The Armory and its associated track are no more.
Stop. Fucking. Panicking.
I get it, I get it, I really do. There's been a lot of politicized bullshit in fandom over the last few years. Everything from Larry Correia's bullshit dis-invitation as a guest of honor at Origins to a bullshit attempt to kick John Ringo out of ConCarolinas. I can see how the sudden loss of a museum and track all about weapons can be seen as a sign that Dragoncon is bending to the political winds.
(I can especially see it in light of the Dragoncon after dark vanishing a few years back, but that's neither here nor there.)
But stop and think for a minute.
Has it ever occurred to you what a ginormous logistical pain in the ass the Armory must have been? Hiring uniformed, sworn officers as security 24/7 for a week ain't the kind of thing that's done on a shoestring budget, let alone transporting all of the exhibits from hither and yon into the depths of the Hyatt.
And holy shit, what exhibits they were! I was there the first year that Kevin Dockery was enjoying the bragging rights that came with bringing everything from a stone age flint knife to a suitcase nuke.
(Don't look at me like that. It wasn't loaded.)
I was able to show con friends some of the heavy weapons I used in the wars, like a Ma Deuce and a Mk19. I could show friends a Hitler's zipper and point out how some aftermarket motorcycle parts and a Steadicam rig made it the smart gun from ALIENS. Tens of thousands of fans could see a flamethrower or an Uzi or something pintle-mounted up close for the first time.
FFS, I saw a China Lake grenade launcher in there once. There's only a dozen of those still confirmed to exist in the world.
And they did it year after year, and that was awesome. But all good things do come to an end.
Remember a few years back, when a gun maker (that also did prop replicas) got their booth at Wizard World Chicago shut down within hours thanks to screeching complaints? They were one of the sponsors the Armory had to find every year in order to have the museum.
(I won't comment on the bright idea of having a booth in Chicago, of all fucking places.)
If you dropped by the Armory last year, you might have noticed there was only one museum room, and it was full of blades.
And the con has only gotten bigger. And competition for space has only gotten more fierce.
The Palmetto Knights are still around. And I'm sure there will be plenty of weaponry-heavy panels here and there every con for decades to come.
But calm the fuck down. The Armory wasn't driven out by some nebulous mob of social justice bullies that just hadn't noticed it's been there for almost a decade.
It slowly closed in the face of cold hard numbers.
So stop screaming that it's gone.
Revel in the fact that it was there.