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Shooting Industry April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 20
Defense Personal Defense Market Considering Gift Guns Massad Ayoob I recently shot a Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) match. Part of the fun at such events is chatting with old friends and new, while waiting your turn to shoot. Over on the falling plates range, I was in line with Roland Robbins and Cindy Bishop, frequent lady champion. It came up in conversation that the Glock 34 Roland was shooting was a gift from Cindy. “That’s sweet,” I commented, and asked what the occasion for the gift had been. Birthday? Christmas? “Neither,” answered Cindy. “Roland got me into GSSF, and it has become a sport I love. I couldn’t think of a better way to thank him for introducing me to this.” A few days before the match, I was at my doctor’s office. The physician’s assistant, who knows what I do for a living, brought the conversation around to guns. “Some of my friends think this is awfully ‘redneck,’ but I think you’ll appreciate it,” she began. “My husband bought me a gun to carry, and the CCW class.” She told me she was taken a little aback by the present at first, but came to realize where the sentiment behind the gift came from: Namely, that he loved her, and wanted her to be safe in that darkened, after-work parking lot — and for that matter, everywhere else. Thought Behind The Gift SI DIGITAL Hot Link How many of your customers are looking at this Taurus PT 24/7 G2, seen here in .40 S&W, thinking it would make a perfect gift for someone special? To read about the Taurus PT 24/7 G2, check out the April issue of GUNS Magazine at www.gunsmagazine.com/digital-editions. “He gave me the gift of safety,” she said. And she didn’t know how much it pleased me to hear that, because I’ve written pretty close to those exact words in the past. Gift Giving That Goes Beyond Safety efore the day at the Glock match ended, I found myself in conversation with an old friend, who mentioned he was ordering a custom-engraved Glock 19 for his daughter. Not a birthday gift, not a Christmas present — instead, it was more a solid symbol of a rite of passage. The daughter has gone from girl to woman, is now out in the world on her own, and has made her mom and dad very proud of her. That man, like so many of us in the world of the gun, has used the firearm as a tool of parenting. Taking kids shooting and teaching them firearms safety is a great way to demystify powerful symbols of adulthood and authority. Like their own car and their own checkbook, the gun is a place to learn that power must always be accompanied by responsibility. The vehicle, the checkbook and the gun all allow our progeny to realize that the more responsible they are, the more privilege they will be granted. And if they do not fulfill B those responsibilities, the prerogatives of adulthood will not remain theirs for long. I’m writing this shortly before Valentine’s Day. Romance is in the air. Now, there are lots of folks who would be horrified to see a “deadly weapon” juxtaposed with a Valentine. Most of those folks, however, never darken the door of a gun shop. What’s amazing is how many commonsense shooter folk don’t really make that connection, either. In a partnership of equals, the exchange of guns symbolizes equality of power and mutual support. If you look at the history of diplomatic gifts, you’ll see how often American presidents (though not in the current administration, obviously) have presented fine firearms to other heads of state. The symbolic undercurrent whispers of mutual trust, and a microcosm of the understanding that the one will back up the other, For Example . Police Chief Russ Lary poses with one of his retirement gifts, a high-end Springfield Armory 1911 .45. no matter how tough the going gets. The same sentiment can connect giver and recipient with interpersonal gifts, as well. For instance, when famed ethics professor Preston Covey married his lovely wife Denise, the exchange was not of rings, but 20 APRIL 2012 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com