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This weekend I went with the Mr. to the Gun Show to see what they're really like. It can't be that bad, right? Wrong.

I don't scare easy. I was raised in an Armageddon is Nigh! religion and can field dress a kill, if needed. Not like Hannibal Lecter kill, food kill. I digress. I don't scare easily, and I'm often amused by the weird fringe of humanity, as evidenced by my bad sex story mocking.

Holy frakking sheet, these people are the scourge of the earth.

Let me back up and paint a picture for you. My husband is a hunter. 85% of the meat we've been eating for the past two years is meat he's brought home. (Minus eggs - woe for my want of my own chickens! - and skrimps. I can't raise shrimp in my backyard, it seems.) I am not going to debate the rightness or wrongness of hunting with anyone, nor am I going to debate the rightness of wrongness of fire arms with anyone. They're here in the US, my husband trains with military and policemen, and we are responsible gun owners. Save any derogatory remarks for Americans, Southerners, or hunters for your own place, thanks.

My husband also makes his own bullets. I raised a stink about that this past spring (it's incredibly loud, the hopper that cleans the casings) so he's out of ammo and hunting season is coming up. So? Gun show for cheap "reloads" which is what you called "used bullets." LOL. The bullets are essentially filled and loaded by hand from used casings, it's not like they're collected misfires, or something. I asked my husband if I was going to stick out like a sore thumb (meaning, I'm a lady with lady parts.)

"You'd be surprised."

He got that right. Moms with their little girls (like, four) touching handguns and cooing, "It's so pretty!" Oh, let me say that it was a PINK handgun. Because ladies can't shoot firearms unless they're pink, how would we know what was ours? I got a snap on cover to match my manicure! Feh. Sturdy, tall women that looked comfortable in a saddle with a cowboy-action Browning (I'll admit that I really like those - I mean, it's so Rifleman! Even though he used a modified Winchester, the really kick ass 1892 model. Yes, I just got excited over a weapon, ack. Look, I'm Texan, it's like we all just know this stuff.)

There was one chick that looked... I don't want to say she was a stripper, just that she might live a life that is stripper adjacent. She was with her man and babies (little guys under the age of 6) and had her boobs hanging out and her jeans shredded to the point of indecency, her hair bleached to fiber optic proportions, and was awkwardly carrying an over-under pump chump (our personal name for cheesy "I'm buying a rifle to protect my things!" type gun. The barrels are on top of each other, instead of a side-by-side granny gun/shotgun) while her husband pointed out his "hot wife" to everyone gawking at her.

Because the guys that go to this place? Imagine fanboys, like, the worst of the bunch, but dressed in camo with dreams of glory twinkling in their eyes. We walked in and passed a kid that looked about 20, CLEARLY had some form of autism (I really want to say Aspergers, but since I don't know, I'll just say he had some form of autism) that was talking loudly to himself while pulling his hair nervously, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I've not held a gun in 7 years, okay, I can do this." My husband and I looked at each other as if to say, "Maybe you should make it longer?"

While I don't have a problem with the generality of the Second Amendment, I do have issues with the generality of the Second Amendment. Everyone should be required to take gun classes. Everyone should be required to undergo evaluation for competency by a licensed psychologist appointed by the state (imo.) Everyone should have to maintain their knowledge of gun safety and gun laws yearly. Because, you know, guns kill people, and they do it indiscriminately. I said at one point to my husband that these people made me frightened. Not that I didn't think I could take them in a bar fight, let's face it: the vast majority of them were beer-gut, elastic waist cargo short wearing, camo T shirt bought for the occasion with some pithy retread of gun-rights BS on it, weak ineffectual males.

They all looked like guys that would totally go on a hunting trip from their XBox. Not one of them looked like a guy that could hike more than a few yards. Well, there were maybe three of those types, but the rest? They all struck me as the type of person that heard a neighbor got robbed, so they were going to get a gun for "protection." And because they got the high score on Duck Hunt, they could totally do this, right? Wrong.

Here's how it works: you buy a gun at a gun show, and they have all sorts of paperwork you fill out registering it and you as a gun owner. There are police officials there that make sure that anyone going in or out doesn't have anything loaded. Then you leave with your gun and ammo in a plastic baggie to do what the hell ever. Um, I have a big ol' problem with the ease of that. It shouldn't be like picking up a remote control. It shouldn't be easy to put something in your hand that can take a life. I'm clearly not for removal of all guns, period, because again: we are hunters and that is how we bring meat to our family. But this shit?

