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APRIL 1998 | VOL. 1, NO. 4




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LOU PLUMMER, who was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, writes because "some things can only be described with poetry." He currently works as a technical writer and lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is a contibuting writer for Renaissance Magazine.




Loose Cannons
A gun show's not-so-hidden dark side


A couple of years ago, an old friend of my wife came here for a gun and knife show. Gary owns a small gun shop outside of Williamsburg, Virginia, and travels 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 am knowledgeable in the area of firearms due to my military and law enforcement experiences 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 Goebels 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 NOW and the U.N. over the weekend.

Then there was the NCO 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, 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. Watch for the commercials on the Pat Robertson or the Jerry Falwell show) This was near the booth with the commemorative Ku Klux Klan pocketknives and patches. 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 here in my home town.

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-47s. 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 with another one. This hat said "North Carolina Chapter of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan". I still shudder when I think about it.

The final straw that turned this adventure from moderately frightening sociological investigation into morally reprehensible behavior took the form of a young man in a high school athletic shirt. He was buying several boxes of shotgun shells. Trying to be friendly, I asked him if he was getting ready for deer season. "No," he replied, "I'm getting ready for nigger season."

I'd like to say I walked out at this point. I didn't. I stayed until the end of the day out of loyalty to my wife and her friend and out of the desire to keep a commitment. I am still ashamed.

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