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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for December 21st, 2011

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

OK…there’s HOW many “days ‘til Christmas” and you STILL haven’t squared away (a) what you’re gonna get for the shooters on your Christmas List, or (b) what the people who wanna get YOU gun stuff for the holidays are gonna buy for ya?

OMG…you’ve about run out of time for mail order, ain’tcha?

Not to worry…there’s still time for “someone” to buy “something suitable.”

AMMO: Food. Fuel. Ammunition.  There are basic needs to be considered here.  Ammunition comes in rectangular boxes that are easy to wrap. You live in some benighted place like Illinois, where those who buy gifts for shooters need firearms owners’ ID cards? Heck, get a gift certificate at the local Ammo Emporium.  Which brings us to…

GIFT CERTIFICATES: It’s a loser’s game for guys to buy guns for gals, or anyone to buy guns for anyone else for that matter, unless the “gifter” absolutely KNOWS what the “giftee” wants. Our job is not to make decisions for them: it’s to make sure they get something they WANT.

The gift certificate at the local gun shop fulfills this beautifully.  They may get more ammo cheaper at the Monster Mart, but a gift cert from the local gun shop gives more than just purchasing power.  It introduces the new shooter to EXPERT ADVICE FROM SPECIALISTS, which is an intangible value that’s generally worth far more than the dollar value of the gift cert.  If it’s Christmas Eve and all the gun shops are closed, THEN I’ll go to the 24-hour WalMart and get ‘em a gift certificate. (And, if they’re not into shooting as much as I hope they are, well, they can buy underwear or food or gasoline or some other generic needs with it.) But if the present is at least in part about sharing the values of what has been called the Gun Culture, get the gift certificate from someplace that can give the recipient good advice.  Ammunition and other consumable goods are transient. Good advice is timeless, and that’s what they’ll get at the specialty store, such as a gun shop.

Make the present mean something. A gift of something that can protect the recipient says, “I care about you, and I want you to be safe.” Some people I love will see that when they open what I left for them under their Christmas tree.

May it be so for you, on whichever side of the gift you may be.

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