Sunday, August 16, 2009

A totally different journey - I went to a gun and knife show

Houston TX Aug., 16, 2009. Today, I did something different. This is something I had never done before, I went to a gun and knife show.

Yesterday, I was driving around and saw a sign on the highway directing me which exit to take from I-10E so I could make it to the gun show. I wanted to do something completely different and outside of my realm of knowledge so this was it. I wanted to be like a fish out of water and learn something new.

I checked online and it was also taking palce today from 10a-4p at a cost of $8.00. I headed downtown Houston, TX and got to the show about 12:30p or so at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

I did notice crudely made signs encouraging me to join the NRA and get free entry as I walked in. Inviting I thought. They had a few anti-Obama signs as well.

I walked in with my camera on my shoulder and I was told by a Houston Police Officer in uniform that I had to check it. I made small talk about having to check it and that it was not dangerous, the Office laughed.

I also did not get my ticket so I went outside and paid in cash. No credit cards accepted the guy told me.

Once back inside, I checked my camera with the other guns that the Houston Police Officer had checked. You see there was a sign outside that said you cannot take your concealed weapon inside. For some reason I was expecting a metal detector, silly me.

So I gave my ticket and walked in. The lady gave me a card to fil out for a door prize adn well as sign up for e-mails about upcoming shows.

As I entered, the first thing I saw was a guy standing with an automatic weapon on his shoulder. He was selling it. Odd, I thought, then I saw another guy and yet another guy. I guess it was the norm. I did not want to ask for fear that I said something silly and insulted the guys. Don't think I want to upset anyone at a gun and knife show.

I started walking down the aisle looking at the guns and there were plenty. I can't tell you what they were as I have no idea. Except that there were hand guns and big gun like they have in war shows on TV and the movies. I could not understand why a person would buy one of the war type guns for home use. I was scared to ask though in case I picked the one guy who would be pissed at me. I have a few friends who are gun fans, I'll ask them later.

As I walked the twelve aisles I bumped into people as it was so packed. Everyone was really polite. There were people of all ages there. From newborns in the arms of their parents to pre-teens, teenagers twenty, thirty, forty, fifty somethings and seniors.

I stopped to ask a vendor how I could get a gun. I did not really want one, but I'm at a gun show people! I had to know.

He said, that I must have a Texas drivers license and fill out a long yellow form. Then he calls it in to some kind of clearing house and then if I am cleared, I can take the gun with me after paying for it with cash or credit card. Too easy I thought. Lots of people were filling out these forms.

I asked about ammunition and was told that there were plenty of vendors around where I can get my ammunition. After walking around, he was not kidding. It seemed like if you sold guns you cannot sell ammunition and vice versa. Although the ammunition guys are just a few stalls from the gun vendors.

This was also a knife show and there was no shortage of knives. Big ones, fat ones, small ones and long ones. A kid, well older kid, tried to sell me three samurai knives of three different sizes on a stand. It retailed for $75, but he would give me a deal for $60 and throw in a smaller knife. Tempting, but I declined. I told him that I was struggling with what I'd do with it. He said just put it on my wall and look at it. I had a problem with that idea. I did ask him where were they made, Japan? "Or China," he replied. So much for authenticity. I thought.

As I walked around I noticed other items were being sold. Here is a list:
All weather writing paper, jewelry, safes, small gun safes, stun guns, ear plugs, sauage jerky (at least two stalls), ammunition (lot of it), used guns, knives, scopes, gun purses (these were cute), pistol packs (never thought of that), stuff to clean your guns, guns (duh), flat screen TVs (not sure why), free concealed hand gun clases, t-chirts, back packs, coins, helmets, army stuff, wallets, tools (scissors and pliers, etc.) belts and display cases.

After almost an hour, I had walked the twelve aisles and had my fill of something that I had no interest in, except curiosity. And after the hour my interest is the same as when I walked in - non-existent.

I never grew up with guns although one of my uncles was a police officer, so maybe that is the reason for my non-interest. And I'm that boy that never liked knives. I was a clumsy kid so a knife would have been a bad thing.

I still am clumsy, never grew out of that one. I think I did own a Swiss army knife, but not sure why and have no idea where it is today. It may have been a gift from someone as I would certainly not buy it.

I did enjoy the experience today and it was great to get a window in the world of guns and knives and the people who love them.

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