Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Blonde Duck goes to a Gun Show

Most people have very strong opinions on guns. They either feel as though you should be able to strap them to your side every moment of every day in every possible location, or that only law-enforcement officers should be able to carry them. Even then, those people feel that guns should only be used by law enforcement in the most dire of circumstances. I suppose that they think sunshine and bubbles would work just as well.

Amazingly, I'm in the middle. Guns don't bother me, I see no problem with them and I feel they are a wonderful asset to protect yourself. Now, I think many people have no business messing with guns because they don't understand them or how to use them, and I think all responsible homeowners should have guns unloaded, safety on and put away in their home. That's about as far as my opinions get on guns.

However, after visiting a gun show yesterday with Ben and our friend Bryan, I got a whole new perspective on guns.

As we strolled in to a old convention center, my jaw dropped. There were enough guns, knives and rifles spread on tables to start our own war. There were hand guns and old military guns and Confederate antiques. Until I saw the swastika flags hanging in the corner, I hadn't been that alarmed.

Clutching my purse tightly, I dutifully followed the drooling boys around while we looked at lots of guns. Many traders even had thick blankets they placed over their guns between viewings, so customers wouldn't drool on the gun and ruin the exterior. Surprisingly, several women were selling guns. At first I just thought they were there to give the show a feminine edge. I was wrong. One large woman changed out a cartridge in a gun so fast it had an 18-year-old kid's head spinning. She then explained every nook and cranny of the gun to him and why it would fit perfectly in his hand. I decided she would not be the type of woman I'd like to meet in a dark ally.

When all the guns began to blend together in a black and brown blob, I looked for other things to amuse myself. There it was: the gun traders.

The gun traders were good-ol-boys or shop owners who stared at you as if you were a Democrat from New York ("them folks ain't welcome here" one informed me.) Chewing quietly, they would eyeball you with their arms folded while you looked at their wares. If you struck up a conversation, they would answer back in short, gruff sentences. They weren't exactly friendly folks.

After an hour of smelling homemade salsa (way too many onions), looking at costume jewelry (I don't want to know what truck it fell off of), and examining the selection of literature (Homicide in Texas made me curious, but wary), I was ready to head on back. The boys pulled their tongues back in their heads and discussed plans of shooting this morning, full of excitement. By this point, I was more than happy to enter onto my new adventure: going to the grocery store on a Saturday night. This was an adventure in itself.

So, after listening to discussions of cars for hours and hours and an additional several hours of talking about guns, I think I'm rather burned out. Which is why I plan to spend this Sunday writing and watching Devil Wears Prada. I'm sure there's no guns, cars or swastika flags in there.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That sounds exactly like my one and only visit to a gun show. mom

Mama K said...

Never been to a gun show.....but I don't think I have missed much. They scare the hell out of me and I can't help but think of all the people that would be alive today if there were NO handguns. Rifles and shotguns are OK for hunting but handguns are absolutely not necessary. (I will now step down off my high horse and resume being a rational person!!!)

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