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Christmas Armaments
Sand In The Gears ^ | December 23, 2004 | Tony Woodlief

Posted on 12/23/2004 2:04:44 PM PST by siunevada

December 23, 2004

Christmas Armaments

My Christmas quest was simple enough: buy toy cowboy guns for my boys. Caleb and Eli have boots and hats, bandanas and sheriff's badges. But they don't have holsters and guns. Without those critical components, however, you've really just got yourself a Village People costume. We've made do until now with two wooden pistols that were originally designed to shoot rubber bands. But I wanted to get them shiny cowboy guns, the kind that make a little boy's heart race, that turn a bad guy's legs to jelly, and that give a damsel that funny climbing-the-rope-in-gym-class feeling when she sees them strapped around your waist.

So I got up early one recent Saturday, and set out to catch Toys R Us right when they opened. This is advisable if like me you find yourself drawing hysterical conclusions about the future of civilization based on your experiences shopping in malls and driving behind school buses. If you can't find anything nice to say about your fellow man, I like to think, then best just to avoid him.

So I walked inside the Toy Mecca in vain hopes of quickly completing my mission. In this I was working against teams of psychologists and store design specialists all bent on exactly the opposite goal, which is to keep the hapless shopper in the store for as long as there are dollars left in his wallet. I winded my way past rows of video games and Barbie paraphernalia (I think boys might benefit from owning a Barbie doll; every young man should understand what an expensive proposition it is to cohabitate with a narcissistic woman built like a stripper), past noisy electronic gizmos and remote-controlled devices.

But I couldn't find guns. I wandered up and down aisles until I spotted a salesman. "Excuse me," I said, "where can I find cowboy guns?"

"Oh. We don't sell those." He looked at me as if I had just asked him for nipple clamps, or perhaps a Bible. His voice was tinged with the self-righteousness of people who announce to others that they recycle, or that their children attend Eugene V. Debs Elementary because they believe in supporting the public schools.

"So basically we're becoming France, right?" He saw neither the truth nor the humor in this observation.

Disgusted, I decided to nip this troubling portent in the bud by going to the store where the Almighty himself would shop if he needed cowboy guns. That's right: Wal-Mart. Good 'ole Wally World. Any store that draws as much ire from trial lawyers, NOW, and 60 Minutes has got to have me in mind as a target demographic. Wal-Mart, certainly, would have cowboy guns.

Well, if I wanted to buy the boys real guns, and perhaps a gallon of milk, then it turns out that Wal-Mart is the place to go. But not for toy cowboy guns -- at least not my local Wal-Mart.

What followed were increasingly panicked visits to all the places that one might expect to find cowboy guns. KMart? Nothing but an assault rifle that makes high-pitched electronic noises, and a crappy plastic cowboy gun that I think actually broke a little when I looked at it wrong.

Target? Target! Their logo is a bloody bulls-eye, for crying out loud. Surely they would have cowboy guns, yes? Don't believe the hype.

And so it was with every destination. Time dragged on and the roads began to fill with grim-faced shoppers. In desperation I wheeled into the local mall. There was one place left, one final hope for a man intent on arming his children, in fine American fashion, for Christmas. The hobby shop.

I was greeted by a gruff bearded man. He could smell the panic on me, like a grizzled sergeant can smell it on a soldier in his first battle. "Something I can do for you, son?"

"Yes. Please. Please, for the love of all that remains good about America, tell me that you carry toy cowboy guns. Just a couple of cowboy guns is all I'm asking for. Toys R Us doesn't have them, Wal-Mart doesn't have them . . ." My voice trailed off.

He sized me up, perhaps to see if I was one of those pansy do-gooder Public Citizen types just looking to make trouble. Fortunately I hadn't shaved, and I was wearing flannel. "C'mon," he said with a gleam in his eye, "we just got in a shipment."

They just got in a shipment.

He led me to the back, where he had assembled -- and I am not making this up -- gun racks to hold all the toy armaments. If Santa ever needed to assemble a commando strike force, this could be his armory.

I almost cried. Here was every kind of toy pistol and rifle imaginable, made of real wood and metal. Single-barrel, double-barrel, over-and-under, even blunderbuss. Sighted, scoped, with and without shoulder strap, pump action, bolt action, underlever cocking . . . (Insert Tim Allen gorilla sound here).

There were swords, too, but as I've explained in a recent post, we don't need any more of those.

And then I saw them: row after row of silver six-shooters in leather holsters. At that point I did cry a little, but I wiped away the tears really quick so the hobby-store guy wouldn't see.

I think he would have understood, though. After playing with testing the guns for a while, I made my selections and hefted them to the counter. Keep in mind that a cowboy needs not just his pistols, but also a rifle to hunt with, and to cap rustlers from a good quarter-mile out. Then there's also the fact that Isaac is going to need a gun in a couple of years. Plus the boys like for me to help them defend the house against bad guys, and there's no way in heck I'm going to keep using the kitchen broom if they're going to be wielding all this sweet equipment . . .

Suffice to say that the hobby-store guy covered his rent that day. He didn't have a bag big enough to hold all my new weaponry, so he dug under the counter until he found an industrial-size garbage bag, the thick black kind. He asked me how many boys I have, and I told him three. He nodded approvingly as he gently placed my weapons inside the bag and tied it up. Then he offered me his hand and wished me a Merry Christmas.

