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February 06, 2008

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SHOT Show: Fear and Looking in Las Vegas

Have just returned from Las Vegas and doused myself with potassium permanganate to ward off incipient cultural infection. Anyway, here are some notes on what I learned.
A Mr. W. Heavey of Virginia reported that he had a nearly empty 8-ounce toothpaste tube confiscated from him at Dulles International in Washington en route to the show. The TSA undoubtedly zeroed in on Mr. Heavey because of his furtive and shifty demeanor, and when he pointed out to the TSA functionary that it would be pretty tough to blow a hole in a plane with 2 ounces of toothpaste, she replied with the full fury of a low-level flunky with the regs on her side:


Unfortunately, she did not have him beaten as well.
At one of the shoots that take place the day before the show opens, we were given range bags (durned nice ones, too). I looked inside mine to see if anyone had left a wad of money and noticed a little tag that said "Made in Vietnam." By sheer chance I was standing next to a friend who had been a career soldier until he got the hell shot out of himself in Southeast Asia, and I pointed the tag out to him.

"Why did we even bother?" he said, and walked off to shoot.

_dsc6431_2I don't know what our photographer was able to come up with, but there was a distinct shortage of booth babes at this show. I looked seriously, and was able to find maybe three or four. Do they hide until after I passed by? We will have to wait until everyone gets back to find out.
The major fashion statement at this show was the tactical pack. If you didn't have an Army-pattern camo, or coyote, or black, ballistic nylon pack with lots of pockets and straps and MOLLE loops, you were plainly not with it.  A tactical pack marked you as high-speed and low drag, of which I am neither, so maybe it was OK.

More to come.


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I have seen a lot of those so-called High-Speed packs and let me assure you, it makes you neither high-speed nor low drag. Odds are, they have never filled it with Chow, Ammo or Water for a real patrol, they just like to "Back Pack" with it.

More Booth Babe Photos please!!




I'm seeing more and more products coming from Viet Nam. I see that guy's point though. For what we sacrificed in that country, and now to be treating them as we do. I guess I feel worse about all the trade we do with China. I probably feel even worse about all the oil we buy from Islamist nations.
I also shudder to think that Mr. Heavey has been at that show all this while sans toothpaste!


Maybe the Booth Babes were sporting a new urban camo pattern that made them hard to notice. Dave, thanks for reporting on the trends that take my money. Hopefully, you saw a bright future for the shooting sports.

Bernie Kuntz

We all can thank Bill Clinton for establishing relations with Vietnam. We should have let those bastards whither on the vine. I buy absolutely nothing made in Vietnam and do my best to avoid buying anything from China.

Ralph the Rifleman

"Have just returned from Las Vegas and doused myself with potassium permanganate to ward off incipient cultural infection."
Dave, now that is some funny Shi*!
Any new gadgets like a GPS, flare shooting,utility tool, camp stove out this year?


I carry and use a Cabela's Visa Card (for the points - you can't beat it) and for several months I've been thinking about writing them re the merchandise they carry that's made in China. I'm going to ask that they start indicating in their catalogs where their stuff is made so I can make the choice to buy Chinese or support the "Made in the USA" products. As a Vietnam Vet, the "Made in Vietnam" tag doesn't bother me near as much as the Chinese stuff. Dave's comments have made up my mind and that letter is going out this afternoon. Thanks for the prompt.


Seems to me the question you should be asking isn't "should we buy from vietnam or not." It's "why the hell did we go there in the first place if we're gonna be trading partners 40 years later."

Chad Love

Best blog post title of the year so far. My synapses are spaced a bit far apart so it took me a second (but just) to get it...


U.S. sold its sould for cheap clothes. haha we will never learn. I guess though if we have to buy from someone I would rather it be Veitnam then China. We already fought our war with Vietnam. China is just getting armed up for our war with them. Maybe in a few years though I can get hiking boots from Iraq.


Las Vegas? What is this Las Vegas you speak of? Place of booth babes and many guns? Sounds like heaven too me. Except for this Mr. Heavey character?

Del in KS

Dang, has it been 40 years since I left RVN? I guess time really flies.


Hygiene problems aside, what about the guns? Did you see anything we might want (Besides the booth babes of course)?

Clay Cooper

incipient cultural infection? Had to look that one up. Sounds like going into a restaurant in South Texas drinking the water and squirt thru the eye of a needle at 100 yards with a 4 mile range! Man their water is nasty down there!

