To the editor:
Recently we wanted to buy new binoculars, and so we drove off island to a store recommended to us because of its wide selection. Unknown to us, the store was also a prominent gun shop. An informed salesman satisfactorily helped select the best binoculars for us, but I could not resist remarking to him that I wondered who bought the machine guns that dominated the wall display, and how could anyone justify selling them.
With that a gun salesman appeared behind another counter and told us that it was a matter of just being a “boy scout.” When I said there must be a joke with that he responded with a smile and a smirk: “Be prepared.”
We purchased our binoculars and left the store, but a mile or two down the road we both agreed that we would always associate the new binoculars with the gun shop and the machine guns, and we decided to immediately return them.
As we were getting our money back, next to us the gun salesman was completing the required stack of paperwork for the sale of a handgun to a very stressed young man in his 20s. I watched the tense young man as he completed the purchase, clenching his jaw, nervous, tense. I wondered who he was “preparing” for.
Perhaps others who are concerned about gun violence may want to consider boycotting businesses that sell machine guns, semi-automatic handguns and other weapons notoriously used on other humans. Legislation is certainly necessary to curb gun violence, but perhaps withholding our business from anyone selling these guns may also support the effort.
Tom Ewell and Cathy Whitmire