Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Gun Show Thing

The ubiquitous gun show. A fixture of Red - and sometimes, Blue - America. A place to waste a weekend taking in the sights while eating your jerky, drinking your sody pop out of your new licensed character sippy cup and wearing your Native American jewelry. When you're tired, find a nice vibrating recliner to relax in for a few. While being gently massaged, cast your eyes upon the books, trinkets, plates and crystal goblets available at this gun show. Table after table of John Wayne on velvet, and Elvis too! Toys of all types abound here. Old magazines, tin advertising signs, bric-a-brac, knick-knacks, and just plain junk piled on groaning tables. Why are they groaning? The sheer weight of the detritus of last month's craft show strains the tables this weekend. They're also forced to listen to the crank politician who's passing out his flyers. He's generally the one who's last in the polls by the way.

Oh, you're here for guns? There's a few tables around with guns, not many, but you might find one or two. Looking for a good deal on a Winchester? Sorry, all the vintage Winnies went up $400 when they announced the closing of the New Haven plant. Good luck finding one now. The one guy who has some never seems to sell one. Well, forget Winchesters then, how about a Henry? Nope, none about. Marlin? Maybe, but same price as the Winnies. They are amazing old guns though! Who couldn't wonder about who held these masterpieces in their hands during the last eighty or so years the gun's been around? Was it someone's old favorite hunting companion? Was it the backyard varmint killer? Did it spend its time gathering dust in the closet because grandma was afraid of it? They'll never tell, guns keep their secrets. One can only imagine the life it led.

Back to the search. Want a more modern gun? Are you the suburban commando type? Looking for a nice AR? Plenty of those around. Why on earth someone would choose a soul-less piece of plastic over a work of art in wood and metal is beyond comprehension. Well, yeah, they're more effective for their intended purpose. Notice the crowd around those guns? Not too many older shooters there, lot's of young ones. They always go for the fancy, newfangled stuff.

Not a long gun fan? Prefer handguns? There plenty of tables of used and new in box pistols and revolvers available. These tables always have a crowd. Why? Because a cross section of America gathers there. The handgun is the great equalizer. It serves moms and dads, people living in bad neighborhoods, the infirm, the elderly and the tempting targets. Black, White, Brown, Yellow and Red, all people are entitled to protection. The police can't be everywhere at all times and the people truly have a right to defend themselves, no matter what some politicians would have you believe. There are small caliber pocket guns, large caliber hand cannons and James Bond's Walther PPK. Semi-automatics and old police 38s are waiting for someone to give them a look. Try them out and see what fits you.

Once you've found your gun you need ammo. Take a look down the next row. All types and calibers of ammo to be found. Have a milsurp? Army surplus is available as well as brass, bullets, and primers for the reloader. Rifle, pistol and shotgun ammo in all types and at all price points are on the tables. Practice and self defense ammo is ready to go home with you.

So you're all set, but you decide you don't care for the hard grips on your new gun. Don't worry, the next table is full of accessories and aftermarket gadgets. Rubber grips are available for your gun. Spare magazines for your semi-auto too. Want a tactical light? You can find them here. Do you have trouble seeing the small sights on your new 45? Get a set of sights that fluoresce! Are the iron sights on your rifle too hard to use? Pick out a scope and mounts to help you bag that buck next hunting season. Into collecting military surplus rifles? Find that perfect bayonet for your Swiss K31 or Springfield '03. Need a sling or re-enactor equipment? You'll find uniforms, helmets, patches and more.

Now some people will shudder at the thought of all this gun goodness available to anyone who walks through the door. They fear your right to defend yourself. They declare that gun shows are the best way for criminals to arm themselves. Hogwash of course. Each and every gun show requires dealers to conduct federally required background checks before selling a gun to anyone. Some states are even more restrictive and create lists of guns it refuses to allow its denizens to possess. The gunshow is not the province of the redneck blasting beer cans and old cars out in the wilderness. It's the province of good, solid, upstanding citizens who understand their first line of defense is themselves, not a government agency. Unfortunately, there are those who know this, yet still will spend millions of dollars trying to take away your right to attend these shows and purchase self-protection from them. Some places will fold under the pressure and gun shows will disappear. It's in our interests and in the interest of freedom to fight them and maintain our access to our constitutionally protected rights.

So next weekend find a gun show in your area and go. And take a friend or neighbor and the kids. Liberty belongs to all of us.

Tagged As: