Today has been a massive day for Americans and their guns in this country, as President Obama signed 23 executive actions into immediate law at a White House press conference, capping a month of bold promises to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown shootings. Meanwhile, some 2,000 miles away, at the 35th annual SHOT Show, the gun industry's biggest top-of-the-line trade show, emboldened gun owners and high-tech gun makers have been watching, as frustrated and determined as ever.
SHOT is hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which itself is based in Newtown, and the show kicked off Tuesday in Las Vegas to record crowds and new models of assault rifles, which have been flying off shelves in anticipation of President Obama's announcement today that he would seek a renewed ban on them. And the NRA, preparing its inner circle and the masses for a fight with a new ad campaign, sounded like it wanted attendees to watch the announcement. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre's letter to members — the lobby's registration numbers reportedly went up 250,000 in the last month — was circulating on the floor of SHOT throughout Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday: