Fast and Furious. Conceal and carry. The Dark Knight theater shootings. In America these days, it seems like everyone is packing heat. In fact, we’re the most heavily armed populace on the planet. So where do most of us go when we need a shiny new Glock or a convenient AK-47? Increasingly to mega-shops like Sprague’s Sports in Yuma, Arizona. That’s where Jeanne Marie Laskas ventured recently, spending a few shifts behind the counter and seeing for herself how we shop, sell, justify, and even come to love the deadliest things among us:
“Think of just the hunters,” he said. “Thirteen million in this country. That’s 13 million Americans trained with firearms—the equivalent of the largest army in the world.” He flipped his visor down to cut the sky. “Anyone thinking of invading this country has to take that into consideration.”
Well, wow. Hunters? Hunters rising up? It took me a moment to conjure the image. I wondered whom Richard imagined an army of guys dressed in orange rising up against. Al Qaeda? The Chinese?
I asked him who. Who?
"I’m kind of surprised you carry assault rifles," I said to Ron.
"There’s no such thing as an assault rifle," he said. "These are ‘military-style rifles’ or ‘modern sporting rifles.’ "
"But they’re assault rifles,” I noted. I knew that much from TV.
“Assault is one of the worst things the media has ever done to us,” he said. “Have any of these rifles ever assaulted anyone?”