Star Power Adds Sizzle on Last Day of NRA Convention

By Prine, Carl | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 2, 2011 | Go to article overview

Star Power Adds Sizzle on Last Day of NRA Convention


Prine, Carl, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


After an estimated 75,000 visitors swarmed through the Downtown Convention Center this weekend, the National Rifle Association wrapped up its 140th annual convention on Sunday.

Long lines of autograph seekers snaked through the halls to see celebrities and politicos, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Fox TV broadcaster Oliver North and R. Lee Ermey, a spokesman for Glock firearms best known as an actor who had roles in "Apocalypse Now" and "Full Metal Jacket."

"I liked a lot of things all week. The speakers were very good. But I liked walking the show floor most of all," said Oliver Clifford, 42, an information technology expert and competitive shooter from Addison, Texas.

The biggest draw yesterday was "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent, a rock star and outspoken advocate for hunters. In an expletive- peppered "battle cry" speech before more than 2,300 fans, Nugent, 62, condemned an "America-hating" President Obama, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, pop icon Tom Petty, "hippies" and many others for what he considers a dismal state of national affairs.

Telling a packed Pittsburgh Ballroom that he regretted never serving in the Vietnam War, Nugent said the best way to honor wounded or dead troops is to "use the freedom they provided us," including owning guns.

He said that if hunters voted together, Obama and the "Mao Zedong fan club in the White House" would be evicted and Attorney General Eric Holder would "face a firing squad. …

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