Living Out Loud

An Undercover Liberal at a Gunshow


All the way back in 1995, the year of the Oklahoma City bombing, a friend of my wife came to my hometown for a gun and knife show. Gary owned a small gun shop outside of Williamsburg, VA and traveled up and down the East coast on weekends selling his wares at shows. When he arrived at our house he was upset because the guy who was going to help him had blown off the trip. With five tables rented, Gary was concerned about shoplifting and being able to service his customers. Since I was knowledgeable about guns because I'd been in the military and worked in the prison system and since the guy was in a bind and a friend of my wife, I volunteered to help him out. This was a mistake.

I am a pretty big fan of the constitution and all its amendments. This includes the second amendment, even though my interpretation is different than that of the NRA. I was unprepared for what I experienced at this show. This crowd was  composed of my peers, people who would serve on a jury were I to be accused of killing O.J. Simpson’s wife. You’d better bet I would take a plea bargain before my fate would be decided by any of these yahoos. 

Just to be ornery, I wore a Clinton-Gore t-shirt on the first day. As I walked by a bumper sticker table I started to worry. When I saw “Whitewater-How Many More Must Die?” I knew I was in trouble. This was a little beyond the “I love my country, but I hate my government” sticker popular here. I wanted to check the manufacturer of the sticker but I figured they wouldn’t call it the Joseph Goebbels Publishing Company anyway.

During the show I met some interesting folks. There was the fellow buying the sniper scope who explained to me about the U.N.’s black helicopters ferrying around the Tokyo secret police looking for sites for the gulags to be built when the big New World Order push began. I heard a lot about the NWO and the U.N. over the weekend.

Then there was the Army sergeant who told me soldiers at Ft. Bragg were being questioned for selection to a special unit. The unidentified questioners were asking members of the 82nd Airborne,  America’s Guard of Honor, if they would be willing to kill Americans in a house to house search for guns. He was buying a new 30 round magazine for his Tek-9. I hope the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment is ready when they go to search his house. 

To take a break from these loonies I walked around the show to see if there were any historical weapons on display. I wanted to see an M-1, maybe a British Lee-Enfield, and any other WW2 rifles that were there. Instead, I found the table hawking video tapes on the U.N. takeover (probably made by the same company that makes the video on how many murders have occurred among enemies of the Clintons whicj was sponsoring commercials on the Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell shows at the time) This was near the booth with the commemorative  Ku Klux Klan pocketknives and patches, a staple on the Southern gun show circuit I learned. I hurried away so that I would be sure not to miss the Iranian guy selling Russian Night Vision equipment. The inspection sticker in the box had a date stamp that was only four months old.  I guess it didn’t take Ivan long to sell this one to Abdul on the black market so that Abdul could sell it to Bubba down here in the land of the old confederacy.

The most poignant moment of the weekend came from this young working class guy who had a fist full of greasy $20 bills. He desperately wanted to buy a Czech SK rifle. These were plentiful as were most other Warsaw Pact Weapons, including semi-automatic AK-47 look alikes. Anyway, this buyer, in his dirty heating and air uniform, finally got his rifle. Then he approached our table with his remaining cash to buy a scope. Putting down the last of his money, he got it. After asking a few more questions, he learned he still needed a mount for the scope. The pain on his face was palpable. I almost gave him the additional six dollars to get the mount but he managed to borrow it from one of his buddies. He left smiling. I was touched.

The next morning, Sunday, he was back at the show. He was a little cleaned up and was no longer wearing his heating and air cap. He had on another one. This hat said “NC Chapter of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan”. At this point I bolted. What had started as an interesting sociological experiment had turned into cooperation with psychopathy and I wanted no more part of it. It was 30 years ago and I remember it as it  happened last week. These attitudes and these people were on the fringes for a long time. Now they've elected one of their own as president and are poised to do it again.