I have made several questionable decisions in my short history as a father. One of the more interesting was taking my small daughter to the Gun and Knife show. I established in an earlier post that we lived in a questionable neighborhood so I figured reliable switchblade or shoulder fired rocket launchers might be a good idea. What better way to get untraceable firearms than a Gun and Knife Show?
For people unfamiliar with the southern US; anyone can buy guns and knives just about everywhere and it isn’t a big deal. Everyone has guns and knives. There are outdoor flea markets with metal tables under white canvas tents and one table might have used rifles and the next vendor will have puppies or chickens for sale. Further down might be rusty hand tools beside a stand selling home-made jams. It is the country version of an open market that you might see in an Indiana Jones movie.
The Gun and Knife Show is a spectacle that is boiled down to get rid of the useless things like hand tools and focus on decorative knives, swords, bulk ammunition, and guns. One booth had collectible money but that was the only non-weapon related vendor I saw. (Is collectible money as strange to everyone else as it is to me? Old dollars and coins are worth more? I saw a two dollar bill for sale for five dollars…) Anywho… My wife and I took toddler Jane to this market of modern weaponry just to stroll around and enjoy the ambiance.
One of the more aggressive vendors barks at us as we walk by, “Hey I have something for the little one there!” I slow down and give him my attention thinking maybe it is a colorful sticker of Henry the Handgun or something along those lines. Candy bullets maybe? He pulls out a handful of small plastic pocket knives.
“Only five dollars apiece or five for thirty.”
“Sounds like a real almost-deal you got there.” I don’t know what bothered me more, a) A man selling buckets of knives and having no concept of math and sales incentive or b) He is trying to sell weaponry to a toddler.
“I don’t think she is quite ready to stab anything in self-defense.”
A true pro never takes no for an answer. “Never too early to start a collection! I have a pretty pink one here.” He smiles and my attention is again derailed but this time I am trying to decide if he is missing teeth in a regular pattern or not. If I could just pull out his left incisor then it would be every other tooth. I can’t see anything but that damn tooth messing up a perfect pattern of tooth, no tooth, tooth, no tooth…
Supermom is confused and avoiding eye contact. She is understandable uncomfortable because the level of conspiracy theory and bullets really gives off a feel of North Korean border encampment. I put my arm around her and smile at the whistle toothed gentleman and we make our way to a more normal AK-47 display where the vendor has a respectable partially grey crew cut and button up tactical clothing. Plus he has all of his teeth. I never knew how much my opinion of someone was influenced by dental representation.
After completing a half day tour of all the weapons available we managed to avoid purchasing anything. However, after being exposed to several different mindsets and collectors, we did go to an official outdoors store and purchase a new handgun for protection. From people we met at the Gun and Knife Show.
If you have ever been to one of these shows and found yourself cornered by a vendor selling deadly weapons to your toddler, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.