It’s always funny when they find America, which you know, has a lower violent crime rate than California, and doesn’t see guns as some kind of demonic curse in sorry need of an exorcism:
He went on to say I could buy as many of them as I wanted and walk out with my arsenal today. “These guns have helped our industry tremendously,” he said. “They’ve attracted a whole new generation…. Is there one you want to try?” He brought down a Colt AR15-A3 tactical carbine, slammed in an empty magazine, and handed it to me. It felt disappointingly fake, an awesome water pistol, perhaps, or a Halloween prop. I asked if I would need to tell him why I wanted to buy a gun like that or what I intended to do with it. He squinted and smiled and appeared politely speechless. “Would you have to do what, now?” he asked.
I’m not big on slamming magazines into a gun in a shop for effect, I’ll be honest.
“I have six handguns—bought five of them here,” an old man said to me. I was waiting for Ron, who’d gone to the back room to find a gun he thought I might like. “I have five rifles, got all of them here,” the man said. “I spend most of my time reloading shells. All my friends are dead.” He had thin white hair and a long, sagging face dotted with age spots. “Do you know what the biggest problem with divorce is? It’s the bedroom. And a lot of it’s the man’s fault. Like a damn rabbit, on and off.”
It felt like we should have had rocking chairs, perhaps a set of checkers between us. This was one of the things I liked most about Sprague’s: the general-store feel. Groups would form, strangers becoming neighbors, sharing stories. “I lost my wife in November,” the man said. “Sixty years. Now my kids keep trying to get me to go live with them in California. My doctor said, ‘What’s your lifestyle?’ I told him guns. He said, ‘Stay in Yuma.’ “
I guess it’s a bit late for Markey’s Law Monday, but it’s still Monday out on the west coast. You have to love it when they are subtle about suggesting interest in guns is a sexual dysfunction.
“I just got that same Smith for my kid,” he said.
I looked at him. He appeared far too young to have a grown son.
“Wait, how old is your kid?” I asked.
“Six,” he said.
Yeah, buying a .22 for a kid. The horror.
Richard Sprague, the owner of Sprague’s Sports, is a slender man in his fifties with a tapered face, coarse graying hair, and an easy smile. Other Arizona gun stores would not even entertain my request to visit and ask questions about selling guns and ammunition, but Richard without hesitation invited me to spend as much time as I wanted at Sprague’s—behind the counter, in the back room, at the shooting range, anywhere I wished.
The other Arizona gun stores were smarter. I really wish gun shops would understand there is not much good that can come of speaking with reporters. I am definitely a fan of engagement, but there’s very little the media is going to report about several days in a gun shop that’s not going to end up being twisted like this horror. These people hate you. You don’t have to explain yourself. They are the barbarians, not you. If a reporter seems to try to want to understand you, the best defense is to walk away, because it’s probably a set-up. These people are not at all to be trusted.
The vampires among journalists will always feed to the greatest satisfaction off ordinary, good people, who honestly just want to talk and be understood. Don’t be tempted. They are out to get you. I think what bothers me the most is that this reporter is from Pennsylvania, which is still, last I checked, part of America when it comes to mostly respecting the 2nd Amendment. I grew up not 50 miles from where I live now, about 5 miles outside of Philadelphia, and I knew people who hunted, did target shooting, and carried guns for self-defense. Some of them I called family. It was not a novel or unusual concept for me. So I really have to wonder, if this reporter is from Pennsylvania, where exactly she’s from, because clearly she hasn’t seen much of her own state.
UPDATE: Someone pointed out the reporter was a woman, so the article has been updated accordingly.
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