Title

"You Are in Gun Country"

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-4-2015

Abstract

Having just picked up 6 Christmas-gift poinsettias at the local Walmart store on December 4, 2012, exactly three years to this day, I decided to take a shortcut through the constricted labyrinths of the wall-to-wall and floor-to-twelve foot high glut of made in China Christmas trappings in every shape, make, color, and size.

On my way to the electronics department, the shortcut led me through the sports department (fishing, hunting, camping, and outdoors supplies), a path I had not taken in a very long while. There they were in a glass display case, an assortment of glossy metallic colors so shiny they sparkled under the trade-show display lights. My initial thought was that, because they were in the protective display case, these were expensive electronic Christmas toys intended for some youngsters. Some ten feet down the aisle and away from the large array of burnished toy rifles, it hit me like a thunderbolt. This was not the children’s toy department. I turned around, headed back to the display case, and was awestruck by what I saw. No less than fifteen assault rifles in every variety, model, size, and type were strategically and enticingly displayed for maxim seduction. Still not certain that what I beheld were authentic, military grade weapons, I posited the following question to one of the employees: “Are these real weapons?” “Yes, Sir,” he affirmed and, lest I came across as a naïve bloke, I rephrased my question to: “I mean these are high powered assault rifles, right? I can’t believe they are sold here!”

Publication Title

CounterPunch