And the vast majority of guns are the cheap, soulless, plastic and/or carbon fiber type that look like toys. No wonder people are so cavalier about firing them. They don't look like what they ARE. Continuing on the circuit you would later see a gunslinger hand cannon, like an old Colt or Smith & Wesson. Something that looked like what a marshal slung low on his hip to keep order, something that just needed to be seen to do its job, it didn't really need to "go to work." Someone pulls out an old Colt revolver, and that shit is serious. Not to mention that to fire one of those with any sort of accuracy means that you haveto be a bad ass mother trucker with some accuracy. Any fool can shoot a Desert E (semi-automatic) and hit something eventually. I think it's led to a mindset of not really taking it seriously, and if anything should be taken seriously, it's a god damn GUN.

And let me say up front that the last thing I would want to be at a gun show would be a black person or a Jewish person, because there is a lot of triggery shit [there's your warning] there, and I just got fed up and started saying "Shame on you" out loud to people. Confederate flags? Are you kidding me with this shit? STILL? And oh, lord, the Nazi memorabilia. I was making a disgusted face at one display case with a collection of German Lugers and Walthers and loads of SS patches, etc., and my husband said, "I think people might be collecting them because they came off a dead Nazi?" And I gave him a look. And we walked past it. Not that my husband is cavalier about that stuff, please understand. He just goes for specific items (the reloads) and then leaves. I think my pointing things out that he normally didn't notice was getting to him in that "what the hell is all of this stuff??" sort of way.

Speaking of leaving, we walked past some smug white dude that looked like a frat boy with Grandpa's deer lease who was selling framed pictures of Obama with some nasty shit on it. I will spare you the actual words, just know that I thought it was threatening and extremely racist. And I'd had my fill at this point and looked him in the eye, said, "Fuck you," and then we left. I think that's the first time anyone had ever said anything negative to him, given his affronted, pearl clutching expression. And let me be upfront: there were black people there. They like to go hunting, collect hand guns as much as anyone else, why wouldn't they? And they have to see that confederate, racist shit BEING SOLD? It's shocking that there aren't fights at these places. Good hell.

One good thing came out of this. I bought a new flint and steel, and holy smokes, is this a handy-dandy tool for surviving the impending apocalypse camping trips! It's a wood handle, a bit bigger than a wine cork. Sticking out of one end is a metal tube, the metal is magnesium. A strip of flint is forged alongside it. A leather thong connects a piece of steel to the wood handle so it's "lose a part" proof. You can then strike the flint against the steel for sparks, to start a fire OR THE BEST PART: you can use the steel strip to shave off the magnesium into a small pile, strike the flint and steel for your spark, light up the magnesium, and start a fire IN THE RAIN. That, my friends, is pretty damn handy.

So the gun show isn't all bad? Just mostly? Yeesh. These weren't cowboys. These were mid-level managers looking to feel bad ass on the weekends. They were buying plastic guns that had no soul and feeling like they were swinging big downstairs, if you catch my drift.

* Full disclosure: I own an Israeli army-issued Desert Eagle (.50) and it is carbon fiber, so it has the look I'm denigrating. But come on, it's from the Israeli Army! Lol. it's also locked away in a safe, the ammo in another safe, and it only comes out on rare occasions when the Mr. and I go to the shooting range. RARE occasion. (It was purchased as an "investment" of sorts. I'm totally a hypocrite, aren't I? Probably.) I would, in all honestly, much rather own a cowboy-action Winchester or Browning, but Brownings are over a grand. They're works of art, both in wood sculpting and mechanical wizardry. And cowboy action means less moving parts and far more reliable action. If you care about such things. It may not serve you well in the middle of a zombie horde - see: Shaun of the Dead - but it'll take down a Havalina and feed the folks.)

And today I get to brave the elements and rip out plants from the garden and put new things in. (No more purple cone flowers, they're taking over, as they do.) Saturday the Mr. and I chopped down 5 trees (our peach tree! Woe. Our Deodar Cedar! DOUBLE woe. And the three yaupon hollies, HOORAY I HATE THOSE THINGS) and carted them off to the mulch dump to make room for the POOL. (And saved big bucks doing it ourselves. More money to buy new trees, hooray!) It's going to be 107 today. SURE WISH THAT POOL WAS DONE. *cry*


( 81 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
I am right there with you on the whole gun show thing. I don't mind that people want to own guns. My SO owns several. But then we have people like my SO's *dad*, who own enough to stock fucking Waco and was contemplating putting mines along the road to his 'country home' (a couple of semi-trailers he's rigged up for living in) for when the Revolution comes.

His kind of people? Scare the fuck out of me. Because they actually believe that, for instance, if some nut starting shooting people in the Piggly Wiggly they would calmly draw their 'conceal carry' gun and shoot the guy down. They don't realize that most people around here who leaped on the conceal carry bandwagon in this state are people exactly like the gun show people, who would be panicky, shaky and freaking out, and probably randomly shoot out lights, the dead animal display, and a passing grandma before they'd come close to the freaking gunman.

The confederate and nazi crap makes me cringe. I loathe that shite. Fetishizing genocide and slavery and intolerance is pretty damn sick.

