Monday, November 11, 2013

Quaker at the gun show.

My younger son has been agitating for permission to buy a gun. He wanted it for target practice at a range and outlined the safety precautions he planned on. After much consideration, I reluctantly accompanied him to the gun show so that he could look for his pick, a Soviet-made bolt-action rifle used in WWII. And let me tell you, this pacifist was NOT comfortable.
 There were plenty of rifles.
 And plenty of handguns.
 There were things that had likely been killed by guns.
 There were coffee mugs to remind you of guns.
 There were ridiculous pink and purple girly guns.
 Even Barbie rifles. Seriously, who thought of this?
 Everywhere I looked there were people strolling around with their guns.
 There were displays of paranoia.
And did I mention the paranoia? I found myself carping to my son about all the assholery I saw around me.
Yeah, I felt welcome. I probably stood out - the Quaker in the Amnesty International t-shirt with a look of dismay on her face. But I wasn't there for me. And so when my son found what he was looking for, I stood back and watched him haggle politely with the dealer. At last they reached a price both sides felt was acceptable. It was actually kind of funny to watch the faces of the two men behind the table as they considered my son's counter-offers - they were smiling at him as if they thought it was cute that he was calmly negotiating, and smiled again as he offered a handshake at the end.
We left with his new 1932 Mosin-Nagant hex receiver rifle. He was happy. I was a little creeped out.
I needed a lot of sushi to restore my soul.

30 comments:

  1. Ah, you witnessed a bit of Americana, the dark side, but still......

    The paranoia is ripe at these events, as you noted, it's certainly the most obvious manifestation of it, it's everywhere though.

    Perhaps your son can think of the (probably) unwilling conscripts that had to carry this, if it was used in WW2.

    The sushi looks delicious though.

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    1. The redneckism of it all bothered me far more than the actual guns. But my issues aren't my sons issues - he is interested in the mechanics of it all and pointed out that his particular gun was a pre-WWII model.

      And yes, I do love me some sushi.

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  2. Used to freak me out when we lived in Montana going to the local sporting goods store and seeing people carrying in their firearms. (that and seeing the deer that were hunted in the back of people's pickup trucks).

    We have firearms here because those that also live here like them. It wouldn't be my desire to have them (and the first thing gone if I out live those that live here).

    I do understand the rights to bear arms, I just don't want to.

    I'm sure your son will be responsible with his purchase.

    And that sushi does look good, though I never had sushi.

    betty

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    1. I hate seeing a dead deer on a truck It casts a shadow over my day.

      I don't like having a gun in the house, but it will be kept unloaded and I know he won't be shooting at any living thing.

      Delete
  3. Your son has a good head on his shoulders so you have no worries but there are a lot of people who really shouldn't have guns. I used to know a guy who was the most accident prone person you could imagine and also very absent minded. I cringed when they gave him a big shotgun for his job as a park ranger. Still he surprised me by still being alive and not having shot anyone else up - at least since the last time I checked.

    Were you being brave or foolhardy wearing the Amnesty International T-shirt?

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    1. He really does, and I'm thankful. If he were accident prone, there would be no post about him purchasing a gun!

      Maybe both? Just feeling a need to assert my identity, I guess!

      Delete
  4. sushi is good for the soul...i would have a hard time keeping my mouth shut at the gun show....lol....and probably would not have made it out alive....

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    1. Yes it is - I love, love, love sushi.

      I did say scowl at the man selling all the anti-Obama stuff, but otherwise I contented myself with grousing to my son.

      Delete
  5. I'm so happy my son was never into any sort of weaponry! He can use his tennis racquet to clobber someone if need be! Ha!

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    1. He's into anything that is outdoorsy - machetes, knives, and so on. But not a violent bone in his body.

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  6. BTW, the title of this post would make a great name for a band.

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  7. The 'shoot a liberal' sign made me sick. It carries my surprising desire for dick Cheney 's wheelchair to lose control and crash to another level

    These.photos are quite remarkable for me. I can see the disconnect between personal enjoyment and community violence.

    Would I have ever shown up at a gun show? Only for my daughter .....

