Last weekend I attended the first gun show of the season in Yuma. I paid $60 to rent a table and give away free .22 ammunition. I have more than I will likely shoot in my lifetime, purchased when the prices were much lower.
I could sell it, but the Bible says that generosity is a virtue. I am curious about human nature. and the lingering lack of .22 on store shelves prompted me to give away some bulk Remington golden bullets. I used the event to promote the blog where I do most of my writing, Gun Watch.
I gave away the cartridges in 10 round lots. Most people were reluctant to accept "free" ammo. They needed a "catch". I included a business card for Gun Watch and told them that they had to go to the blog and read at least one article. I emphasized that there were no advertisements, no annoying videos to load that commandeered your computer for 10 minutes, and no forms to fill out full of personal information before you could see the site. I explained that most of the articles were short, and included pictures.
The exchange was on the honor system; they got the ammo, and I expected them to read a blog article. I warned them that it was addictive; once they went to the site, they would find themselves going back to it often. Members of the gun culture are one of the most honorable groups that I have met. In the 15 years that I taught concealed carry classes in Yuma, I always accepted personal checks, and I never lost money on that bet.
The scepticism and care with which the attendees approached "Free .22 Ammunition" shows a healthy understanding of the "There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL)" principle.
Ten rounds of .22 may not seem like much, but it is a substantial amount if you do not have any. I met many patrons who had plenty of .22 ammunition, much of it purchased *after* the current .22 ammunition bubble started inflating. Most of those were happy with their "stash" and only took a business card.
I whimsically referred to the baggies with the 10 rounds and business card as "dime bags". I ran into the Wal-Mart open carrier at the show. He was wearing a western carry rig with what looked like a Ruger single action in .45 Colt. It was his "gun show" gun.
I gave away about a thousand rounds of .22 and numerous books. I considered the show a success.
The books had been given to me as an attendee of the Gun Rights Policy Conference, which was held in Phoenix this year. If you have a chance to attend one of these conferences, I highly recommend it. I had read most of the books, or had duplicate copies, so the gun show was an obvious place to distribute them. Gun owners are often bibliophiles, and well read.
Most gun shops have a selection of books for sale. Perhaps they should be called "Gun and Book" shops.
The Arizona Citizen Defense League (AZCDL) had the table on my right. They recruited a few members, but business was a little slow. AZCDL is one of the very best of the local and state organizations formed to fight for Second Amendment right and against the disarmists. As with most of these organizations, they are grass roots and member funded. I am a proud life member. Recruiting at gun shows has been a successful way to increase membership for most of the grass roots organizations. AZCDL is the main reason that Arizona is ranked as the most "gun friendly" states in the union.
Gun shows have been heavily attended for the last seven or eight years, due to the political situation. This show was an exception. Attendance on Saturday was light; I had much to do, and my partner had backed out at the last minute for personal reasons. I packed up at the end of the day.
I was able to secure some help for the show so that I could take time off to attend a funeral. A friend of mine told me that the older you get, the more dead people that you know!
Medium to small gun shows are a great way to meet old friends. I saw several at the show *and* at the funeral.
With any luck the .22 ammunition bubble will bust soon. I am seeing more .22 ammunition in stores, but the prices are still high by historical standards. I believe the bubble is only staying inflated because of President Obama's continual threats of more "gun control". Now that Congress is unlikely to pass more restrictive gun laws, he is threatening executive actions. It is not entirely impossible that he would ban importation of all ammunition, for example.
I enjoyed this venture into promotional giveaways, but I would prefer to find plentiful and cheap .22 ammunition on the store shelves. Maybe we will see it in 2016.
Definition of disarmist
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch