HOUSTON (Texas) | Selling bullets in bulk such as candy, handguns in all colors, exhibits of hundreds of combat rifles, furniture and saddlebags that act as storage for revolvers, and children as young as 10 years old who handle such large weapons that they: The newspaper immersed himself in the incredible world of gun madness yesterday in Texas.
Amidst hundreds of booths displaying firearms and military equipment, thousands of U.S. gun enthusiasts of all stripes flock to the George W. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Australia, Texas.
Since Friday, they have come to discover all the latest news from the 636 exhibitors participating this year in the 151e convention of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest annual gathering of arms manufacturers.
The excitement of being at this high gathering place for gun enthusiasts can be read on the faces of these Americans, who smile smugly at the thousands of guns they discover in the hall of more than 56,000 square feet.
“I have been waiting for two years, impossible to miss this gathering,” says one visitor with a very pronounced Georgian accent.
From knives to assault weapons, through night vision goggles, bulletproof vests and also accessories of all kinds such as jewelry and handbags: there is something for everyone.
Pink, sky blue, apple green, gold: it is even possible to choose the color of your weapon in some stores.
And it’s not just adults who are targeted by the manufacturers, as young people are clearly targeted with designs and colors that appeal to them and are reminiscent of toys.
There is no evidence that an 18-year-old four days earlier killed 21 people, including 19 children, by using a assault weapon like those that can be seen everywhere. “Kids can also find air rifles or revolvers to start training and learn to handle larger weapons,” explains George Ford, of Umarex, a company that specializes in making this type of weapon.
Everywhere in the huge exhibition hall you could see very young children having fun taking the firearms that stood on the counters and aimed at brothers and sisters, under the eyes of their parents.
Others, usually teenagers, looked carefully at the details of the pistols they were holding in their hands while listening intently to the salesman explaining all the details of the item.
And in this predominantly male world, women also find all kinds of accessories made especially for them, such as handbags or earrings made of fired ammunition.
Pam Hogstad from BosumBuddy makes weapon holsters for women that are clipped to your bra for extra discretion. Since arriving in Houston for her very first NRA Convention, her counter has piqued the curiosity of many mothers who want to try her creations.
“It’s important to offer that kind of product to women, it helps us feel safer by carrying our weapons on us and feeling we have power,” explains the 65-year-old woman, who always says wearing a gun on her as she leaves her house.
“We can no longer say that weapons are reserved for men, they are for us too,” she falls, laughing.
FURNITURE THAT HIDE WEAPONS
Jill Herro, president of the company Secret Secret Department Furniture, has created furniture that allows you to store your weapons in your home, “without the bad guys finding them,” she explains. This businesswoman, who started a business 12 years ago, works for an Amish company. “It allows me to sell beautiful furniture that lasts and is made at home,” she says proudly.
A VERY SPECIAL HANDBAG
Since Texans have the right to carry their weapons on the street, JoAnna Guelker decided to create her series of handbags, especially to be able to carry her gun discreetly. But it’s hard to sell and make your brand known. “Gun stores are a little reluctant to take my products because their customers are mostly men, and men don’t buy bags, not even to give them to their wives,” she says.
JEWELERY CREATED BY AMMUNITION
Andy Thompson, owner of the Spent Rounds store, and his wife have created jewelry made from ammunition that has already been fired. The family business is very successful because of the originality of its creations, believes Mr. Thompson. “Our creations, we send them to France, Belgium, Great Britain. It really likes everywhere,” says this man from Georgia.
TO CARRY YOUR WEAPON WITH YOUR BRA
Pam Hogstad from BosumBuddy makes weapon holsters for women that are clipped to your bra for extra discretion.
PATTERNS SELECTED AS SUCH
One of the counters allowed visitors to buy balls of different caliber in bulk, as if they were candy sold in a confectionery, at the NRA Congress. They just had to fill a bag and get it weighed.
EXTREMIST GROUP MAKES ITS PRESENCE MEASURED
The American extremist group The Proud Boys moved in front of the convention center where the NRA convention is being held. According to the Washington Post, the organizers of the event banned the dozen members from attending the convention. They eventually posted themselves in front of anti-gun protesters protesting in front of the building … to protest against them.