While the silly season is not yet in full swing, Bitter and I are still trying to fill seats at the county Friends of the NRA dinner, so that means working gun shows (don’t forget to sing the fun show song). The most popular area gun show used to be hosted at the Valley Forge Convention Center, but they’ve recently turned that into a casino, forcing the shows to move to a convention hall just up the road in Oaks. So Sunday I get to sit there at our table and not wander, lest I might find something, like a Trapdoor Springfield in very good condition, which tempts me greatly to part with money I shouldn’t be spending on guns right now. Of course, said Springfield was on the table next to us, and it called to me the whole time. I resisted, however.
But there’s a few things that struck me about the crowd compared to even a few years ago. Generally speaking, guns shows were mostly a sausage fest, and the women you did see tended to be bored girlfriends who were dragged there by their boyfriend. What’s surprising is that not only are there more women at the shows, but they often have kids in tow. Gun shows seem to have developed into family affairs where mom and dad bring the kids along. Bitter talked a good bit to someone who was a 4dH mom, and who was interested in the dinner (since the grants fund 4H programs). The other demographic that seems to have grown quite a bit at the shows are middle class blacks. Sure, you still have your stereotypical fat middle-aged white guys, but the demographics are getting younger, more diverse, and trending toward families. Needless to say this is not good news for our opponents.