This past weekend I attended my first gun show – purely for journalistic reasons, of course. The first thing I noticed was how calm everyone was. As I walked to the back of the line people smiled and said, “Good morning.” The wait to get in was 50 minutes and compared to what I’ve heard from others who attended, that was a short wait. I chatted with two men in front of me as we crept toward the entrance. One of them flexed his muscles and said, “Welcome to the gun show.” Nice guys. After paying admission I was asked if I had guns to be checked and was allowed entrance. I started at the far end of the first room and wound my way up and down the aisles, taking it all in. Looking from booth to booth in the sea of people was almost overwhelming. Almost. People said, “Please,” and “Thank you.” Men were gentlemen. Children were well-behaved.
I wandered the three warehouse-sized rooms for three hours and saw bleeding zombie targets, conceal/carry purses, custom-made holsters while you wait, guns, knives, tasers, clothes, apparel, jewelry, gun law handbooks, and more accessories than I could name. All the while I was waiting for a gun to rise up, load itself, and go on a shooting spree because we’ve all been told guns kill people. To my disappointment and relief (so conflicted!), no such incident happened. No knives jumped up and went all stabby on the crowd. No tasers lunged at unsuspecting passersby to zap them to unconsciousness. The only pain felt was by my stomach because I had forgotten to grab a bite since lunch the previous day. Of the over 10,000 attendees only one was injured and that was after he’d left the building and was on his way to the parking lot. With those odds, I have a better chance of dating a millionaire than I do of being shot.
Overall, it was a great experience. I was even able to finally make a decision on which firearm I wanted: all of them.