vendors showed off their products, too, hoping to get noticed to become the next Smith & Wesson or Springfield Armory. A handful of booth babes drew small lines for signed promo pictures and/or posters. I had a lot more respect for companies that had war heroes signing photos.

The biggest lines I saw, though, waited to see Chuck Norris at the GLOCK booth. Like the late great Gunny, Norris seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with his fans.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

Frankly, I was kind of surprised by Norris. I expected a larger-than-life guy. Instead, I saw a guy that was probably about 5′ 8″ and weighed about 160 pounds or so. He looks to be in pretty good shape for a 79-year-old guy.

GSL/TTAG photo by John Boch

Norris, even with his reputation as a seriously tough guy had armed protection, which surprised me. “Chuck Norris needs bodyguards?” I thought to myself. My wife said much the same when I mentioned it to her. Not just one or two, either. It looked to me that Norris had more “executive protection specialists” than the President’s son. And Norris’ guards looked a lot less friendly, I might add.

How tough is Chuck Norris?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Put your drink down before you read these

When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.

Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

When Chuck Norris falls in water, Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet. Water gets Chuck Norris.

Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.

Nothing can escape the gravity of a black hole, except for Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris eats black holes. They taste like chicken.

Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.

Chuck Norris can play the violin with a piano.

Jesus can walk on water, but Chuck Norris can swim through dry land.

Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the Element of Surprise.

Chuck Norris knows everything there is to know – except for the definition of mercy.

MacGyver can build an airplane out of gum and paper clips, but Chuck Norris can kill him and take it.

Chuck Norris will never have a heart attack… even a heart isn’t foolish enough to attack Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris puts the laughter in manslaughter.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is Pain.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. Chuck Norris waits.

Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper inside it.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

In a fight between Batman and Darth Vader, the winner would be Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can put out a fire with a gallon of gasoline.

When Chuck Norris was born he drove his mom home from the hospital….

… And God said, “Let there be light”!
And Chuck Norris said, “Say please.”

Jesus can walk on water, but Chuck Norris can walk on Jesus.

When Bruce Banner gets mad, he turns into the Hulk. When the Hulk gets mad, he turns into Chuck Norris.

Some kids piss their name in the snow. Chuck Norris can piss his name into concrete.

Chuck Norris can blow bubbles with beef jerky.

Chuck Norris doesn’t play “hide-and-seek.” He plays “hide-and-pray-I-don’t-find-you.”

If you Google search “Chuck Norris getting his ass kicked” you will generate zero results. It just doesn’t happen.

There is endless debate about the existence of the human soul. Well it does exist, and Chuck Norris finds it delicious.

Satan went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris thought it was too salty.

Pinatas were made in an attempt to get Chuck Norris to stop kicking the people of Mexico. Sadly, all this has resulted in is Chuck Norris looking for candy after he roundhouse kicks someone.

Chuck Norris once punched a man in the soul.

Chuck Norris can build a snowman out of rain.

When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Chuck Norris kills a ninja, he uses every part.

Chuck Norris is starring in the sequel to “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.  It’s called “Four Funerals and a Funeral”.

Chuck Norris’ hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

If he wanted to, Chuck Norris could rob a bank. By phone.

Chuck Norris uses a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn’t go hunting. Chuck Norris goes killing.

Chuck Norris once delivered a roundhouse kick to the eye… of a hurricane. Today this is known as widely scattered showers.

Chuck Norris is so tough he eats coal and [craps] diamonds.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Even the worst-laid plans of Chuck Norris come off without a hitch.

Guns don’t kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

Chuck Norris once worked as a weatherman for the San Diego evening news. Every night he would make the same forecast: Partly cloudy with a 75% chance of Pain.

If, by some incredible space-time paradox, Chuck Norris would ever fight himself, he’d win. Period.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity. Twice.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

As President Roosevelt said: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.  And Chuck Norris.”

When Chuck Norris does division, there are no remainders.

Chuck Norris eats steak for every single meal. Most times he forgets to kill the cow.

I took advantage of some of the breakout sessions to learn some valuable information from some of the best trainers in America. When you go to the NRA convention, make sure you save some time for the training sessions.  It gives you a chance to sit and rest your tired legs from all the walking while learning from some great instructors.

A perennial favorite of mine, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, gave his famed Sheepdogs! presentation on Friday and I missed it.

And then there’s all the people. I ran into one of my groomsmen (both times) as he walked out of a bathroom. I bumped into my best man (both times) and plenty of other good friends as well. People from all across Illinois and beyond.

That’s the great thing about the NRA Convention…you’re bound to run into someone – or a lot of someones – you know there.

Next year, the NRA’s Annual Meetings will take place in Nashville again. If you live anywhere in the Midwest, I strongly encourage you to make plans to attend. Not only is Nashville a great (and very gun-friendly) venue, but the Country Music Hall of Fame is right across the street and the main touristy parts of Nashville are only a block or three away. 

It makes for a great place to enjoy the local scenery for lunch and then go back to browsing guns and gear.

And then back for an evening of Nashville nightlife.

2 thoughts on “Chuck Norris & Other Sights at NRA Indy 2019”
  1. I’m glad you mentioned it, I forgot to mention the lack of “Treat Every Gun As If It Were Loaded” and “Don’t point a gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy” violations I suffered in the article I wrote about the Exhibition Hall. It was worse than coffee and donuts time with Venezuelan cops or an average Saturday night in South Chicago! God bless the members and attendees, but many pointed “unloaded” guns at live viable human beings every few seconds and at me too! Always raises the hair on my neck when I don’t feel entitled to point back…

  2. As crowded as it was when I was there, it was at times difficult to even pick up a gun without it being pointed at least briefly at someone, unless you were super extra careful, which too many weren’t. At least the guns there all have their firing mechanisms removed, so that’s a plus.

Comments are closed.