Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Wouldn't a nice gift certificate do?
Via The Morning News, I see that Harper's has re-printed an 1992 article from Handgunning magazine complaining about how damned difficult (and illegal) it is to surprise a loved one with a shiny new Colt .357 magnum under the Christmas tree. Now, there are a lot of Christmas gifts you can't put under the tree--the actual trip to Hawaii, the Lexus, the--oh, wait, I guess you could put "performance art" under the tree after the kids go to bed. So I'm not sure why people are so upset about this. But I'm from Tennessee, and I know that many people are concerned about this issue. So here goes.

This may surprise some of my readers, but I have held and fired guns. I have watched people buy guns. And although I've no intention of ever buying one myself, I've figured out that buying a gun is a really personal thing. You've got to figure out how it feels in the hand--you want something where the balance fits your hand, not the hand of your brother-in-law. (Rather like shopping for pens at Levenger in Marshall Field's on State Street, come to think of it). It's like buying a bra as a gift, except more expensive and you can't pull the trick of buying the same gun in a different color.

But let's say you want to buy someone a gun that you know they're going to like (because they keep trying it out at the gun store/shooting range). You can just give the store the money for the gun and have them keep it until they pick it up after Christmas. Then you can take a picture of the gun, put it in a pretty box, and watch the delight upon your loved one's face on that special occasion as they see a picture of their new shotgun waiting for them tomorrow at Hank's Firearms. It's just like dropping the Lexus keys in the stocking, except with a few more legal forms.

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