Skip to comments.OMG! They’re Selling Guns In Arizona! To Almost Anyone! OMG!
Posted on 09/06/2012 12:46:38 PM PDT by marktwain
It can be hard for those of us stranded out here in flyover country what with dodging the Indians flaming arrows and digging our Conestogas out of them durned wheel ruts to fully grok the anti-gun, pro-disarmament POV so prevalent among those who inhabit the left and right coasts. Not to mention a few conspicuous points in between. But its always useful to put yourself in the shoes of those on the other side, if for no other reason that plot better ways to counter their arguments. Not that that was what Jeanne Marie Laskas was doing with her piece in GQ. No, she embarked on her foray into the wilds of a Yuma, Arizona gun store more as an anthropological expedition . . .
Chronicling the mysterious people in the middle is apparently a big thing for Laskas. Her new book, Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extroardinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work, comes out next week. So she apparently knows how to dress (and maybe even talk!) in these strange and foreign lands.
In this excursion, though, she ventured west to listen to the conversation the rest of America was apparently having about guns in the wake of some recent high-profile shootings. As pervasive and integral a part of American culture as guns are, Laskas wondered If an armed citizenry is a piece of our national identity, how is it that Id never even met it?
Just a thought, but immersing yourself in the east coast media culture (shes a former WaPo columnist and Contributing Editor at Esquire) could have something to do with it. Maybe.
Anyway, once she finally dug up a store willing to take her in, she spent some quality time with the folks who own, operate and patronize Spragues Sports, observing the indigenous fauna as they prowled the gun counters and ranges. But despite the experience youd have to think she acquired while researching her book, it was hard to tamp down all that northeast corridor parochialism. She took the opportunity to pose some challenging questions to a member of the stores sales staff who was more than ready for it.
Im kind of surprised you carry assault rifles, I said to Ron.Again, from the perspective of the limited circles in which Laskas runs (she a creative writing professor at the University of Pittsburgh), guns are something those damn people think they need.
Theres no such thing as an assault rifle, he said. These are military-style rifles or modern sporting rifles.
But theyre assault rifles, I noted. I knew that much from TV.
Assault is one of the worst things the media has ever done to us, he said. Have any of these rifles ever assaulted anyone?
Nobody in my circle back east had guns, nobody wanted them, and if anybody talked about them, it was in cartoon terms: Guns are bad things owned by bad people who want to do bad things. About the only time the people where I come from thought about guns was when something terrible happened. A lunatic sprays into a crowd and we have the same conversation we always have: those damn guns and those damn people who insist on having them.
Just a guess, but it looks like Jeannes not a regular DGU of the Day reader.
But give her some credit. During her time in the borderland area store, she bought herself an M&P 15-22 and a Glock 19. She couls barely contain her horror and revulsion, though, when a customer complimented her on her rifle choice, telling her that hed just bought the same gun for his six-year-old.
Ultimately, the conversations with all the exotic gun people, some of whom betray their fears of the regulations anti-gunners would be only too happy to impose, were a little too much for her.
In the end, I went over to the indoor range to blow off some steam and to release my mind from the endless loop of stupid-scary.
But its a funny thing about those guns and the people who choose to own them. In Laskas case, they may have may have made her reconsider her POV. A little.
I kept thinking about neighbors. You have this crazy family living next door. One day you go over with a pie, figuring if you just confronted the crazy, youd understand it and find acceptance. Then you discover that all this time they think youre the crazy family. The more you try to explain yourself, the crazier you sound, and if you stay long enough, you probably will be.
These were burdensome thoughts, and I wanted to get rid of them. I rented an Uzi, fully automatic. I chose the male zombie. I think he was supposed to be a lawyer. He had a briefcase. I aimed for his left eyeball and pulled the trigger. The patter of thirty-two bullets lasted maybe three seconds, and then the eyeball was gone. The release felt like one gorgeous, fantastic sneeze, and the satisfaction reminded me of cold beer.
Come on in, Jeanne. The waters fine.
The media/Libs wouldn’t like my English Long Bow, my Recurve Bow, or my Cross Bow either.
I admit its kinda fun to go into a major supermarket in Arizona, and the guy behind you in line is wearing a gun pistols. Even better is that nobody raises an eyebrow
Did I mention that people are very polite here?
Here kitty, kitty. That's hot.
What were we talking about?
I might very well be one of those you see wearing a pistol. You are forgiven!
I bow to you....
Actually there is such a thing, but it's not what the media call it. "Assault rifle" is a military term for a rifle that shoots a medium sized cartrige and has both auto and semi-auto capability. "Assault weapon" is a made up term.
Folks in Arizona travel unarmed at their own risk!
Back in the Sixties my wife's family drove a station wagon. They visited family in New York, and were asked about the trip. She told her cousins that they only had to cirlce the station wagons twice on the trip back East. And they believed her!
And I thought I was stretching it a bit when I told how the Japanese engineers and military men that I took out shooting were always looking at the horizon, watching for hostile indians!
Not stretching it at all!
” Once you leave town out here (although you don’t really have to) everything you see wants to either bite, sting, or stick you.
Folks in Arizona travel unarmed at their own risk! “
You need a gun here that’s for sure. Two years ago, I found a rattler which must have been on steroids in my back yard. We have mountain lions too.
I remember first visiting AZ before the concealed carry law was passed, and it was very common to see people packing a pistol on their hip, even ordinary-looking suburban moms pushing their kid in a stroller. After the CCW law was passed, you only rarely see people carrying openly, but of course just as many people are carrying, probably more, and you just don’t see it.
Some folks may find that disturbing, but I find it reassuring.
“Once you leave town out here...”
Or if you even just live on the edge of town. In my folks’ backyard, I’ve seen tarantulas, five foot long snakes, bobcats, coyotes, great horned owls... and I’m only there for a week or so a year.
” Or if you even just live on the edge of town. In my folks backyard, Ive seen tarantulas, five foot long snakes, bobcats, coyotes, great horned owls...”
Oh yeah, bobcats and tarantulas!
You remind me of a baseball practice when a rattler slithered across the path that led to the field. One of the dads went back to find it, and he killed it with a stick. No gun needed. I could be wrong, but I don’t think any of the dads carried. I always felt safe around them when hubby wasn’t around.
I recall a baseball game when a snake slithered into the outfield. One of the boys noticed it and called an umpire over. The umpire had no inclination toward dealing with the snake. So a coach from the other team marched out there and did some Snake Whispering or something. I think he picked it up and threw it on the other side of the fence. It was great! It was obviously not a rattler. :-)
Bears, Bobcats, & Javalenas as well.
The majority of anti-gun zealots have never fired a firearm. At my wife’s CC permit class, a young lady getting her carry permit at the insistence of her boyfriend was crying because she had never fired a gun and was scared to death. Wisely he had a .22 semi-auto pistol for her to shoot. By the end of qualifying, she was giggling because she was having so much fun.
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