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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Earrings, Bagels, and Ammo - OR - How I Spent My Friday Off



I had the day off yesterday and since I didn't have the duties that I had originally anticipated, I decided to go shopping. Can't hate that, right?

First stop was at my local jewelry store. Personally, I think having a local jewelry store that you trust is as important as having a local gun shop you trust. Being a single woman with disposable income means I'm spending decent sums of money at both places, so I want to know I'm being given good information and good service. Besides, guns and precious metals both retain some value, so I'm not REALLY spending my childrens' inheritance, I'm just investing it, right? LOL

My local gun shop owner knows my face and greets me as soon as I walk in the door. It's getting to be that way with my jewelry shop now too. The jewelry shop is owned by women, and even cooler - at least one of them shoots. I was in there yesterday to get a ring repaired (all that healthcare handwashing is hard on my EDC jewelry - ha), and I also ordered a pair of .45 cal sterling and diamond earrings. I've been thinking about it for awhile and decided that the earrings would be my early Christmas present to myself. These aren't the crafty kind made out of the actual spent brass, these are sterling silver that the shop casts themselves. They are really cute, and I hope to have them in time for Lady 3Gun at Halloween. I'll post pics when I get them.

Then, after the jewelry store, I decided to stroll farther up the street and get myself some brunch. There is a new Panera at the top of High street, and I was craving an "everything" bagel. Anyone who follows gun news knows that Panera recently was pressured by the Anti-Moms group into making a statement about firearms in their restaurants. As part of that statement, they also said that they would not be posting signs and would be following state and local law. http://fortune.com/2014/09/08/panera-bread-to-customers-guns-are-allowed-but-not-really/

All of which, to me, amounts to a nod and a wink and then business as usual. I'm not much into boycotts, and there was no sign on the door, so I and my "little friend" enjoyed our bagel without incident. Nobody looked scared either -- because I wasn't wearing rumpled camo and a slung rifle -- I was a respectable-looking middle-aged woman carrying concealed.

This is an illustration of the ignorance and hypocrisy that drives me crazy when it comes to this sort of thing. It's all about appearances and "feelings", and has nothing to do with reality and logic. The store chains that make these statements and "requests" are using smoke and mirrors to make it look as if they have taken some sort of stand, when in fact nothing has changed. Yet - the Anti's are appeased somehow. If I were a political cartoonist, I would draw a restaurant scene with one couple saying to the other, "I feel so much safer now that no guns are allowed here", while in the background there are cartoon x-ray bubbles show all of the folks around them with concealed handguns on their persons. It's the Ignorance is Bliss defense - "If I don't see anything that makes me afraid, then I must be safe". 

The corollary to that is the Fear as Validation defense - "If something makes me fearful or uncomfortable, then it must be evil, and I am correct in wanting it banned". This is the voodoo situation where gun owners become imbued with the evil that their firearms impart to them. This is where the Anti's become unable to distinguish between criminal activity perpetrated with a firearm, and lawful citizens carrying firearms for defense. The firearms are inherently evil, contaminating everyone and everything they come in contact with, and no one should be allowed to have them. I know - it's not logical - but fear isn't logical, it's emotional, and most of these folks are driven by emotion.

But... because I didn't provide any emotional triggers (pun intended), with a visible gun or a threatening visage that day, I was able to eat my bagel in peace, and no one was the wiser.

Moving on, but speaking of inexplicable behavior... what is it that drives men (usually senior-aged men) to try to give women who are complete strangers, gun advice?

There I was at a grand opening for an outdoor store, looking for bargains and checking out ammo and minding my own business. I was handling a couple boxes of .380 when some older guy started talking to me. He starts rambling about ammo prices and showing me the picture in the store flyer of the gun he just bought, and talking about the hole in the ground that was next to the squirrel he tried to shoot, and I'm thinking "Do I know you - do you think I'm someone else?" Then he asked me what gun I'm buying ammo for and I said I had a G42 and he replied "Well, that's all you need". 

What I wanted to say was, "Well, my 12 ga Benelli would disagree with you." But I chose the 'be polite' route, and just mentioned that I had other guns, and I was looking at ammo today and had just ordered some online... all the while continuing to peruse the boxes and act dismissive, but he just wouldn't go away.  He said something about buying so much ammo, and he didn't "burn up" his guns like that. That's when I dropped the hammer and said, "Well, I shoot competitively." 

It wasn't a lie. I didn't claim to be a "good" competitor or anything, and I didn't really mean it to sound that snarky, but it did finally shut him up.  He said something about needing to find his wife, and took his leave. I didn't feel threatened or anything, - it wasn't that - and the gun dept was full of people, but he was really annoying.  What possesses older men to do that? Am I that much of a novelty in the ammo department? You're there with your wife, so I hope that isn't your way of flirting with me. I'm middle-aged and look it, so it's not like I'm some young hottie.  Maybe he was just lonely and trying to be helpful, which is why I tried to stay polite. But I still don't get it.

Ah well, as the old Scots saying goes, "There's nowt so queer as folk".

So anyway, that's how my Friday went. How was yours?

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