Glad you emerged unscathed! And good for you for speaking up - most people would stay silent.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD MINES. There's a joke in Blood on the Highway where the survivalist nutjob (my husband in the movie) has littered his property with bear traps to protect us all. Except he can't remember where they are, so "walk lightly."

Yeah - those people that think they can be John Marshal and save the day, when they're normally Sunday quarterbacks.

I actually felt bad that I didn't go back and confront him. "What the hell are you trying to promote here?" I almost went back but the Mr. wouldn't let. Um, probably a wise thing, but it's stuck in my craw.
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I've never been to one. The last boyfriend wanted me to go on a weekend long gun show extravaganza with him and his entire family.


Thank god we broke up before then.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
There were loads of families there. WHAT?! That's so weird to me.
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
OMG, Stoney, the Mr. does reloads? Does he have the high-temp equipment to do silver bullets? I'm making vampire-hunter kits (art projects, really) and gave up on the silver bullets as too damn difficult for my resources, but... if I could include a few in the kits, it would make them so much more nifty.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
I have no idea about the high temp/silver bullet thing. (LOL, I'm glad you mentioned it was an art pocject because silver bullets for vampires? You'd be better off making wooden bullets. NOT THAT I BELIEVE THIS STUFF IS REAL, OF COURSE.)
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
a life that is stripper adjacent? I <3 you Stoney. never change.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Hahahahahahha. OKAY.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I've never been to a gun show and I never plan to go to one.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Well, there you go.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
No joke, Stoney!

I mean, my dad was military - he taught us to shoot, super supervised, when we were really little (although I don't remember a thing now, no way am I touching a gun) and Mombo loves to go hunting and stuff and the gun safe she and her BF have is, I think, worth more than their HOUSE, but it's like - safety, please! I don't understand why you can buy a gun without having to take some sorta safety class, it just freaks me out.

And mombo hates going to the gun shows for the reasons you stated above.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I learned to shoot on a .22 out in the woods when I was... 12? And number one rule was safety. My dad will not touch a gun - he was in Vietnam and grew up on a farm and feels that they can come to no good in the end, which I completely respect.

And people like Mombo are the reason I don't totally give up on people. Safety classes/law classes should be mandatory!!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
We had our temperatures that could cook an egg a couple of weeks ago (True fact, I saw Inception in a theater that was packed on a 105F day with broken air conditioning and not one person walked out.) My sympathies are with you.

As far as gun shows, it strikes me as being a bit like certain sci-fi cons in that the people you see are the ones who are speaking Klingon or wearing horns while a great many of the fans are actually quietly attending panels. Is there an equivalent to "quietly attending panels" at a gun show?

And, yes, I'm a liberal and a budding vegetarian, but I always confound my friends because I have cousins who would not have survived the Great Depression if they hadn't been able to shoot a duck or raccoon for dinner occasionally. Concealable weapons are another thing, but yeah, that Browning sounds hella sexy to me.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Triple digits are here for the duration of summer, but that's just Texas for you.

And yeah - there's definitely some crossover with LARPers/role play types. And I think my husband and I were the "quietly attending types," lol!

I mean, this is a HUNTER'S RIFLE. One that requires skill and thoughtfulness!
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)

Yikes, that gun show sounds frightening. And pink guns? Really? Who manufactures those? I'm not what one would consider pro-gun, but what self-respecting gun maker would produce something like that? Awful.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
UGH. loads of people make pink guns. Kel-tech and BERRETTA (which is just... really? Berretta?!) and Taurus have the all-pink ones, and the ones with snap on decorative panels. Uh.

Because you know, girlfriend! We love changing our accessories like we do our shoes, ahahaha! You go, girl! *puke*
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
Everyone should be required to take gun classes. Everyone should be required to undergo evaluation for competency by a licensed psychologist appointed by the state (imo.) Everyone should have to maintain their knowledge of gun safety and gun laws yearly. Because, you know, guns kill people, and they do it indiscriminately.

Would it be wrong of me to say I feel the same way about people having children?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
No, and I totally agree with you on that one, too!
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Ah, gun shows, the sheer amount of achy-breaky hair on display at those things should be against some kind of law.

As for not being able to grow shrimp in your backyard, you obviously haven't been raising the right kind of shrimp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE&feature=player_embedded
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
LOL Swedish Chef for the win!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my dad used to get mail-order catalogs for shitty knives and gun parts (he's one of those guys who has a full armoire holding his collection of sharpened, functional, carbon steel swords, right next to the Bruce Lee wallscrolls)-- pink guns, "stripper-adjacent" models for all the airbrushed wolf t-shirts, the whole shebang. Every time I saw all the Confederate, Islamophobic, and Nazi shit in them, I would just be amazed. Not only at the audacity of the companies who made those catalogs, but at my father for continuing to receive them. DUDE, YOU ARE A NON-WHITE MUSLIM MAN IN AMERICA. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Seriously.

