Another “Tale From the Front” – Women Shooters and a Gun Show Visit

This is another “tale from the front” from our friend Gerry over at LITGM. He works with guns and gun buyers all day in the thick of everything…

Women And Firearms

While most may not realize this, a fair amount of new firearms currently being purchased are by those who never held one before – especially women of all ages. This fact alarms those nanny-state leftists, Trotskyite politicians, useful celebrity idiots and milquetoast media sluts. While they gasp at the thought of so many first time gun owners this is a good sign that the Second Amendment may not be infringed after all.

A Gallup poll reported that in 2005, 13 percent of all women owned a gun. That number jumped to 23 percent in 2011. Here is an interesting read on the subject, from the New York Times of all places.
If we were a well-armed society last year then we are a very well armed society this year.

Thank you ladies!

Last weekend a lady who reminded me of my mother was standing at the end of an aisle holding some packages in one arm. She asked me for some assistance. She was somewhat overweight, well-dressed and used a cane for support. While not as old as my mother there was something very similar about the two.

As I drew near I could see one package was a clear plastic container holding Howard Leight hearing protection headphones. In the other was a nylon holster. Her question to me was – is the holster she chose able to fit her new handgun, a small .38 special S&W revolver?

Upon close inspection the holster was the type to be worn on the belt, outside the pants. Before explaining the function of different holsters I politely inquired what she intended to use her handgun for. Personal protection was the answer. Do you intend to wear the holster outside the pants or concealed, under the pants? Neither, she was simply looking for one that would keep her revolver from being banged up in her purse or, in her words, “have it accidentally go off”. What to do?

I explained that while the holster she chose was a good fit it was meant to be worn on  the belt and exposed. It had a safety thumb break strap secured by a button snap with a thin piece of plastic. The strap keeps the revolver secure and by using the thumb it will release the revolver for use. With the button snap and strap secured I explained, it could take her two hands and at least thirty seconds to draw it from her purse. A long time to fumble around in a self-defense situation. I steered her toward a thin, concealable foam/nylon product from Blackhawk. I use it as my personal carry choice. It’s lightweight, good for protecting her revolver from abuse in the purse and somewhat easier for her to interact with due to the lack of a safety thumb break. And it’s very affordable.

All of this considered I proposed another solution. We sell a line of handbags designed for women who wish to carry self-protection firearms. I led her over to the “Gun Totin’ Mama” line of handbags on display. Demonstrating to her the built-in feature of a zippered side compartment containing a lightweight nylon holster with soft velcro on one side and opposing hook velcro on the other, this slight holster (similar to the Blackhawk) could be positioned according to her style for ease of use.

She smiled. “You just gave me a great idea” was her reply. She did not wish to spent $99.99 on another handbag. Instead this inspired her to use another handbag she already owned. Her intent was to buy the Blackhawk $14.99 conceal holster and sew velcro to it. The other velcro side would be stitched to the inside of her old handbag. Clever.

The lady explained to me that when her husband asked what she wanted for Christmas her response was a gun. This floored the old boy, who had just arrived on the scene and explained to me his surprise at her request. They would soon be going to the range where he would help her become more familiar with her new gift. This explained the headphones.

The Leight brand sells, it’s a good commercial retail product. They both asked me why there was a large price difference in the selection of headphones on display. I explained the features on more expensive models.

The lady was so thankful and delighted that I spent so much time with her she went home and wrote a nice note about me on the corporate feedback website. This got back to me through management, who were very grateful and complementary.

Yesterday a younger white woman about 35 years old approached me to inquire about 9mm ammunition. As I led her to the location she was joined by her man and their child who was female and about ten years old. Mom explained to me that she and her man were new to firearms and wanted some advice on the baffling (to them) array of 9mm bullet choices. This began a very long conversation which is one aspect that pleases me about my new line of work. She did most of the talking and I am a good listener.

Each had purchased 9mm handguns last year for personal protection and home defense. Neither had ever touched any firearm before. “I hated them”, she said, “they scared me”. Most of the ammunition they have used was 115 gr round nose FMJ, typical 9mm range stuff. She wanted to know more about the different types we had on hand since the range stuff is hardest to find. So I explained (to the best of my ability) the differenced between FMJ, SP and JHP bullets along with grain weights. Many novices (myself included until not too many years ago) believed this refers to the amount of powder in the cartridge when it is actually the weight of the bullet.

