29 März 2009

Oh, Gun Store Commandos.

A gun store clerk commando (the term was introduced to me by my friend Russell) is "technically" (the quotes indicate that this isn't really a hard definition) someone who works at a gun store and is aggressive about giving you their unsolicited opinion regarding matters of firearms and what you the customer, who isn't right, should be using them for. They may or may not have had military/law enforcement experience, but that's irrelevant.

The first time I encountered one was at Kerley's Sporting Goods; the same Russell had taken me there to check out some firearms (I think I was in the market for my first rifle). I said something simple about an M1911 in a display case; something on the order of "is that an M1911?" or "that looks nice." The clerk then decided to tell me all about people he had known in the military and segued unsmoothly into why I should buy a lever action .22 LR rifle. I haven't seen this fellow working there since.

Recently, I took my Yugo M59/66A1 in to get it checked out; I was having trouble taking apart the bolt/firing pin assembly. I was showing the rifle to the owner (I believe his name is Harry) of the shop and this Random Guy ("RG") who was standing to the side (and absolutely brimming with nervous energy) comes in and takes the rifle out of Harry's hands and takes the receiver cover off and bolt carrier/bolt out. This is a very clear "WTF" moment -- I don't know this guy and Harry probably doesn't know this guy. Even so, the polite thing to do would have been to ask ME (the owner) first before even touching my stuff. Anyway, Harry checks the bolt and we both confirm that yes -- it needs to be detail stripped and cleaned before I shoot it.

Harry then asks me if I want the rifle put back together at which point RG then decides to take the parts from Harry (again without asking), informing the both of us (or no-one in particular) that "I'm really good at this." He puts the bolt in backwards. Harry points this out and RG isn't able to figure it out. Man, fucking weirdos. I have to say, gun stores attract the weirdest people. I remember a previous time I had a sort of similar experience and Harry apologized to me later about it. The whole thing feels like The Office in that sort of weird awkward situation kind of thing where myself, Harry, Casey (the other cool clerk), and the other level-headed customers at the shop are the straight men to the wackos (everyone else).

The whole thing is highly annoying, but I guess no matter what you do or where you go, stupid/strange people abound. It just seems to be at a higher frequency when firearms are involved, sadly.

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