God bless America, quick! My trip to a gun show – PART II

Posted on April 26, 2011


[it appears WordPress is no fan of verbosity, so I’ve had to split this article into two parts.  read Part I first]

The next shirt I picked up has absolutely no interesting historical worth or lore.  It’s just bad ass to the hilt.

A nice reserved front, suitable for church or business

And…

Turn around and show your true colours! Or colors I guess...

Yes!  Now that’s what I’m talking about.  I’m going to wear this with great pride.  I chatted up the vendor a bit – learning about some guy who had double crossed him and was now out of business – and he liked me so much that I got a free car decal.  Something subtle?  Something clever?  Uhh… not exactly.

Put this on the family station wagon

So really, how is putting this on your car a good idea?  I wonder if owners of this car decal feel like they’re unfairly targeted by the police.  Hmm.  And in fact this leads me to an important point related to the gun show.  Some of you might be thinking that I’m being a little hard on these guys.  Guns can be fun.  Hunting is a gentlemanly pursuit.  Target shooting is good sport.  Sure, no argument here.  But 99% of the stuff available was intended for one purpose only:  killing people.  And they’re not even subtle about it!  This thing was just a straight up murder self-defence expo, and you couldn’t help but feel like these guys were praying every night for some hapless meth addict to break in and try to steal their discount DVD player so they’d have an opportunity to “protect” their family by riddling their home with bullets.  Whatever your views on gun control, it’s creepy.  It really is.

Possibly the craziest part, at least to Canadian eyes, is the independent vendors.  At the show there are people just wandering around with guns.  Look a little closer and they are also carrying signs.  One old kook with a nice neck beard had a hand scrawled sign on cardboard slung around his neck.  “Browning, 1973, $500, fires well”.  At first I didn’t even know what to make of it, surely it couldn’t be as simple as all that…  No way.  Surely the government has some control, some say, there must be some paperwork (communist Canadian, they laugh).  No sir!  At one point I did indeed witness a guy and his probably 10 year old son walk up to some fat guy in a wheelchair with a shotgun.  They handed him $400 in cash, he gave them the gun, and they walked out.  The end.  WHAT THE HELL??

Yes, Americans, I realize that that’s the whole point, but it’s still demented.

Here’s a happy customer just strolling through the parking lot in broad daylight with his rifle.  la la la

A lovely day for a stroll. Or killing someone.

I took a look at some hand axes, which are actually useful for camping, not murdering people or disposing of bodies.  Some well tanned guy with a crew cut came up beside me, picked up a small tomahawk style axe, turned to me and said:  “huh, that’s like the modern day injun right there!”.  I smiled and said “yeah”.  He chuckled at his wit and ambled away.

And that was that.  I left with my bag full of goodies, just as bewildered as I’d been when I’d arrived.  A part of me wanted to go to a bank machine, get a few hundred bucks, go back and pick up a modest WWII era rifle and walk around with it, just because I could.  [Note:  all Japanese guns at the show were labelled “Jap” no exceptions]  It was a surprisingly strong temptation.  Another part of me wanted to drive to the airport immediately and hop the first plane back home.  I walked back to my car mulling over these two conflicting desires, trying to square the whole experience.  I passed two muscled young guys with awful facial hair.  They noticed the police car parked near the entrance to the Convention Centre.

“Aw man, there’s cops here?” one of them observed, disappointed.  I got in my car and never looked back.

If you have an opportunity to check one of these things out, do it!

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