Saturday, April 02, 2011

My First Gun Show

I grew up going to my grandparents constantly with hunting rifles and shotguns on the wall of my grampa's den. Never in 15 years of visiting with those guns present did I ever find the ammunition. When my grandfather stopped hunting, an uncle took his (and his father's) guns and kept them in a cabinet in his house. I grew up amongst responsible gun owners. I first fired a rifle and hand gun with my friend and his dad as a teen. Once again, we had never seen the ammunition but knew where his guns were on the rack in the basement. I've also had a loaded gun pointed at my face by an irresponsible gun owner. That idiot kept a loaded gun under his bed and stumbled out of his bedroom, WITHOUT HIS CONTACT LENSES IN, into his living room to check on the intruder using his computer at 3pm. I still don't talk to my aunt's husband. There are good gun owners and bad gun owners. My father-in-law has recommended that I purchase a gun for home safety (or personal safety in my car) and offered guidance with making a selection. With the arrival of a quarterly gun show, I took him up on his offer.

As a threesome, my father-in-law took me and my 21 year old cousin for a trip into the subculture of gun owners in America. My cousin had seen a Lady Gaga show recently, so this was the Yin to that crowd's Yang. What we found were very friendly vendors. The sellers were incredibly nice with trying to help us find the gun we were looking to purchase. One might have expected the sellers to be condescending to say a 21 year old female in a hipster looking outfit, but they were very friendly. It helped to have my extremely knowledgeable father-in-law as an interpreter and insider. Even as a novice, the vendors did not speak to me like I was a dolt outsider. They asked for my 'needs' and did not try to upsell me, which could have been very easy. There was something a bit old timey how they often said, get this in your hands and get a feel for it before you narrow down your choices.

While the sellers were nice with me, I absolutely loved their interactions with my younger cousin. The very first vendor had us cracking up. He consciously took into account a female keeping a gun in her purse as he explained why she should look at hammerless revolvers. He drew up a hypothetical of a Jammal or Bubba walking toward her on the street late at night. He even looked at her purse to consider what would fit. This honestly made us all laugh. At each table, they would see her and as she viewed different hand guns, they'd pull out the pink handle gun they kept under the table for the one feminine looking woman per show (I assume). When she would say "I don't need a pink gun, I just need something that can kill", they would laugh and put it away. There was an odd chivalry about it. One vendor said "2 shots will kill Mr. Rapist, but next 3 are to make sure". I asked one seller about the pepper spray advancements and taser guns, but as he said "men on meth don't stop for pepper spray". Sad truth of modern drug abuse.

I ended up purchasing a hand gun. Thanks to modern technology, they can use the internet to do a background check in 5 minutes. One clean record later, and I was looking for ammunition. My next purchase is for a fingerprint locked small safe to store this gun. I do not want a combination or key lock as a kid can always find a way around it. With a fingerprint lock, I can keep access limited to my wife and I. My father-in-law and I have talked about it, and while a fingerprint/biometric lock might be more expensive, it is the safer way to go with curious kids.

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