(Written as I can hear automatic weapons fire from one direction, and rapid fire rifle from another... all from my back porch. I LOVE Lancaster County!)
This morning a neighbor and I attended the Gun Show being held at the Marriott Convention center, deep in the heart of Lancaster city, in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The show was small, perhaps 200 or 300 tables. They were filled with the usual suspects, plus a few extra. Only one ammunition seller, but he was doing brisk business. More than enough shiny Chinese knife sellers... the knives being shiny Chinese, not the vendors. Yet, amongst them were two small-house custom knife makers with some outstanding wares on display. I was sorely tempted by a $60 hand made skinner belt knife.... sigh.
Perhaps a third of the tables were selling 'Modern Sporting Rifles', or black guns. One man even had diamond plate rolling display cabinets and a gunsmithing bench, and was building AR's to order on the spot. He was busy.... very busy.
Me? I bought only a book. A copy of Hatcher's Notebook, having not a page of it to my name before today. Other than that, prices were out of my reach. I'd say a good 20% higher than I was used to, and sales were brisk indeed.
The really important thing I need to mention..... was the crowd. Please understand... while Lancaster COUNTY is a deep red highly conservative area, Lancaster CITY is a pure blue bastion of liberalism (tempered surprisingly with common sense amongst the regular citizens). So Big D Liberal in fact, the D mayor imported a failed detective from Philly as a police chief, who immediately began militarizing the police and building a deep pockets fund for expected lawsuits over abuses. In addition, they bought a real live big city 'edumacator' to run the city school system, who wasted no time tanking all the schools test scores and now risks state takeover of the school system.
The city is.... well.... by our perspective in Lancaster County... Hippy central.
Today I witnessed entire families walking to the gun show, with slung M-4-geries on the parents shoulders. A block from the city government offices (where I am sure Mayor Grayskull sat gnashing his teeth over the blatant open display of citizens exercising their rights), people were standing on street corners holding fine double barrel shotguns as they chatted, enjoying the fine weather. Uppity women were actually buying REAL LIVE GUNS OMGOMGOMGOMG!!11!! Small children were being allowed to touch EVIL INSTRUMENTS OF ARMEGEDDON !!one!!11!
I noticed the hotel security didn't seem so worried, nor did the police cruising the area. In fact, all in all, they looked kind of bored. Somehow, I suspect criminals took a holiday from that part of Lancaster today.
Oh... there wasn't a beef jerky seller in sight, but an enterprising local apple cider vender did set up, and was giving away free samples :-)