I am a member of a minority. We are scorned in the press. We are misunderstood. In some states, such as Illinois, we are hated and feared to the point that we are licensed and tracked, having to have identity cards or risk arrest. Even where I live, most of us carry the thing that marks us in secret. You see, I am one of the People of the Gun. We were so named as an insult, but Alphecca first saw the wisdom of embracing our true name, and set up the site for the tribe.
You may know, or even be related to, one of my tribe. It might a close friend, or a spouse, or a grandfather. It might be anyone. You know in some vague way that shooting, hunting, reloading, or gunsmithing is their passion. But you are at a loss as to what it all means. Possibly you’re put off by it all, or even frightened. To buy this person a meaningful Christmas gift is beyond you. So, with plenty of time remaining before Christmas Day, as a public service, I am going to offer advice and gift suggestions to help you select a firearm/hunting/reloading related gift for the first time.
First, some questions to see if you know something about them.
1. Is it hunting? If so, is it upland birds, deer, ducks?
2. Is it competitive shooting? If so, is it handguns, or trap and skeet? Rifles?
3. Do they reload?
4. Do they like to work on their own guns?
5. Do you know what type or caliber of gun they use the most?
Perhaps you can answer a question or two, but it’s okay if you can’t answer any of these questions. This year, one of the on-line retailers of gun related accessories has a gift guide. Broken down by the type of gun enthusiast you are shopping for, further broken down by the amount you have to spend. Think of it like the old Sears Wish Book. If you can answer any of these questions, or can think of others, you’re on your way to a successful gift at that site.
But, if you have found my gift guide and you’re thinking this is impossible, you don’t have any idea, you just know there are guns around and they shoot, but you don’t understand this tribe and their ways, then get a gift certificate. It doesn’t have to be a big one. We People of the Gun are so used to being given ties and shirts, just the fact that you took the time to get them a gun related gift certificate will warm their little shrunken gun clinging heart. I know my local gun shop is offering gift certificates as are many of the online gun stores I visit.
Here’s the important advice. If you go with the gun related gift certificate, use it to start a conversation. Bridge the gap, see your Person of the Gun as another human from a different tribe. Consider it your true gift that you are willing to learn about their ways and learn to coexist with them. Learn enough about the tribe to carry on a conversation, it may require some vocabulary and tool recognition, but most People of the Gun in the United States are already using many English words and with the wonders of the internet, you can write down and look up many of the unfamiliar terms.
So next year, when Christmas rolls around, you can shop with confidence, select a really appropriate gift and see their eyes light up on Christmas. Because you knew after talking with them, for example, that they like to hunt, and some new-fangled cold weather shooting gloves were on their wish list. It wasn’t a gun, or ammunition, but it was something they would use and they will think of you every time they wear them. That’s really what Christmas gift giving is about, isn’t it? It all started with three very different people bringing gifts to a baby, and we can continue the tradition, reaching across all sorts of boundaries to make Christmas wishes come true.
You know you’re a gun nut … when no one in your family can decipher the numbers and gadget names on your Christmas wish list.
–“Weedwacker”, posting online at The High Road
DISCLAIMER: I am not suggesting you should or should not buy from Midway USA, although I do shop there and I have nothing but good things to say about them. There are local gun shops, the ones I frequent sell all sorts of things, and supporting a local business, perhaps a business that you know your
gun nutPerson of the Gun likes, is a great idea. I am just a blogger, I have no connection with any online business, except as a customer. There are several on-line retailers of gun merchandise I have had satisfying transactions with, and with a little searching you will find many good gun related places to shop.
I put up that link up as a catalog to look through, like many of us once looked through the Sears Christmas Catalog every year. I offer it as a way for you to find a gift that could become a treasured memory, and as an entry point, like National Geographic Magazine, to exploring a different culture.
Update:Edited for brevity and clarity.