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Thread: Gun Culture

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    Gun Culture

    I've said many times before that I hate getting political... but this board has been getting kind of boring lately, so I thought that I would just stir some shit up!

    Let's talk about Guns! And the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution! Yummy!


    Guys... I started out my post-high-school career -- apart from my travel business -- helping my Dad start his "sporting goods and pawn shop" business in a small, rural town. Seriously... you could not imagine a more mundane and less assuming retail business, anywhere in rural USA. The business did eventually take off, and -- Yay! Dad! -- did eventually become a real "Cash Cow" for him. He has done quite well for himself.

    Yep... We sold all kinds of guns, and all of the associated accoutrements, as well as everything "outdoorsy" which you can possibly imagine. Also, via the Pawn side of the business, that has included, over the years... VCRs, DVD players, TVs, power tools, and pretty much anything else that you could imagine.

    I'm getting off-topic... I know...

    What does this have to do with "Gun Culture?"

    Well... In all of my years... off and on... working with my Dad in his business... I have seen one thing that has never changed... the Republicans kind of have the whole situation Nailed Down. I'm not really a political person, but the USA's problem with guns is tied to an Obsession with guns... a "Gun Culture." You can ban all of the guns that you want, but it won't do any good. As long as there is only One asshole with only One gun, he'll kill 30 people in the span of less than 15 minutes, and the whole thing will be on CNN at 6 p.m. There's nothing that anyone in the USA can do to change that.

    You can ban all of the guns that you want to ban, but there will ALWAYS be just ONE idiot who finds a gun and decides that he wants to use it. It's the Gun Culture of the USA that makes the guns so dangerous. I've seen it my whole life. I've worked in gun stores, including my Dad's store. There are the guys who come into the store and calmly buy a gun, and there are the guys who come into the store and are just drooling all over themselves, saying, "See That? That's the same gun that's in that video game Armageddon 24! Oooohhhh! I WANT that gun! I Want It!"

    Now... I'm not saying that just one video game creates monsters who buy guns and kill people. However... Inundate those people with hundreds of violent games and hundreds of violent movies? Hell, YES! That creates a gun culture. Why is it that the USA has this problem, while countries like Switzerland, where Every Household is Required to have a gun, does not? This problem did not exist in the USA 20 years ago. Now it does. What has changed? Ask yourselves THAT question.

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    Back in the early 1980s, before all of this shit got out of hand, my Dad set up a barrel in the middle of the store, which was filled with Ex-Soviet SKS rifles. We sold them for $79 per unit, as I recall. In addition, we sold the ammunition for those rifles (7.62X39mm) at a price of $2.99 per clip (20 rounds per clip).

    One day, one of the local TV station's news crews came by the store, and I was the guy in charge. The news crew wanted to know how we could justify selling military guns and ammunition to civilians. I answered, "You see that the guns sell for $79, right? You see that we sell the ammunition for $2.99 for 20 rounds, right? It sells because it is Cheap! Or... Did you only want Rich People to be able to buy guns and ammunition?" They put the spot on the news, but it didn't really make us look bad for selling these guns and ammo. My Dad told me... "Nicely Played!"

    Never had a single problem or issue with any of those guns.

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    Another few points...

    1) Most folks in the USA probably don't realize that their local law enforcement departments purchase their supplies through local retail establishments. Our most frequent customers are the local Sheriff's Deputies. If you want to rob our store, be forewarned... If you mess with the bull, you get the horns...

    Another side of that issue is that my Dad frequently gets requests to bid on the local law enforcement departments' contracts. As in... How much for 45 Glock 20s? He submits bids to local LE agencies at least twice per month. Then he has to submit bids for the accessories which go with those firearms. Actually, I much enjoy the bids for the accessories, which have an Insane profit margin, compared to the minuscule profit margin of the actual firearms.


    2) The "Assault Weapon" fiasco of the Brady Era was another issue which brought us a lot of angst... and fortune...

    First of all... There is, of course, no such thing as an "Assault Weapon"... except as "defined" in the congressional law which banned them. Suffice it to say that an "Assault Weapon" was merely a conglomeration of attributes which could easily be manipulated. Flash Suppressors, Folding Stocks, Detachable Clips... all manufactured by the U.S. Congress to define an "Assault Weapon." Child's Play. Simply change a feature or two of a rifle and you could Easily make it compliant with the law.


    3) As any Marine knows... "One Shot, One Kill." My Dad has a license to own and sell selective-fire and fully-automatic weapons. You want one? What do you think that you're going to do with it? I can tell you this... Everything that you have EVER seen on TV or in the Movies regarding automatic weapons is complete BULLSHIT! Here's what a Fully Automatic M-16 or AK-47 sounds like in real life, with a 20-round clip... "Blat, Blat, Blat, Blat..." Fucking EMPTY, Sports Fans! After about 1.5 seconds, a 20-round clip is EMPTY! It's great for suppressing fire... not so hot for actual shots on target. All of those Rambo and Terminator movies would have been a lot shorter if the fire rates had been realistic.

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    So, your dad is a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) 3 and a Type 2 FFL (dealer doing business as a pawnbroker)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MM54 View Post
    So, your dad is a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) 3 and a Type 2 FFL (dealer doing business as a pawnbroker)?
    You're talking WAY above my pay grade. It's my Dad's business, not mine. I helped him get the business started and I worked in the business, from time-to-time, until about 15 years ago, to help him out, as needed, mostly with the paperwork side of things. I remember that I had to sit down with a guy from the BATF and a guy from the FBI and get grilled by them for about 30 minutes... then they took all 10 of my fingerprints and said, "Hasta Lasagna, don't get any On Ya!"

    Type 2 FFL does ring a bell, as does "Title 2 NFA Class 3 Stamp" or something like that. But once again... that's his dream... not mine.