• Incipient Posthuman: The Bad News
... result of multiple causes, including a lack of food, common and preventable infections ... around the world and hampers countries in their social, economic and cultural ...
o www.incipientposthuman.com/bad.htm
o • Cached page
• Incipient Posthuman: Glossary of Terms
... how well the body metabolizes food or fights infection ... Incipient: of, relating to, or occurring at the start of ... Meme: A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural ...
o www.incipientposthuman.com/glossary.htm
o • Cached page
o Show more results from www.incipientposthuman.com

David, at all the shows and NRA conventions, have you ever come across a Gentleman Randy Pitney? He was in charge of the shooting program at the University in Fairbanks AK.



Thank you Mr. Petzal for your fine report. But after the photo, I don't think my wife will let me go to the show.(haha)

Mr. Heavey could in fact be considered lucky. After having spoken the words, "...blow a hole in the plane..." in ANY context that the flunkies at Dulles didn't taze him and then beat him senseless.

And you were brave to interview a man who had had his toothpaste confiscated.

Dave Petzal

To Shootreadyaim: Heavey hangs around me hoping some of my competence will rub off on him. I don't have much choice in the matter.


War with China eh? Bring it on. DOWN WITH WALMART!!!!


Wish I'd had the chance to meet you at the shoot, senor Petzal, but I was too busy taking my beating from that Beretta O/U in .458 winmag. It was so much fun, I didn't even realize that particular stand was supposed to be promoting the new Safari Grade ammo and not the beautiful rifle we practically melted down there.

I also noticed the dearth of booth babes, by the way. EAA had a couple of winners at their booth, but I was walking with my female Pro-Staffer at the time and feared a harrassment suit. Of course she later confessed to drooling over Jim Shockey in the Press Room so I guess I would've been OK.

SD Bob

Booth babes? The one you show looks good enough to not care if there are others. I can't possibly post anything else appropriate at the present time.

Dr. Ralph

Nice HSTish title Dave although unless you rented a huge red Cadillac while you were there you didn't live up to it. Res ipsa loquitur... I bought a Marshall Amp a while back which is the standard of the industry made in England and guess what it said? Made in Vietnam. I put an American flag sticker over it. As far as being "with it", I never have so once again welcome to the club. Glad you're back, the cheap Marlin blog will make your top ten list next year due to your untimely departure. By the way I'd stay away from the KMn04 unless you sprout fins...

Trae B.

tooth paste! are you sure every body's all right! it could have gotten in somebodys eye or something.Thank the lord he diddent have a tooth brush.

Dr. Ralph

The more I think about it, to live up to the title you would have had to abduct a booth babe and perform unmentionable acts upon the child...

You should have told airport security Heavey confided in you that he had hidden yet another empty tube of toothpaste and demanded a cavity search.

By the way, did you perchance gaze upon a weapon or three? WE WANT GUNS AND PICTURES!


As a Vietnam Vet myself and having interacted with them , I have no problem buying "Made in Vietnam" at least for the present. The Vietnamese, in general, are a wonderful people. The only issue I have is with politicians regardless of which country they represent! They are mostly all self-serving BAS#@!*#S!

Remember, the Vietnam Vets did not lose that war - we have our politicians and our money hungry media to blame!

Keep up the good work Mr. Petzal.

John from Louisiana

RE the "made in Vietnam" tag. I am a Federal Flight Deck Officer, which means I am an airline pilot who flies armed. My issue weapon is an H&K (made in Germany) and my "non-descript bag" that I was issued to carry it in was made in China. "Buy American" does not apply when dealing with the government. I must add that the H&K USP is a great weapon, no failures to feed or extract after approx 5,500 rounds. The bag is a piece of [email protected], however.


How many of you are driving Japanese cars?
Ranting about Vietnam and China?
Neither one bombed Pearl Harbor!
Personaly I buy American and drive American, with damn fe exceptions!

Kayak Kurt

Booth Babes Suggestions;
Try organizing a video shoot called, "Hunt Camp Gone Wild" featuring hunting babes scantily clad in the finest hunt wear traveling from hunt camp to hunt camp entertaining the hunters in camp. "What happens in hunt camp stays in hunt camp!" is what I say. But a hunter caught on hidden video as he discovers a booth babe in a tree stand...wooo doggie that'll get the babes to enroll!

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