A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gun Show....A Warm Welcome

Just before lunch today, I went back to the gun show. I was still rather ambivalent regarding the Colt New Agent, even though my wife had blessed the purchase over our morning coffee. Among the walkers was a young man with a High Standard Citation. I asked what he wanted. He said he really wanted a trade, but he would take $350-400. I looked the .22 pistol over, and almost reached for my wallet. I refrained. I told him he could surely get that. Another walker had a pinned S&W Model 10 heavy barrel with a thin finish and Good Year grips. He was asking $200. That one was tempting too.

As I leaned against the wall by the door, watching the flow into the show, I wondered why there were so many kooks in camouflage walking around. Army field jackets in woodland camo, field caps in camo, and T shirts in camo. Didn't anybody's eyes point the same direction? Does everyone put chunks of water hose in their earlobes? The gates of camo hell must have opened and puked out a thousand simian freaks for this show. The women came in two basic styles. The group over 40 was rather demure and normal, trailing behind their oil cloth hatted man with aloof disinterest. The younger female group universally wore stiletto heeled boots and maroon lipstick on top of face paint so thick you could carve your name in it with a stick. Morticia Adams would have been proud. Gun shows attract the media. Indeed, there was a news crew filming this afternoon. Its good to try to not look like the yokel who just had a twister tear up his trailer with granny inside.

I was perhaps one of the few people glad to see the flow of young black men into the show. They were eyed suspiciously by many, even though they were as well behaved as any man their age. I noticed that when one black man was denied on NICS with a seller, he managed to buy a handgun going through NICS with another seller later in the day. Funny, that. I was satisfied to spot no less than three attorneys, one instantly recognizable in his bow tie and shock of grey hair. I also saw four surgeons, three physicians, and several nurses I knew. I was amused to discover the priest in charge of my daughter's parochial school fondling evil black rifles.

Among the greasy Mausers on one dealer's table was a well worn C serialed M&P with buggered up screws and transitional grips. The muzzle looked as though it had kissed concrete at least once. The seller said it was his personal carry gun, and he would come down from $250 to $200 for cash. Another dealer had just placed out a beater Model 10 snubbie. The finish looked like it took a beach vacation several years back. It did lock up tight. The seller had it marked $225. I asked if he would take $200. He refused. A year or so ago I purchased two Model 10 snubbies in excellent condition for under two hundred a piece. Prices have escalated.

Along the back wall, an old gentleman selling knives had put out a blued Colt Commander. I asked if I could examine it. He nodded. "It's a Lightweight, made in 1957" he said proudly as I picked it up.

"It certainly is," I responded. The slide had been refinished at least once. It was all original, obviously well loved and carried. I inquired as to the take home figure. $850........Wow. That jiggled my cerebral cortex. I handed the pistol back to the old gent, and I crossed the arena to the table holding the New Agent. I motioned the dealer over and I asked for his best price. He dropped ten bucks off the sticker price. Good enough. I told him he had a deal, and I went behind his table to complete the paperwork and exchange with his wife. Ten minutes later, the New Agent was mine.

I continued through the show, carrying the blue plastic Colt box. I had several people ask me if I wanted to sell. Then, suddenly, the old gent with the Lightweight Commander tapped my shoulder. "What did you buy?" he asked.

"Just a little lightweight carry gun" I replied as I opened the box to show him. I have to admit I was a little self satisfied. I would have purchased his Lightweight Commander, had the price been agreeable, and it felt good to show him I could have.

"You got a steal son. Welcome to the World of Colt," the old man beamed. As an owner of over twenty Colt handguns, I resisted my inclination towards a smart assed retort.

Instead, I looked the old codger in the eye and said "Thank you."

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Blogger Freddyboomboom said...


I got a new Beretta PX4 at our local gun show yesterday, in 9mm. Took it out today and ran 100 rounds through it. Wonderful!

Went back to the show today with a guy from work who I've taken shooting a few times the past year. He got a new Sig P226 in 9mm. His first firearm purchase.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just talked with my friend over People being able to own firearms. I'm the Pole from Poland stalking this blog for quite some time. His main counterargument was people are irresponsible idiots not worth to handle themselves not even saying about possessing a firearm or even a car. He is a young person. He was a target rifle shooter in high school, he have a master degree in Computer Science and he still resists to any argumentation I could give him. Just because he thinks other are less fit than him to handle themselves and he obviously doesn't have a need for a gun. Haughtiness...

Sorry for the Rant. Grats for the good choice and nice review...


