Sunday, January 22, 2012

Remember the good old days when being a "gun nut" meant you liked to shoot targets, skeet, collect old guns, or hunt deer?

So does one of the shooting bloggers at Field & Stream. David E. Petzal writing about his disappointing realization at the annual SHOT Show that more and more floor space is being devoted to cop/military/tactical stuff and less and less to traditional American gun culture stuff like target shooting, hunting, skeet and trap shooting, and collecting.

"The most densely crowded venues," says Petzal, "were dedicated to the wonderful worlds of the paramilitary and law enforcement. Apparently there is an insatiable need for the equipment used in shooting, clubbing, and gassing people. There are suits of full body armor the like of which has not been seen since the Battle of Agincourt. There are all-black deathmobiles, equipped with lethal gear of all sorts. I’m told that Cop World constitutes fully one-third of the SHOT Show. How shooting and suppressing the citizenry ties into Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade is more than I can comprehend, but there it is." [emphasis mine]

I've been going to gun and knife shows for a few decades now and I've seen the same transformation there as well. I am not happy with what it says about American culture. A lot of us are totally infatuated by the forces of violence and repression. Somehow I can't imagine 19th century slaves being infatuated with ankle chains, whips, and such. Go figure?