Then, when we moved to Florida, he tried to frequent the local gigantic flea market, and things got pretty uncomfortable. We stopped going because my mom's allergies would flare up every time we went (mold, roaches, etc.), I was profoundly uninterested in anything for sale, and one of my sisters "liberated" a snake from one of those puppy-mill diseased-bird pet shops. She was going to steal a puppy, but they were too big to fit down her shirt and run at the same time.

Every other car around where I live has a Confederate flag, pro-gun-rights, evangelical, or anti-Obama sticker on it. It is rare to see a car with bumper stickers on that is not one of those. At least one in every three pickups has "truck nuts" on them.

My father tried to convince me to go to a local gun show with him. SO GLAD that I wasn't having any of it. (I told him I already know what kind of gun I want, and they wouldn't have it anyway; I'm not interested in getting a hunting gun until I can, you know, hunt.)

Extra ironic?-- because there's just not enough irony out there in the world-- my dad has worked health & safety all my life. Including about a year at Colt. *facepalm*

I also know exactly what kind of striker thing you're talking about, but to avoid horrible people and still get the flea-market price, I've been ordering stuff from here, because from what I hear, you can eventually run out of magnesium and/or the strike wears out!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
i do admire your dad for being who he is and going to those places, though.
I think it would be cool to have an old fashioned pepperbox pistol. WE DUEL AT DAWN, SIR.

And look at you with the awesome link to flint and steel! I bet the guy that sold me mine is buying those and just sticking a wooden handle on them instead of the plastic handle.

3 Wolf Sweatshirt, hipsters made them even more horrible.

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Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Yes it was!

Oh, they probably do. There were ladies selling their turquoise and conch shell jewelry at the exhibit I went to, so I assume.

This was inside a stadium (it's frakkin' hot out!) the only foods I saw were of the fried variety, but we didn't get anything. LAME, I KNOW.
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
While I don't have a problem with the generality of the Second Amendment, I do have issues with the generality of the Second Amendment. Everyone should be required to take gun classes. Everyone should be required to undergo evaluation for competency by a licensed psychologist appointed by the state (imo.) Everyone should have to maintain their knowledge of gun safety and gun laws yearly. Because, you know, guns kill people, and they do it indiscriminately. I said at one point to my husband that these people made me frightened. Not that I didn't think I could take them in a bar fight, let's face it: the vast majority of them were beer-gut, elastic waist cargo short wearing, camo T shirt bought for the occasion with some pithy retread of gun-rights BS on it, weak ineffectual males.

That paragraph sums up my feelings more succinctly than I could ever hope. And I am a fan of the Second Amendment and all it entails. Just because you can hold a gun and not shoot yourself doesn't mean a fucking thing at all. I would never use an Kalashnikov variant or an AR-15 without thorough training in how to use it, and the same applies if for whatever handgun or hunting rifle I would use. If you can't operate it safely, you shouldn't own it. Period.

P.S. I thought Desert Eagles were all steel (or an alloy of some sort)? How'd you get one with a carbon fiber build?
Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re your PS: it's Israeli issue, that's how their models are made. Much lighter in the hand. The gangster E's? All gold plated and stuff? HEA-VY.

And look at you with the AK-47 true name! And YEAH. They're just easy and cheap and require no effort. you pull a triger, wave your arms around and do damage. Dangerous dangerous dangerous.

"If you can't operate it safely, you shouldn't own it. Period." I SECOND AND THIRD THIS.
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Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
VERY WEIRD. Like a violent version of a really creepy sf con - that element. But you know, with guns and pro-gun t shirt slogans instead of Klingon.

ANNE, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BADLY I WANTED TO GRAB HIM AND WALK HIM OUT OF THERE. I got the distinct impression that he was there because he felt that's what men/adults DO. Um, formula for every tragic public shooting ever? Gah.

I've been outside and have been okay so far, my hat is WONDERFUL for keeping me cool, but man, it's the hottest part of the day and not a cloud in the sky and I am DONE for the day. Oy.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
My hub's gone to a few of these things, and usually needs to detox when he comes home from all the haterade. He tries to get in and out - and he's usually just looking for a component (he likes to build things. he also has a closet full of lego and a garage full of woodworking tools. Between that, and his chemistry knowledge and general BIG BRAINS, when if the zombie apocalypse comes, I'm glad he's on my side).

You MIGHT have been able to pick a hotter day to do your gardening, but damn, girl.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
Your husband sounds like mine - that's how he goes to them as well. (Yay for zombie prep! :D )

You know, it wasn't that bad. I drank a ton of water and Gatorade and my lovely gardening hat from North Haven Gardens kept me nice and cool on my head meat. \o/ And now my front beds are cleared and mulched, ready for the crazy temps to come, huzzah!
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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