Gun Show....A Warm Welcome
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."