Barnidge: As an attraction, Cow Palace gun shows pack some real firepower
The cars pulling into the Cow Palace parking lot Saturday morning were backed up onto Geneva Avenue. The line of people waiting to spend $10 to enter the North Hall snaked 150 feet back from the ticket booth. Inside the building, another 1,000 or so people were spread across 48,000 square feet and 17 display aisles.Yep. Over 70,000 people attending the NRA convention over this past weekend will attest to that. Friday was packed. Saturday was insane. Sunday was probably the most relaxed day of the three, and it was still pretty busy all day long. There's a lot of folks still interested in firearms, gear, the Second Amendment, and in protecting and preserving all of our civil liberties.
If you never have attended a gun show -- guilty as charged -- the first thing you notice is the crowd such an event can draw.
There was note of racism at the convention, with claims that there was nary a trace of color there. That would have come as a surprise to Bobby Jindal, who spoke at the convention, or to my good friend Rick Ector in Detroit, who not only came to dinner or drinks with us on several occasions but was also interviewed by the NRA's Cam Edwards. Sorry folks, if you're looking for racism, you won't find it in the gun community.
And while the above article notes that men still outnumber women by a substantial margin, there were many women present at the NRA convention. Moms, girlfriends, and wives - and many women there on their own - were walking the crowded aisles. Some pushed strollers; some queried vendors for the perfect concealed carry setup; others looked for their next new firearm purchase. You know, just like men do. Is the crowd predominantly male? Certainly. Are we hostile to women/minorities/etc.? Not in the least.
I certainly wouldn't want to come to a convention that excluded Rick, or Kathy, or anyone else for that matter based on something as trivial as race or gender.
That is all.