I felt like I restored his hope in America, or fatherhood, or something like that. I know he inspired me. Think about it: here is a small entrepreneur who staked thousands of dollars on the bet that even if the big retail stores don't have the guts to admit it, there are plenty of us parents willing to give our boys a toy gun for Christmas.

Nah, we're a long way from being like France.

Blessings to you and your family for the remainder of this year and all of the next. And if you come creeping around my house in the middle of the night, you'd best announce yourself clearly and stand real still until we give you entry. We're armed to the teeth.

Posted by Woodlief on December 23, 2004 at 09:12 AM

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; christmas; humor; toyguns

1 posted on 12/23/2004 2:04:45 PM PST by siunevada
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To: siunevada

What a hoot this article is. It's good to know that I can still go out and play cowboys and...............whoever!

2 posted on 12/23/2004 2:11:53 PM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: siunevada
What a fine article.

Damn right we're not like France

Have a Happy CHRISTmas.

3 posted on 12/23/2004 2:14:39 PM PST by americanSoul (Better to die on your feet, than live on your knees. Live Free or Die. I should be in New Hampshire.)
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To: axel f

Good laugh ping!

4 posted on 12/23/2004 2:16:07 PM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: siunevada

I read the title and thought of Tim Allen (the Santa Clause) and the "total tank" ad campaign meeting.

5 posted on 12/23/2004 2:20:22 PM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
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To: siunevada
Really cute, well written, and oh! so, un-pc...
Loved it thanks,,,,,
6 posted on 12/23/2004 2:22:55 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: siunevada
I've added BANGLIST to the keywords..

There are a lot of Gun owners and enthusiasts there that will love this article..

I know I did..

Merry Christmas...

7 posted on 12/23/2004 2:27:31 PM PST by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: siunevada

Hobby shops rule! Merry Christmas...

8 posted on 12/23/2004 2:29:10 PM PST by Edgerunner (Don't pay attention to me, ..I haven't been here long enough to have any credibility...)
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To: Joe Brower
I've added this to the banglist already..

Thought it might be worth pulling out the "ping" list for..

9 posted on 12/23/2004 2:30:28 PM PST by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: siunevada

Very, very cute! I'll be sending that one on to all my gun-totin' pals, LOL!

My sister LIVED in her holster and six-shooter. I remember the Sunday Morning arguments because Mom wouldn't let her wear them to church, LOL!

10 posted on 12/23/2004 2:39:28 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: siunevada

What boy doesn't want a toy weapon?.

11 posted on 12/23/2004 2:40:49 PM PST by John Will
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To: All; cavtrooper21

Actually I did find a nice set of cap pistols at Wally World. I bought the last two sets, (will have to find another when my youngest is older) they had. Also bought 1000 roll caps to go along with.

While my kids may be a little young, (3 years, 18 months, 5 months) I figured that I had better get them now before they become banned.

Semper Fi and looking forward to the smell of capgun powder in the morning!

12 posted on 12/23/2004 2:46:37 PM PST by dd5339 (A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path.)
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To: siunevada
I was raised up when you could buy REAL toy guns. A childhood friend of mine died recently and the guy had every toy gun he ever had in the original box. We're talking pristine here. I remember playing army with the guy and how picky he was about his toy guns. Of course his moronic children didn't know what he had or the value of them. These were guns that actually looked like WWII guns. BAR's, STENS, Grease guns, Thompsons, etc.. Ah, the memories.

In his memory I went out and bought myself a Springfield Armory M1A Match Grade for Christmas. God Bless You Bobby.
13 posted on 12/23/2004 2:58:20 PM PST by dljordan
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To: Sunshine Sister

We're such a sensitive society these days that playing "Cowboys and Suicide Bombers" is... well, discouraged.

Other pretend games liberals dislike are:

Cowboys and Indians
Cowboys and Terrorists
Cowboys and Kerry-ists
Cowboys and the Foreign Legion
Cowboys and the rest of the f'ing world
Cowboys and Baby Killers

The list just goes on. Who says cowboys have to be white these days anyway? I'm not white, and I always wanted to be a cowboy in the games.

Tell you what, you be Saddam and I'll be the cowboy American honky tonk President... just pretend.... :-)

Merry Christmas!

14 posted on 12/23/2004 3:07:51 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: siunevada

15 posted on 12/23/2004 3:09:30 PM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: siunevada
see 'em here:

Toy Guns

16 posted on 12/23/2004 3:10:25 PM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: siunevada

Toy model Colt 1860 .44 cap and ball pistol

17 posted on 12/23/2004 3:12:44 PM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: John Will
Replica Broomhandle Mauser:

18 posted on 12/23/2004 3:15:09 PM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: siunevada
"Oh. We don't sell those."

At this point, you sigh in resignation and announce, "I guess I'll just have to buy the kids real guns then."

19 posted on 12/23/2004 3:56:30 PM PST by Disambiguator
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To: dd5339
Heck, even a quick stop by Country Mart in AT will give you a good start to a cap gun "arsenal of freedom"..
And of course there is the real gun shop just across the parking lot.

Just in case. Where does this poor man live? Johnson County?? Lawrence?
20 posted on 12/23/2004 4:06:42 PM PST by cavtrooper21 (To those who hold the line, I will never forget.)
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