I was headed home from the hospital, visiting my daughter and her new son, and I heard Boise Gun Company advertising that they were having a grand opening sale at their new Nampa store, just off the freeway. Since this was on my way home, I thought I would at least stop in and entering the drawing for merchandise.
Now, first of all, I was listening to 96.1 BOB FM. (I have no idea what their actual call sign is.) This is a station that claims, "We play anything." And they do--a wide range of music from many eras. They are not a country and western station. They are not an oldies station--if anything, their playlist and their mildly suggestive promotional materials are not my cup of tea, but probably are for a lot of 20s and 30s. This did not used to be an obvious demographic for firearms.
Once in the store, I was struck by how young the crowd was--and it was "bump into people because there was no way to avoid it." Mostly these were 20s and 30s, and a few in their 40s and even antiques like myself. A lot of them were women, and some of them women who were not obviously there with their mate. The store itself is largely handguns and battle rifles. I saw only a few of what might be characterized as sporting arms. (I guess most of their inventory would only qualify as sporting arms if zombie hunting becomes classed as a sport.)
I did not buy anything--the last thing I need is more guns. (Well, if an AR-10A2 fell into my hands at a steal deal price, I might find a way to get everyone else in the gun safe to behave well enough to make room for one more.)
I was in another gun store recently that was also a rather eye-opening experience on the rapidly growing gun culture. When I was first buying guns was in the early 1980s, in Los Angeles. (If you knew what Los Angeles was like in the early 1980s, you will not find this a startling coincidence.) Just about every gun store had handguns, and sporting long guns in large quantities--and usually, there would be a few tactical rifles and shotguns: AR-15s, Ruger Mini-14s, a Springfield Armory M1A, an AK-47. But there were not a lot of these guns. They had a pretty small customer base among gun stores, and this was even before there were any assault weapon laws.
I wandered into Ambush Tactical on Chinden Blvd. in Boise a couple of weeks ago to ask some questions about top sling adapters for AR-15s. This is a store that is almost entirely focused on tactical weapons. They have handguns, of course, but it seems that most of their inventory were tactical rifles, shotguns, and related accessories. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and not all pushy. I have since figured out a simpler solution for my top sling adapter, but if I had not, I would have been quite happy to give them the business. What is so eye-opening is that there is enough business in the Boise metropolitan area to keep a store devoted so overwhelmingly to tactical weaponry.
The political class needs to be paying attention. I suspect that it is not going to end well for them. As I have pointed out elsewhere, it may not end well for anyone.