So I’m in Vegas for work again. I rarely get the opportunity to step outside the conference venue when I’m here and having been stuck indoors in the usual casino/conference centre away from the sun some of my team were getting stir crazy and wanted to visit a golf store. I don’t play golf but whatever, it gets me away from the hotel and into the daylight for a little while.
Golf store explored, my team spot a gun store with a shooting range next door and come over all childlike and not wanting to be the party pooper over we go.
Two decide to shoot, two not. Of the two of us who don’t shoot one is an Eastern European who gets to shoot for almost no cost at home and sees no sense in wasting his money but is happy to browse and talk to the staff about the relative merits of the pistols on display. Personally I have an intense dislike of guns but it’s too hot to sit outside and there’s zero chance of hailing a cab.
Inside I’m a little dumbstruck. One father has brought his preteen son. At the counter a teenage girl is talking to a friend “I so want a 9mm”.
Why are people able to buy assault weapons, and why so cheaply? For about a weeks wage you too can own a weapon that the army would take several months to train a soldier to use. And what the fuck is someone making a pink one for? And little handguns in bright colours? Really? “My first lethal weapon”?
Of the shooting packages available to visitors, there’s a zombie package and a “black ops” package. All very TV and computer game.
I’m not sure what to think about all this. I’m saddened that people feel they need to own a gun. I’m shocked that there’s a market for “pretty” guns. It’s a tool for killing people, it doesn’t need to be made to look like a toy. There was an article in USA today going around Facebook recently stating that guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does. I know the press likes to sensationalise but if you make guns look like toys what do you expect? I can remember playing with toy guns when I was 5 and making “peow” noises and dying dramatically but then i stood up and went home to eat. When did the switch happen when the real guns started looking like toys?
Maybe part of the purchase vetting process is that if you want a gun, you should be made to go stand in the emergency room and watch someone who has been shot brought in. It’s just that somehow I doubt that doing so would make any difference at all.
I’m not sure if my acid stomach is due to the soda I drank whilst waiting, or a reaction to what I saw today. I’m rambling and I’m angry and I’m sad. I should stop.