    Love
    kj

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    1. Me, too. I was appalled at the blatant nastiness of it. You know, I have no issue with target practice, but the blond machismo of the gun cult scares the hell out of me.

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  8. OH. MY. GOD! I'm speechless by some of the things you've shared here during the gun show!

    "Keep America Free...Shoot a Liberal"

    OH. MY. GOD. And yes, I can only imagine your reaction to that as well.

    I honestly have no problem with people purchasing guns, if that's what they choose. And I'm sure your son will be very responsible his.

    That sushi plate looks like a work of art. Love the colors!

    X

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    1. I'm not across the board anti-gun. I don't like them, but I don't advocate a complete ban. But we need waaaaaay tighter limits and waaaaay less anti-progressives crap.

      I've always thought a big part of sushi's appeal is the presentation.

      Delete
  9. I'm really of two minds about people owning guns. On the one hand, it makes mass shootings by deranged individuals more likely. On the other, it makes some people feel safer and as long as they take all the necessary precautions there shouldn't be any problem. But like you, I would feel really creeped out by a gun show, especially the sort of sentiments in the "Shoot a Liberal" poster. At least your son is a responsible guy who can be trusted with a gun.

    Incidentally, it's proposed that 12-year-olds should be allowed to own guns in Northern Ireland. The mind boggles.

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    1. 12! That's insane. But it's also insane that no one asked to see an ID for my son (he's 16), there is no registration of any sort, no names were even exchanged. He just forked over the cash and walked out with a gun. I think that's nuts.

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    2. I agree. There should at least be proper monitoring of who's buying guns and whether they're fit to do so. I seem to remember such measures were proposed a while back but defeated?

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    3. They are frequently proposed and frequently defeated, unfortunately.

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  10. Oh the sushi looks lush, the gun not so, sorry guns terrify me.

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    1. Guns terrify me, too. They SHOULD terrify you.

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  11. So nice of you to join him. I have never gone to a show with my husband and finally a few months ago I went to the range with him but I still won't shoot one! I was trying to join in his joy but it's not easy for me.

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    1. I took a gun safety class many years ago and shot a gun then. But it really isn't my thing.

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  12. i can understand why you were more than a little ill at ease. we own guns because my husband and two children hunt in order to fill the freezer. my husband also has a permit to carry, which i am rather ambivalent about though he has taken several safety courses.

    that said, i find it highly disturbing when i see bumper stickers or shirts advocating violence against people with differing views. that's just inexcusable and indefensible in every way. i also find it stunning that people can buy guns without some sort of background check. i don't want people with criminal records or histories of serious mental illness having easy access to guns.

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    1. It's assinine that I have to show ID to buy cold meds and a tiny bottle of rubber cement, but minors can just go buy a gun without any sort of check.

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    2. It's inexcusable no matter who it's directed against. It really troubles me that people feel like it's okay to advertise their wish to kill someone who differs in viewpoint.

      And requiring background checks seems like the only sane thing to do.

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  13. One further thought on the gun issue: the second amendment is cited in nearly every pro-gun argument, but a careful reading of it finds little to support the right of every citizen to have guns. A well-armed militia can mean anything from the National Guard to a group of loonies in an armed encampment in Texas.

    There is no mention of privacy in the amendments or the Bill of Rights, but it's assumed from the prohibition of seize and search aimed at the British troops. Amendments have been added, and repealed. There is little to suggest that the framers of the constitution intended the documents to be written in stone and unchangeable. Indeed, the delegation from Georgia expressed doubt about the whole thing, saying that some 'fools in the future' would take it as a final, complete, and inviolable document.

    The second amendment is like the others, subject to change at the peoples will. It's clear that the stonemasons who carved it left the chisel and awl behind for us to use.

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    1. I get so frustrated when people interpret that amendment to mean that they ought to be able to obtain and use any damned weapon they please. No restrictions, no safety laws, no registration, no background checks. Crazy.

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  14. I should probably keep my gun toting conservative mouth shut, so I'll just say that I think it's cool you were willing to leave your comfort zone and go there with your son.

    And I'm sure the shoot a liberal thing was a joke. Not funny, but still a joke.

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