6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is why I look to your blog every day for a post. You could have cut the old boy with some snotty shot and you didn't. His attitude needs to be encouraged in my view.

When I was a youngster, I went with my grandfather to several gun stores and there was always somebody there that took the time to answer questions from a kid that was obviously not in any position to buy anything, let alone a firearm. Their treatment of me made the "gun culture" very attractive to me and it remains so today, in spite of the camo filled rooms at the gun shows.

Congrats on the NEW gun purchase also.


6:22 AM  
Anonymous Dion said...

A new Colt, happy days.
I share your observation in regard to the "change" in people attending gun shows.
I attended the last show in Lexington and never did get comfortable walking around. There was an advisarial air that I could not put my finger on. I don't think I will be attending the next show there. I prefer the Louisville show. It is bigger and more private owners come.
Again, congrats on your new piece.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Carl H said...

Dang, I may have to start going to gun shows looking for femme fatales. As some great philosopher once said "Too much lipstick, too much rouge, makes me feel a little dazed and confused. I like my womenfolk a little on the trashy side". I'll even wear camo if that's what it takes to blend in (ba dum bum Pssssssh)

Good on ya for the old fellow. Enjoy that new pistola.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Reno Sepulveda said...

"I was perhaps one of the few people glad to see the flow of young black men into the show."

I've been thinking the same thing lately about the shooting community. Gun people are good people in my book. I love it at my range people are so friendly and generous. Maybe it's because in California we view ourselves as a persecuted minority. We hardly ever get any brothers up at the range though and that's a shame.

I was wondering the other night about attending one of those appleseed shoots and bringing some black guys with me. You'd think the whole idea of armed and engaged citizenship would really resonate in that community. But then I wondered how they would be welcomed.

I think the shooting world needs it's own Jackie Robinson right about now.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Range Report!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Freddyboomboom said...


At the Appleseed shoot I went to last year, we had a Hispanic guy and his son, and a single mom and her son.

Those were the only "minorities" that I remember, at least in my shooting bay.

But nobody made any comments or looked down on them that I heard or saw.

And instructors spent an inordinate amount of time with the Hispanic guy, helping him try and get his SKS to shoot anything other than patterns. Nobody seemed to mind that, either.

This was in Eastern Washington State, land of migrant farmhands.

We were all there trying to learn some rifle marksmanship, no matter the race, color, sex, or national origin.

The two dudes from Canada even made "rifleman".

Your mileage may vary, but that's the way it went at the one I went to.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Sans Authoritas said...

I second that, Anonymous II. If a gun shop owner treats his customers (or potential future customers) well, it will pay off in the end.

I remember reading a story about a man who had recently immigrated to the U.S., and while any car dealer could have ripped him off, he was given a square deal. He remembered that square deal later on, when he owned his own construction company, and bought his fleet from the honest salesman.

So it is with the young. They'll remember who treated them with respect even before they were able to buy.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's always the right thing karma-wise to be good to old folks who mean no harm by their condescension...keep that new colt of yours as nice as the old fellow's (you might have asked him about depreciation; if he bought that old girl new in the 50's he paid under a hundred bucks), and if America is still America fifty years from now you could be sitting at a gunshow asking $10K or so for it...

keep in mind this...what you call "marketplace economics driven by trepidation, speculation, and greed" is really just the old law of supply and demand...and perception...stated in a dramatic way with veiled implications...whether it's guns, gold, stocks, property, or beaniebabies, a "seller" has every right to "speculate", even if his display is really just candy to attract sellers instead of buyers.

back during the zumbo debacle i wrote to you about the changing of the guard at the shows re the camo commandos...good or bad i don't know; they could be like the dentists and accountants who dress up in leather on the weekends and pound the pavement on their Harleys. but that trend did play a part in my dropping my ffl after so many years even before i sold my shop...that's where the real danger lies for the future of gun ownership; i alluded to it when i said in an earlier note that gun control by law or by tort is again on the horizon; if you can't regulate ownership, then sue the sellers into submission...just ask some georgia and nc dealers about their experiences with the ny attorney general; lawsuits against ffl's are the biggest threat to access to firearms today.

you did the right thing, for yourself and for other buyers down the road, by buying the new colt...like the hundred year old .45's we all love, your new piece will outlive you and will forever be in the nation's arsenal; reason enough to buy new while you still can.

sorry about the minimalist writing style; only God, America, and 2A get capitals from me! jtc

8:45 PM  

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