So I've been working downtown Washington DC this week, and I've had the occasion to encounter a number of out of town visitors who have come in for the inauguration. Now I missed the last one--the coronation of Barackus Immaculus--but I was here for the second Bush inuaguration and I can see a major difference in the crowds in that eight years ago, the visitors, when queried on what brought them to DC, would simply say matter-of-factly: "I'm here for the inauguration". I met many people who came from all over the country back then, and that was pretty much their response when asked.
Fast-forward to this week. Now it's as if everyone has to make sure that I and everyone else knows that they are here for "the Barack Obama inauguration".
Always the emphasis on the name with these people, like just saying it is some sort of magical incantation that is supposed to wow and impress me and bend me to their will.
Me: "Hi there. You may not have noticed all those signs but can't park your car here."
Them: "But we're here for the Barack Obama inauguration!"
Them: "Excuse me! I'm here for the Barack Obama inauguration and I'm lost!"
Me (under my breath): "You certainly are..."
Them: "What'd you say?"
Me: "Uh, I said 'Nice car'."
Them: "Oh, thank you. I rented it special for the Barack Obama inauguration!"
It's a blatant display of the Cult of Personality instead of just an event. In other words, it's all about "The One" personally and nothing else matters.
My eyes actually hurt from all of the constant rolling, and my tongue...oh, it is so bitten. But so far I've managed to avoid getting in trouble at work due to my rumored inability to keep my opinions to myself on such matters as the fate of my beloved country and the spectre of four more years under the Steve Urkel administration. I'm actually quite pleased with myself, and a few professional acquaintances who know me are impressed. But there's still Monday to come.
So to take my mind off all of the portents of doom for America that are so evident in DC right now, I accepted an invitation to join a few friends at a local gun show that's new to the area. What I got instead was a stark reminder of the fact that elections have consequences.
The show was small, at less than a hundred tables, including the obligatory jerky sellers and peddlers of crappy Chinese and Pakistani knives that no gun show would be a gun show without. (It'd be like a dog without fleas.) There were maybe three AR-15's in the place, all for over $2K each and none of them anything special. I saw only one SKS there, a stock Norinco, and when I asked what the seller wanted for it, he actually said "eight hundred dollars" with a straight face. Likewise, a fairly beat Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum revolver that caught my eye was also $800 firm, per the obese seller slouched in a chair behind the table. Not sure if that was better or worse than the the old Universal totally non-mil-spec M-1 carbine that he was flogging for six hundred bucks right next to it.
One seller had PMag AR Magazines for sale at $49.95 each, limit two per customer, and after accepting a hundred bucks from one of my friends, I bought two of them at his request on behalf of a co-worker of his who was not with us.
Yes, I "straw-purchased" PMags. And just remembering it makes me want to go take another shower. Ugh.
Oh, and those PMags were all sold in the first twenty minutes of the show.
I needed reloading gear. There was none to be found save one battered and incomplete Lee progressive press for $115, a bunch of overpriced brass, and three cans of powder, none of which I could use for anything I load. One of my party went home happy though after snagging a couple of boxes of .308 ammo for $25.00 each, and another guy there bought the only factory Ruger Mini-14 mag in the place--a rusty 20-rounder--for $30.00.
I had ny eye out the whole show for a decent .38 Special revover for a nice young lady that many of you probably know, but alas, no joy. There wasn't one worth a damn to be had at a reasonable price.
We were in and out in well under an hour, me with a tear in me eye as I wept silently for my country.
On a brighter (I hope) note: The Chantilly, VA gun show is coming up Feb. 8th through the 10th. Maybe--just maybe--there will be a bit more normalcy there. Saturday morning, anyone?