The Gunshop: Ground Zero For Bad Advice

By John Vogel

“Just rack it once and they will reconsider their actions,” says the overweight man behind the counter. He is operating the pump on a $200 Turkish-made shotgun that has just as many pic rails as it does problems. The three men on the other side of the counter look like 12-year-old boys in a Victoria’s Secret. To add some panache, the gunslinger/salesman squares his feet and holds the shotgun out away from his body with both hands as you would a handgun. 

“It is so lightweight, it can be implemented in several fashions for self defense.” The men are impressed but one asks about recoil.

“I run several rounds of birdshot as the first loads. It is very effective and will stun a grown man long enough to subdue him. Because if you kill somebody, a DA will send you to prison, especially in this state.” The men all nod in agreement. 

It’s too late for them, as they have already been corrupted by bad information, or Fudd Lore if you are from the internet. 

At the other end of the counter, a taller, thinner, older man is telling a single mom about why revolvers are optimal for women because he says women tend to panic more. “Yea,” he says, “the FBI did a study and found female agents forget to rack the slide usually when drawing their service weapons. You don’t have to pull the slide back on a revolver.” 

Take me now Lord, take me now. 

I haven’t even moved from my spot at the counter.

A couple walk in, both carrying handbags, and go straight to the counter. The male asks if they sell AR15s. He is told that they do have several AR15s and AKs, but is pointed to a Ruger Mini-14 which he says is “ban proof” because it doesn’t have scary features. Just when I thought my headache couldn’t grow larger, the salesman says, “It’s pretty much an M1 Garand which is what we carried in World War 2…but better”. 

I’m in pain. 

The three guys who got the shotgun lesson have left, no sale occurred, but the salesman walks over to me. He asks what he can help me with and I ask him for lead-free 7mm Rem Mag (don’t ask), which is kept behind a locked case so some kid doesn’t go shoving a $3 round in his mouth. He quips that this is “some big boy ammo” and that he doesn’t see the point in magnums. “Eskimos up north use .22LR to kill polar bears. I was taught as a kid to do headshots only. If I were to hunt, it would be with a .223 because it is super-accurate and no recoil.” Brevity is the soul of wit, said the Bard, so I just respond with a simple “yeah.” 

Another employee overhears this conversation and chimes in that he disagrees with his coworker. For a moment, my hope is restored. “I wouldn’t use anything less than 375 H&H with my 300-grain pet load. The deer don’t go anywhere.” 

Hope is fleeting once again. 

I take my ammo and go, worried about the world at large.