I have been dealing with stupid people for most of this week at the bank. It got me to do some thinking about some of the dumber people I have seen with guns in their possession.
About a month before I bought my XD-40 (lovingly called Roscoe), I stopped by a local huntin' stuff store. It was a Sunday, and the church crowd was shopping before heading over to the BarBQ joint for lunch. A gentleman walked in with his wife and was perusing the handguns under glass. This guy looked pretty pimped out. He was wearing a black pin-striped suit with silk shirt and silk tie. He also had on a felt hat and Guccie sunglasses. He was PIMP with a capital P-I-M-P! It would have been better if he walked in with a Jimmy "Dyno-MITE!!!" strut and a cane.
The salesman helping him regarded him with that grandfatherly knowledge only a seasoned gun aficianado has. He has seen it all and done it all, too. Apparently, pimp daddy was a budding private investigator. He was in the process of getting his license and working on opening an office. I could see where this was going and stood a few feet away just listening in.
So, they are going over the needs of this nattily dressed individual. He wants a gun that will be rugged and utilitarian. The clerk shows him the Glocks and Sigs. Pimp daddy wants something that has hi-cap mags. Now he wants a .45 caliber. The clerk points him in all the right directions and is engaging in a very intelligent sales conversation with said pimp daddy PI. Mr. Pimp P.I. finally settles on a GLOCK with all the trimmings. I thought all was going well until Mr. Pimp asked, "Do you have this in chrome?"
Sad but true, he said it with a straight face. I thought the poor clerk was going to pass out from shock. He held fast and informed the poor soul that no, they don't make GLOCKs in chrome plate, and no, they don't know anyone who does either.
The other gun moron happened to be a top representative of a major shotgun company. My dad related this story to me back in high school. As a lawyer, he gets to sit in on some pretty neat cases. He happened to have some time to kill before a case of his went to trial and sat in the gallery of a trial an associate was doing. This lawyer on the case was, and still is, a high profile Houston attorney.
The case was a wrongful death case. The plaintiff was the family of a man who accidentally shot himself with a defective shotgun during a hunting trip. It was pretty cut and dry. The plaintiff's claim was that the company knew they had a defective product and had refused to fix the gun for their customer. The defense refused to admit this and repeatedly tried to throw the case out. Little did they know who they were dealing with.
Mind you, this was back in the day when you could walk into any courthouse in America without passing through a metal detector. The key piece of evidence was the deceased's shotgun. During this day, the company rep was on the stand during cross-examination. The attorney was up there asking him all sorts of technical questions about the particular model of shotgun. The rep was doing pretty well answering. He was walking into a moron trap. The attorney started badgering him about the company's knowledge of the defects and he was blatanly denying anything was wrong.
After setting him up, the attorney paused, and then resumed questioning on a different tack. He picked up the shotgun and held it up for the jury. He then asked the rep to explain how the safety worked on this shotgun. The rep explained how it worked. The lawyer then went into the following series of questions:
Lawyer: "Mr. Rep, how does this shotgun work?"
Rep goes into detail about the inner workings of the shotgun.
Defense lawyer objects because it is 'Asked and Answered.'
Lawyer: (pointing to the safety) "Mr. Rep, what is this I am pointing at?"
Rep: "The safety."
Lawyer: Is it on or off now?
Rep: It is on now.
Lawyer: (pulling a live shotgun shell from his pocket and showing the jury) Mr. Rep, what is this that I am putting into the shotgun?
Rep: That would be a shotgun shell.
Judge: Mr. Lawyer, you had better not be doing what I think you are doing!
Lawyer: It's okay your Honor, this will only take a minute.
Lawyer turns to the Rep and cycles the pump action: Mr Rep, what did I just do now?
Rep: You just chambered a round.
Lawyer then turns to the jury and reiterates that he, with the safety on, loaded a live round into the chamber of a 'supposedly' non-defective shotgun. He states for the jury that the Rep actually stated under oath that the safety is in perfect working order.
The Rep is starting to get nervous and the defense attorneys are objecting profusely. The judge, for whatever perverted reason, allows this line of questioning to continue.
Lawyer now points the loaded, chambered, with the safety on shotgun at the Rep's chest and asks: Sir, do you want me to pull the trigger?
Rep responds after soiling himself: NOOOOOOOOO!
Lawyer: Why not?
Rep: The safety is defective!
Because the gun manufacturer was a moron, the widow walked out of that courtroom with double the punitive and pain and suffering damages. Thankfully, the company amended its ways and has corrected the problems with all its guns. They now have a top notch shotgun that even I own one of.
My last and favorite story involves a very scary individual. He is a prime candidate for the Darwin Awards if there ever was.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I worked for an outdoor store we shall call Bass Pro Rip Off, err, I mean Bass Pro Shop. I enjoyed it for a time, until I realized that it was not a good place to work. During that time I worked behind the gun counter, I came across many a gun moron.
My favorite gun moron story from PBRO was when this one gentleman decided that he and his buddies were going to take on the great Alaskan Kodiak Grizzly. They had planned a two week hunt in the Alaskan interior throu a friend of mine who was a guide based in Homer, AK. He referred them to me and gave them a list of supplies. I
Well, these gentlemen come rambling into the store a couple of days before they leave for Alaska and start drooling over the guns. The apparent ringleader of this racous bunch starts drooling over the shotguns. I started asking why he wanted a shotgun, and he said that the guide told him to get a good camp gun. 'Oh, a camp gun?' I wonder to myself. We had just received the Marlin Guide Series .45-70 that very morning and put them in the rack. I handed it to him and he looked at me like I handed him a limp noodle.
"What's this?" He asks.
"It's all the camp gun you'll need, " I reply. At this point, a very dry witted and cynical friend walks behind me muttering under his breath about committing random acts of violence against their stupidity.
"Put it back, I already have a .300 WinMag. I want that shotgun there," pointing excitedly to a Remington 870 Stainless Marine w/ pistol grip. I put the Marlin away and handed him the shotgun. After letting him and his a-hole buddies grope it for a minute, I smacked them up the head with a 2x4 dose of reality.
"Gentlemen," I begin, "do you have your wills made out?" After several blank stares, I continue, "The only thing you will do with that shotgun is piss off the first grizz that walks into your camp. I guarantee you will receive the bad end of a wild ass-whupping if you shoot that," pointing to the shotgun, "at the bear. You are better off just throwing that gun at a bear, because that will be the net result of peppering its hide with buckshot. My advice to you is to either a) call the funeral home and have a casket ready, or b) take my advice and the advice of your guide, who, I am sure, informed you to purchase a specific type of camp RIFLE!"
"Why should I buy a second rifle when I can shoot something in camp with the one I got?"
"Real simple, Skippy (I call people Skippy when I know they are being idiots), most guides use a shorter rifle with a bigger slug because it is easier to use and has ample stopping power at close range. Besides, do you think that that .300 WinMag with the scope will be very easy to use in a low light setting when a full grown Kodiak Grizzly is charging you at over 35 mph at a distance of less than 50 feet? I thought so."
At this point, Skippy's buddies plopped down their credit cards and IDs asking for a guide gun each. By the time these guys cleared NICS, Skippy was still hemming and hawwing over that Marine 870. One of his buddies went over to him and informed him that if he brought that shotgun to Alaska with them, he was camping alone.
I received a call about a month later to go to lunch with my Bear Guide buddy. He returned to Houston after a good summer in the Alaskan bush with pictures and stories to tell. Apparently, Skippy had not purchased the gun from me, but instead, went to another store and bought a Marlin .45-70. He was so shamed by his friends that he actually did sleep apart from them in his own tent.