One of the larger of the touring gun shows came through town recently; and being the sort of fellow I am, I gladly paid the entry fee and spent a few hours browsing the wares. I’ve written about my affinity for gun shows before, and I’m often asked by my non-“gun guy” friends to explain my regular attendance. I find my “it’s a traveling carnival of awesome” description elicits more confusion than understanding. The best way I can explain it would be through the magic of simile.
Ben is to gun show as:
- Gearhead is to auto show.
- Woman is to one of those gigantic shoe stores in the outlet mall.
- Union member is to ugly mob.
But those of you who find firearms and firearm ownership either uninteresting or appalling would be both mortified and surprised by the goings-on at a gun show. The rows upon rows of firearms and firearm-related accoutrement would mortify you, while the complete lack of hatred and shouted invective would surprise you. After all, the image that the liberals and their corporate media flacks have conjured suggests a deafening collection of goose-stepping whackjobs, backwoods hillbillies and lunatic doomsday prophets. Of course, like every caricature created by the Democrats in their endless war on the Bill of Rights, the aforementioned stereotypes are no more valid than the liberal assumption that black people are incapable of fending for themselves without government assistance.
To be sure, there are some oddities floating through the gun show atmosphere. There’s the guy wearing army-issue body armor that doesn’t even come close to covering his non-army-issue beer gut. There’s the dude hawking EOTech™ clones that are only slightly more believable than Attorney General Eric Holder’s Congressional testimony on Operation Fast and Furious. And more often than not there’s a guy selling fake World War II memorabilia who hopes you won’t notice the “made in China” sticker until after you get home.
But there isn’t a lot of yelling. There isn’t a great deal of voiced outrage. There are no mobs of indignant women’s studies majors waving placards and marching about in no particular direction. In an atmosphere in which the headlines are dominated by ludicrous attempts by liberals to demonize firearms as possessing an innately sinister nature unto themselves, no one was so much as mildly surprised by a gun. With everything from those trendy pink-handled .22s to a fully functional, semi-automatic replica of a Goryunov machine gun, the gun show represents a chamber of horrors to those shrieking Brady Campaigners; yet shoppers and vendors alike were as comfortable as Michael Moore at all-you-can-eat night at the local Krispy Kreme.
There were no shouts of blind hatred for those who don’t share the assemblage’s political ideologies, no demands for free stuff at the expense of someone else’s hard work, no cheers for the misfortune of others, no screams for the maiming, murdering or general demise of anyone. There were no beatings, no stabbings and — contrary to deliberate misconception — no shooting rampages.
There are thousands of firearms and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition in room filled to the rafters with firearm enthusiasts. If the gun grabbers’ slander is to be believed, such a tableau should have naturally progressed to a rolling horde of wild-eyed barbarians and the kind of body count usually reserved for a Third World civil war. Yet even Piers Morgan would have been safer than the crown jewels. At least until he got a load of that Goryunov; that would have sent him running for the nearest “gun-free zone.”