    Simply put... if you want it, he can get it... legally. He gets tons of stuff for local law enforcement because he has the permits and they don't (as weird as that sounds, it's true).

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    One particular incident I remember is one time that I went home to visit my folks for a week, and on one day that the store was closed, my Dad pulled out his "Book" and wrote in it for a minute or two. He still hand-writes everything in his "Book", so that there's never a question if anyone looks at it. He then picked up a small case and said, "Come on. We're goin' shootin'!"

    He took me to the local Sheriff's department outdoor shooting range, then opened the case. I said, "Looks like a Beretta .22, with a 3-foot-long barrel." He said, "Stop being so dramatic."

    I swear, guys... Of all the NFA stuff that I have ever shot, this was the coolest one of them all! This thing had a suppressor almost as long as my johnson on it, and it was loaded with .22LR subsonic target rounds. Dad said, "Go ahead. Take a shot." I did...

    "Click-Click" (the sound of the pistol's slide moving), then "dink", as the bullet hit the target downfield.

    I looked at Dad and said, "No F---ing Way!" He just grinned and said, "How James Bond is THAT! Do it again!"

    "Click-Click"... "dink."

    "Oh, that is just the coolest thing ever!"

    "Not yet." He reached up and turned the action off. I guess you can do that on a spy-type sniper pistol.

    "<snick>" firing pin... barely audible... then, "dink"

    "No WAY!"

    "Yes WAY!"

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    We set up our paperwork system together. In our system, the "Transaction Serial Number" on the form 4473 is automatically tied to a particular gun the very moment that he "logs" the gun into his books. For the rest of its life, that gun has a "Serial Number" that is tied to its own form 4773. Before computers became all the rage, this made keeping track of guns without computers silly-simple. Our gun logs also tied the gun to that "serial number." We had to draw in an extra column for it, because the standard log books didn't have it.

    When the BATF guys would come in to do their checks, if they asked about a particular gun, Dad would say to me (or another employee), "Go get number 1242 from the handgun shelf and bring it here." Thirty seconds later... there it was. On every occasion that the BATF guys came by my Dad's shop, they said, "You guys have definitely got your shit together. Always a pleasure coming by your place! How much you want for the Glock?"

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    He gets tons of stuff for local law enforcement because he has the permits and they don't (as weird as that sounds, it's true).
    For the folks who are just aching to call "Bullshit" on that one, allow me to explain...


    My Dad is a private store owner... an Entrepreneur. He has all of the necessary licenses, permits, "get out of jail free" cards, and whatever else is needed to get practically any hand-held firearm into his store, legally. It's not my business... it's not my dream... it's my Dad's... so I don't know all of the intricate details... I just know that it works, and it's 100% legal.

    Now... Despite the fact that 99.9% of everything that you see on TV and in the movies is Total Bullshit... there is Definitely one thing that is Not Bullshit...

    That is... Every law enforcement agency in the USA is in a continuous Dick-Measuring contest with every Other law enforcement agency in the USA. "This is MY jurisdiction, that is YOUR jurisdiction", etc. and so on and so forth.

    So... Does a small local police department or a Sheriff's department have the authority to purchase their own firearms and have them delivered directly to them? In most cases, NO. That requires FEDERAL permission, which they usually don't have. Enter the private gun dealer...

    The private gun dealer DOES have permission to order, purchase, and have those firearms delivered to his premises. Once they have been delivered to the private gun dealer... Those firearms are located WITHIN THE JURISDICTION of the law enforcement agency that wants them, and they can do pretty much whatever they want to do... within their own jurisdiction.

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    Sadly, that "Gun Culture" is an unstoppable force that can't be contained without a strong, concerted effort on the part of society. The whole "Ban Guns" rhetoric doesn't address the real problem. I'm not saying that there are not firearms on the street that shouldn't be there... there certainly are. What I AM saying is that it's the Culture that needs to be addressed as well. Grand Theft Auto? All of the shoot 'em ups in the cinemas? Do people Truly Believe that these things don't have an effect?

    The last time that I went to the shooting range with my Dad, there was a kid there... Maybe 21 or 22 years old... and he was holding and shooting a semi-automatic pistol sideways... "gangsta", I guess you would call it. After he emptied his clip, I looked over at him and said, "Are you just doing that for fun?" He answered, "No... That's how it's DONE, these days, Grandpa! You need to catch up with the times..."

    I said to him, "Oh... I see... So just forget how the gun was designed to be used... just tilt it 90 degrees on its side and use it like that? Right?" "Whatever, Grandpa." I said, "Why don't you hold that gun sideways and see if you can do this?" I put 6 in the Bull, 5 in the inner ring, and 9 in the next ring out... in 20 seconds. Not stellar, but definitely presentable, and definitely better than anyone shooting "gangsta" is going to do.

  10. #10
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    Don't see a whole lot of that "Gun Culture" here in Costa Rica. That's a good thing, for the most part, although it can lead to some unexpectedly and surprisingly dangerous incidents.

    About one year ago, I was at one of Costa Rica's few legal indoor shooting ranges, and the guy next to me was trying to clear a jam in his pistol. Just as I noticed this, I noticed the barrel swinging my way. I quickly ducked and said, "Whoa! Whoa, there, Johnson! You got a round hung up in your gun? Point that shit downrange! You need some help?" He looked embarrassed and pointed his gun back downrange and said, "Nah! I don't need any he..." BANG! Everybody in the range stopped and stared at the guy. I said, "You're Sure?"

    Buying a handgun in Costa Rica is no big deal. It's just as easy as it is in quite a few States in the USA. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of training comes with gun ownership down here. You're just as likely to watch a gun owner shoot himself in the foot as you are to get shot yourself. It's kind of random.

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