Proximity to Gun Stores a Good Thing


Proximity to Gun Stores a Good Thing

A news article hidden away on the bottom of the page in the USA Today news revealed an interesting piece of information. It stated that 98 per cent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a gun store. This statement was compiled by some national mayor’s organization. I feel certain it was presented to be negative. That was the exact opposite of how I took the news.

When I was a kid growing up in Southeast Missouri in a small rural farming community, my access to guns came via the local Western Auto store. For me, just to survey the small inventory of guns was a delight. I am guessing the entire stock was less than 20 guns, mostly shotguns for bird or duck hunting. We had no deer in that area back then.

My dad bought me my first gun at that store, a Ruger Bearcat single action western style revolver. He paid $40 for it. In those days (1955) a box of .22 rimfire ammo was about 50 cents. Besides reading Boy’s Life, that store was my link and education to guns, shooting, and hunting.

Today, I have access to multiple stores to shop for firearms. Apparently, you do too. I think for those of us shooters, collectors, hunters, preppers, or other gun enthusiasts this is a good thing. Many of these “gun shops” are national big box stores like Wal-Mart or Bass Pro Shops, but lucky for me, there are still several really good “mom and pop” gun shops left in business to cruise up and down the aisles to shop for shooting stuff.

It will never happen in my lifetime or yours or that of your grandchildren, but I guess people will never view guns as mere tools. To me it is no different than going to a hardware store buy a hammer or ax. Those tools can do great damage, too in the hands of the wrong person. And such actions we can never stop.

Years ago on a trip to Russia, I met with the owner of the only “gun store” in Moscow. He sold mostly fishing supplies, since he could only stock less than ten guns at a time. I am thankful we still live in a free country where we have access to firearms within ten miles.

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