Both admitted they knew a shotgun is the best for home defense but feel more comfortable with a handgun due to the size and ease of use. They planned on buying a shotgun soon and asked my opinion. When asked, they didn’t have any formal training but friends who shoot often have helped them out. I urged them to take hands-on training from a professional. Again, she did most of the talking and I enjoyed listening. As a convert, she once despised guns but now seemed to have a newfound lust for learning all about them. Both are now NRA members (at my suggestion). She expressed concern about being on any list even the NRA and he hinted at their new interest in getting off the information grid. I understand and am very sympathetic to this notion as well. Her man was  the quiet sort but was intent on learning everything he possibly could. I wished them well.

At times I need to go downstairs to the front door to fetch a customer’s gun they have brought in for appraisal, sale, warranty issues or minor adjustments like scope mounting and bore sighting. There, an employee/greeter had already cleared the firearm, inspected the bore, chamber, magazine and case. It then gets a trigger lock and a bore blocking flag. I then bring it up to the department as the customer is not allowed to touch it again while in the store. I know this is an unusual policy but it is the policy so don’t ask me why it appears to be ironic or hypocritical in light of state laws permitting open carry in the store.

Last week a young, pretty, healthy looking black woman brought in her Taurus .380 and was accompanied by her brother. As we walked up the stairs we made the obligatory small talk. This medium size semi-auto handgun was new for her. She bought it to protect herself while jogging in Gary, IN., top ten city for murder and violence in the nation behind Chicago. It was her first gun ever and had just received her carry permit. She initially wanted another brand but the Taurus model was all we had in stock at the time. She has been to the range and claimed she was a good shot. I asked what she had brought it in for, assuming it was for trade or sale. No, she replied, I want someone to clean it for me.

At the top of the stairs I asked if she wanted her Taurus taken down completely for cleaning. In order for us to do so we would ship it to our gunsmith service in Wisconsin and it would take a week or more. No she said. This handgun is new, bought a few months ago. She had been to the range for practice a few times and have never cleaned this gun before and didn’t know how. It was an unfamiliar task for her. But she knew after shooting over 600 rounds during her training sessions it needed cleaning. I did what I occasionally do, involve another employee instead of simply saying “no”. I found big Eric unoccupied behind the background check counter (very unusual these days) and asked if we cleaned guns on premises. He responded repeating what I had told her. I explained to her that cleaning is something she needed to learn to do for herself.

We walked over to the cleaning supplies where I explained the selection of products such as kits, bore snakes, oils and liquids. Then I explained the best way to learn how clean is to do it hands-on with someone having the experience. The alternative is to look it up on youtube and watch some how-to videos a few times. She could then return and buy the products and use the cleaning method she felt most comfortable with.

I walked the Taurus downstairs with them out the front door (policy again). She then left as another happy, confident and well-protected gun owning customer.

These are only three recent examples of women of all ages and backgrounds I personally meet who never touched a firearm before. They don’t believe what the media tells them about so-called gun control. They see through the political chicanery and the end result that is their final goal. They have come to realize that the government really does not give a flying fig about women as a human beings. All those Trotskyites want is is to exploit women’s emotions and vaginas. And their vote.

About Those Evil Gun Shows.

After fifteen years I finally attended another gun show. The last time I went there a Romanian made SKS was for sale at $175 and I regret not having bought it to this day. Damn. That was about it for me and gun shows. They are nothing but gun porn. All I see is a glut of old war memorabilia, a lot of firearms I have no interest in, accessories, overpriced military surplus amidst flea market peddlers of wild game jerky, nuts, taffy and t-shirts festooned with bad design. How fitting they hold this at the county fairground.

This year I went to witness the craziness seen on mainstream television news. What I saw first was about a thousand people wrapped around a building at 7:30am in a temperature hovering at fourteen degrees with a wind chill factor about zero waiting for the doors to open.

While in line there was a lot of talk about politicians, legislation and you-know-who. Three union guys (they all wore Operating Engineers Local pins on their caps) ahead of me whined, carped and bitched about those damn liberal democrats wanting to take away their guns. I wanted to jump in and tell them they have only themselves to thank AND their union bosses for supporting the anti-gun politicians with their hard earned dues. But I was too cold and it was way too early to engage.

