Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Little Christmas Shopping

Everyone has to start somewhere.

Here I am, old retired guy, has all the time in the world it would seem.  But I end up today fighting the pre-Christmas weekend crowds at Gallitan Valley Mall and in the big box stores along North 19th Street.  I think it has a lot to do with having tweens whose tastes are evolving so fast that we don't dare lock in their wish list until the week prior. 

In town the roads are clear but parking lots are making like ice rinks.  When exiting the mall, a front wheel drive Chevy immediately ahead of us stopped at exactly the wrong place.  It got hung up with its rear wheels stuck behind a speed bump, front tires whirring away to no effect.  I put the Jeep in park, walked ahead to the Chevy and leaned into its rear bumper with a solid push.   Mission accomplished and off she and we went -- smiles and waves all around.  It feels good to get over the hump.

Bob Wards Gun Counter
We went to Bob Ward's to see (with limited success) if we could find some ski clothing for our 6-year old.  Seems we will be better off waiting for the after Christmas sales.  It also seemed that the crowd in the store's corner wasn't all that willing to wait for their purchases.  There was a good-sized gaggle inspecting semi-automatic weapons. 

You know, we live in a town where there's a bunch of elementary school boys who wear three types of outfits  -- white camo, brown camo and green camo.  I've heard fourth and fifth graders brag on their prowess with a shotgun.   Hunting is called harvesting, hunters are sportsmen, and a lot of hikers explore literally loaded for bear.  You can buy a gun safe at a sporting goods store, a farm supply store or the Costco.  I have a neighbor who shoots varmints on his two acre lot.   I've heard the report of a rifle on the golf course and looked over to see a maintenance worker shouldering a rifle and carrying away a dead badger on a shovel, shot because the worker didn't like where the critter was lurking.   Wasn't safe for the golfers he said.  Yet this is a very safe place to live.   The murder rate is something like one-tenth of what it is in the District of Columbia where virtually no one can legally own a gun.  

A lot of us live in rural areas where the law is far removed and there are no passers by or few potential witnesses to call attention to miscreants.    It is an environment that depends on self-defense and mutual respect for survival.  It works.  The most dangerous weapon in Montana is a Ford F150 pickup barreling too fast around a curve at midnight driven by a guy or a gal who worked too long with too little sleep or drank too hard.    Common sense vehicle control doesn't prevent it.  So pass some feel good gun legislation, if you must, but don't really expect it will accomplish anything.

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