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Family Outing to the Gun Show

May 31, 2011

I took my four year old to a gun show over the holiday weekend.  We decided that it would be fun to do something we had never done before, and since our family is not particularly pro gun, we decided to give it a “shot.”  I was also looking for a tactical pen.  My curiosity about gun shows has been piqued since the Gabrielle Giffords/Tucson shootings and all of the conversations about Gun Show Loopholes.  Not knowing how any of this worked, I wanted to know more.

Upon our arrival at the gun show, I was met in the parking lot by a man who wanted to sell me a modified shotgun “cheap. no questions asked. won’t find something like this inside.”  I politely declined and proceeded into the venue.  My son and I went up and down the aisles looking at booth after booth of handguns, hunting rifles, assault rifles, tasers, machetes, sweet knives, coins, etc.  We did see some military memorabilia but it mainly consisted of army surplus along with brand new Nazi and Confederate flags.  Another booth had hundreds of anti-Obama/Democrat/liberal/socialist bumper stickers.  Some of them were pretty funny.  What disturbed me, however, was the shooting target that was a picture of President Obama’s head.  Not cool.  There were also quite a few books promoting conspiracy theories, fringe groups, and blatant political falsehoods written to anger the uninformed.

New Nazi Flag still in the wrapper

My son enjoyed the knick-knacks and flashlights.  He bought a finger flashlight with a dollar he earned sorting pennies and asked one vendor for a piece of gum.  The vendor asked him “Daddy got you shootin’ yet?”  “Not yet,” I replied.  He then proceeded to tell the story of teaching his son to shoot at age 4 and that he is now an amazing shot, although now he is a cop and one of “them.”

After viewing everyone’s wares we left the gun show empty handed (except for the finger flashlight) and headed to the car.  In the parking lot, we were met by two different men trying to sell a shotgun and a Glock handgun, again with “no questions asked. cash only.”  I had an eerie flashback to the Grateful Dead concert I went to in 1993 where the burned out older deadheads would walk around the parking lot chanting “doses?doses?” selling LSD to any and all.

Potential Buyer Checks out Weapons Illegally for sale in Parking Lot

Don’t get me wrong.  I met some really nice responsible people at the gun show and learned a lot about weapon safety and regulations.  I think guns are every one’s right to bear (but in an appropriate place at an appropriate time).

I can see now how easy it is to get your hands on a gun bypassing any built in regulations of the government.  Everyone knows it goes on, yet does nothing as more people get murdered.  I like the quote I read online last week on one of those “communist websites.”  “Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.”

Heavy Duty!

My son and I are going to try the guitar show next.  I don’t think that one will be quite as intense…

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