Entrance fee was $6 and free if you signed up with the NRA who had a crew inside at a table. It was what I expected and described. There was every brand and caliber of handgun available all about $75 or more over retail value. Only two brands of AR’s were available of the DPMS and S&W M&P variety but no other brands that I saw. All were asking $500-$800 over retail value. Only one vendor was selling ammunition causing quite a scene. He appeared to be giving away free cold beer on a sweltering hot Fourth of July at Navy Pier. All ammo was overpriced as well especially the .22cal. The rare Magpul P-MAGs were plentiful here – at $40 per which is nearly a 400% markup from retail two months ago.

All vendors appeared to be obeying the law regarding sales. There were individuals wearing signs either advertising the sale or need of certain items. A few wore unloaded rifles strapped to their shoulders including AK’s and AR’s. with for sale signs sticking out of the barrels. And OY, the prices.

What I was interested in buying were the .50 cal. surplus ammo cans which are also unavailable at retail most everywhere. At retail the newer ones sold for $16 and these rusted and banged up ones were selling at $12. No thanks.

I also was interested in buying the new stainless steel Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle and 25 round mags for it if there were any fair deals. None to be found. As soon as I do find one this will be my final gun purchase…until the next one.

Enough! No more gun shows for me. I honestly do not see them as a bargain in any way.

Cross posted at LITGM

9 thoughts on “Another “Tale From the Front” – Women Shooters and a Gun Show Visit”

  1. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have shown that individuals can win against the Russian army or even the Chinese army. Baseball Crank has shown that the militia won the Revolution. So, when the Russians and Chinese invade, we will be ready.

  2. I grant that prices are outrageous at gun shows. But I think that a good part of that is a judgment of marginal utility. Is the cash now worth more than the specific item; when future availability is in question, and the item is being defined by events as being closer to the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

    A year ago, would I have paid a 500% premium for surplus magazines? No. But a lot of people are considering that their and their families’ lives may depend on them. Same for ammunition. If you can’t get what you decide may be vital in the future at regular retail outlets, you will pay the higher prices at any place where it may be found.

    I will also note that besides firearms, ammo, and accessories; gun shows have vendors for items that take care of more prosaic needs in case supply chains stop working and all stores become as empty as the ammunition counter at Walmart. The ability to heat and power your home independently, access to safe water, and the ability to keep fed both in the short and long term are becoming higher priority. Note that accomplishing those goals in an urban environment is … far more challenging for a number of reasons.

    Subotai Bahadur

    ps. Don’t know if it is me or CHICAGO BOYZ, but I’m not getting any comment preview.

  3. On the issue of availability of guns and ammunition at Wal Mart, I might observe that I was unable to purchase a plastic squirt gun at Wal Mart yesterday. The best they could suggest was a spray bottle for ironing.

    The reason I was looking for a squirt gun was to discourage barking by my dog. I was not planning a holdup with a plastic gun as has been alleged in a few preschool cases the past month.

    It is California so anything is possible.

  4. I am also one of those first time gun owners, as of a few weeks ago. I’ve signed up for a Basic Firearm Safety course, given by an NRA instructor. It is an 8 hour class which includes range time and I am really looking forward to it!

  5. Gray Eagle,

    The Rebel militia did not win the American Revolution. The French Navy did. The Rebel militia and Continental Army kept us going until the French got here.

    OTOH, the Rebel militia was a lot more effective than the Loyalist militia, mostly because it was lots and lots (and lots) _meaner_. Plus George Washington was a military genius – he figured out how to use the militia and Contininentals together to bring victory. Washington was also easily the greatest spymaster we ever had. See _Washington’s Partisan War_:

  6. @ tom,

    Yes that’s fashionable especially now but not what happened.

    The Rebels had the entire country save Boston by the time of the Declaration, by the end of the year they nearly had all of Canada.

    They suffered a reverse when the British counter-attack arrived, and Washington nearly got trapped in New York then chased across the Delaware.

    However fortunes reversed again not just with Trenton but the forest Saratoga campaign – which showed the French we could win. *Then* they jumped in..

    And what did the Loyalists ever hold?


    Thomas Hutchinson, former Governor of Massachusetts wrote at the beginning every man of substance in the colonies was sympathetic or part of the Rebellion.

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