14 Shopping Days

So, you’ve got a gunnut a firearms enthusiast on your Christmas list and you don’t have any idea what to get him. Maybe it’s your Dad or your Uncle, maybe it’s your new significant-other, but it’s someone that a generic guy gift of socks or a tie won’t be enough.

RAoP is here to help you and to make your gunnut firearms enthusiast excited and happy on Christmas morning. First off, this will not have to be an expensive purchase. Just getting an appropriate gift will surprise and please him. To do your part to follow my advice you need to have some knowledge of your gunnut firearms enthusiast’s hobby. Is it rifles? Shotguns? Pistols? Does he hunt or go to a range to sport shoot? Maybe you’ve avoided knowing, just seeing him carry a case out to his truck and drive off is all you know.

Ask him. Here’s one possible question, “Dad, what’s your favorite kind of gun?” When he starts to answer, pay attention to numbers, like .357, 30.06, .45ACP. Write them down if you need to. Your followup questions when he finally takes a breath should be, “Where do you go shooting?”, and “What do you use for targets?” Go on, go ask him, I’ll wait.

Now you’re back, head swimming with way more new information that you ever expected. That taciturn grumpy old man turned out to be quite a talker, didn’t he? You should at least know what sort of guns he shoots and what kind of shooting he enjoys.

There’s a gun store around. I’m sure of it, unless you live in Washington, DC or New York, in which case you need to shut down your computer, put it in a box and move. Go on. I’ll wait.

There you are, living in a relatively free part of the country, and when you look in the phone book, there are three or four gun shops listed. When you go out shopping, stop in one or two, the same way you might stop in the fabric store. Think of it as a cultural experience. You’ll meet people like your Dad/Uncle/significant-other in their natural environment. It will be like a National Geographic adventure. You’ll be able to tell your friends about it.

Talk to the guy behind the counter. Tell him you’re looking for a present for your Dad/Uncle/significant-other, tell him what you know from your questions, mention those numbers you wrote down and what kind of shooting or hunting he talked about. If nothing else, buy a box of ammo in one of the calibers the clerk can direct you to. To gunnuts firearms enthusiasts, ammo is like cash or diamonds, it’s always appropriate. Otherwise, depending on your budget for this person, there are flashlights, holsters, gun cases, cleaning supplies, electronic earmuffs, binoculars, and so on. Ignoring all the guns, when you look around the store, everything you see is a potential gift for someone.

Most stores have gift certificates, too. If the whole process is too complicated, get him a gift certificate from the gun store. Even that will be very well received on Christmas morning. You will have had a cultural experience, a local business will have benefited, and the person you are buying for will know you took the time to find them a meaningful gift.

You will notice I wrote this as though the gunnut firearms enthusiast was male and the person looking for a gift was female. This was intentional. If your Mom/Aunt/female significant-other is a shooter, you better already know about their hobby and have a wrapped present that you need a handtruck to move around.

If I have any readers that try this advice, I would be thrilled to hear about how it works out and would be willing to post your experiences after Christmas.

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.
–The Grinch


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