LOCKED AND LOADED
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE NO 657389530
On Saturday we went to the local Gun Show. One because well, I'm in America. How could I not not go?
Also wanted to check out any blackpowder. I still want my Flintlock. There was one, a 68 Caliber (i think), it was a bloody elephant gunne. It was huge, I think I'll start with something that doesn't make my arms ache after holding it for 20 seconds.
We met friends there who know their guns to help us ease our way into this new culture.
It wasn't all gunnes though. You could buy, knifes, coins, postcards, saddles and jewelry.
I didn't take many photos cause I wasn't sure if it would annoy people. And if there are people you don't want to annoy its folks at a gun show. I did ask a couple of times and it wasn't a problem.
Most of the dealers were older folk, I think a lot of them were Vietnam vets, just judging from the conversations and old tattoos.
It was interesting but still strange to my Aussie eyes. The rifles seemed 'normal' but the handguns and big machine gun looking thingys were a bit confronting. I wonder what a gun show in Oz sells?
I don't know much about guns but I do know that after Port Arthur and the whole semi automatic recall that happened in Oz in '96. The NRA here did a huge if mostly skewed propaganda campaign.
' Oh Noes, look what teh Australian Gov is doing to thier people. Taking away thier rights. Don't let it happen here!!'
Because of that, once people find out I'm Australian I usually get into a chat about the restrictions.
I just shrug and say
"Well, you know I don't think that many people cared. We don't have a culture of hand guns and not many people have semi autos. Can't take away what you don't have in the first place."
They are always polite and I think it takes the wind out of their sails a bit, when I don't get all fired up about it.
I know people did care when the bans were put into place, I seem to remember Little Johnny in a bullet proof vest at a rally. But for the majority of people I don't think it was a big deal.
Thats just my take on it. Even though there are many guns in Oz there does not seem to be the entrenched mindset over them that there is here.
People really do believe in their inalienable rights to bear arms, in case the Government gets uppity of course. My response that a 'bloody and violent coup to restore order and harmony, what a great plan. What could possibly go wrong?' doesn't generally win me many friends.
It is sort of amusing, thats one thing people know about us, because it was used in the States as political and money making stunt.
At the door to the show, If I joined the NRA I would have gotten free entry.
The little black powder pistol was pretty cool, and I'm sure I lost many rep points cooing over the Derringer about 'how cute' it was. So tiny and shiny.