Top Shot's Greg Littlejohn with Angela Barrett of Barrett firearms at the NRA Convention in St. Louis
Top Shot Greg Littlejohn posing with Angela Barrett of Barrett Firearms at the NRA Convention.

While at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, I talked with Top Shot finalist Gregory Littlejohn about his firearms background — this is what he had to say:

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Gabby Franco at the NRA Convention in St. Louis
Top Shot's Gabby Franco at the NRA Convention in St. Louis.

St. Louis, Missouri - Two competitors were there to keep me up to speed on the ins and outs of History Channel's Top Shot this season: Terry Vaughan and Gabby Franco. Though Terry has proven to be as elusive as any British Commando, Gabby put herself front and center this month at the NRA Convention in St. Louis. I took the opportunity to learn more about the Venezuelan Olympian.

You won't believe how it all began.

"I started by dry firing for a year," said Franco.

A year. One full year of pulling the trigger only to hear a whack instead of a bang. Now she laughs about those simpler times, but they must have been maddening for an eleven year old. Yes she was small. And maybe like most children her age she'd ultimately move on to something else. After all, there is no way her father knew that trip to a Barquisimeto range would launch his little girl on such a journey.

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Smith & Wesson shooter Julie Golob signing pictures at the NRA Convention in St. Louis.

St. Louis, Missouri - If you're every having a discussion about the best female shooters in the world, then you better throw Bianchi Cup regular Julie Golob into the mix. The Reader's Digest resume reads 15 World Championships, 22 National titles and more than 100 titles in State, Regional and International Competitions. For some people that'd be more then enough. Not Julie.

In addition to achieving the ranks of world class shooter, she's also a mom – and now – an author. Title Shoot: Your guide to Shooting and Competition, it covers her tips, techniques and an explanation of all the gun lingo a newbie (or noob) needs to know.

"The number one questions I get in emails, tweets or in person is how do I get started," Golob explained. "They're so confused by the acronyms involved with shooting sports. There's so many out there. I was approached to write the book and thought I'd be able to provide a great primer to handle it all in one place."

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Top Shot's Greg Littlejohn at the NRA Convention in St. Louis St. Louis, Missouri - While running around on the final day of the NRA Convention in St. Louis, I was having trouble locating one of primary Annual Meeting interview targets: Top Shot Season 4's Gregory Littlejohn. With only a couple of hours left in the show, I reached out to my buddy Eric from Haus of Guns for a little help. A few minutes later, I found Greg and readied for the scoop from the towering giant of Season 4.

With a huge smile and sturdy handshake, we said our hellos and got right to the meat of things. To summarize, it was not a friendship bracelet. Then to the show.

"I applied too late for Season 3 so my application went straight to Season 4. I made it through the cuts, they invited me out for final casting, I made it through that and the next thing I know the invitation to the show arrived."

But it couldn't have been as easy as that. Couple of interviews and you're on the show? Please. There has to be more to it then that.

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Top Shot Gabby Franco, Iain Harrison, Greg Littlejohn and Chris Reed at the NRA Convention

St. Louis, Missouri - There were more than 73,000 faces dotting the landscape of the 2012 NRA Convention. Inside the America's Center Convention Complex were NRA members, hundreds of vendors and dozens of shooting stars. Some of those stars, as fate would have it, were from the History Channel blockbuster Top Shot.

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NRAstore sale on 2012 Annual Meeting merchandise

Over 73,000 people joined us earlier this month for the 141st NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to attending special events, stopping in for seminars, or checking out seven acres of guns and gear, many NRA members picked up a piece of Annual Meeting memoribilia from the NRAstore™.

If you weren't able to join us in St. Louis, don't worry. The NRAstore™ has a great sale going on right now so that you can get your own 2012 Annual Meeting commemorative items. From hats to t-shirts, pins to mugs, the NRAstore™ still has some of the most popular collectibles on sale. These limited edition souvenirs are only available while supplies last, so place your order today! There's just a little over a year until the next Annual Meeting in Houston, but hey - who's counting?

Finding Wisconsin's Fate of Destinee on the NRA Convention floor

Gun Blogger Destinee
Gun Blogger Destinee at the NRA Convention in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri - "Some girls have purses, some girls have shoes, I have guns. That's what I like."

That's how we were introduced to the vlogger known as Destinee. The twenty-some year old Pre-Med student from Wisconsin has experienced a bit of a stir on the world wide web as of late. What started as a method of sharing training tips with her friends has practically turned into a new career.

"I started everything with a YouTube Channel and the FateofDestinee blog," she explained. "I do guns, gear and fitness with a twist. Soon it grew to the point where I have a lot of followers on Facebook, Twitter and I'm writing for people like Truth about Guns and SOFREP. It's been a wonderful experience."

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NRA's Wayne LaPierre addressing the crowd at the 2012 Meeting of Members in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri - NRA's 2012 Annual Meetings & Exhibits closed up shop on Monday in St. Louis. Though we shared a lot, there is still a mountain of material left on our computers. We'll keep publishing those stories and images over the next few weeks — but for now, here's a quick pictorial view of this year's NRA Convention.

NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program logo Wheeling, Illinois - Refuse To Be A Victim® Program Coordinator Ruthann Sprague has been a busy woman this month. At the recent 141st NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits, two Refuse To Be A Victim® Seminars were held, followed by an Instructor Development Workshop. The events were a huge success, and now many in the St. Louis area are better prepared to reduce their chances of victimization.

After all of her hard work coordinating the Refuse To Be A Victim® training at the Annual Meetings, Sprague left St. Louis to head directly to the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) Conference and Expo in Wheeling, Illinois. Sprague is bringing the award-winning crime prevention program to the ILEETA Conference in hopes that more law enforcement agencies will incorporate the program into their crime prevention program.

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