Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
California State Senator Dave Min of Irvine and Katie Porter, from the US House of Representatives, Democrats, both attended the Orange County, CA gun show this weekend. They were, reportedly, escorted by sheriffs and were kept far from the deviant potential gun-owners that they ostensibly came to observe.
Oddly enough, no media appears to exist about these visits, only local word of mouth and eyewitness accounts. It appears that they may be biding their time on their anti-gun stances until the moment is slightly more favorable. It can only be assumed that their strange appearances may be related to Dave Min’s bill to ban gun shows on government property, but they have not chosen to openly disclose their time at the shows. Possibly because it would not be inflammatory enough for the restrictions they are advocating.
As someone who enjoyed this gun show, I would like to add that it was the most diverse crowd I’ve probably ever seen. I saw a man with full-body tattoos (including face), a woman with dyed hair and piercings (though in CA this is not surprising anymore), multiple older Veterans, many Asians, Hispanics (do I say Latinx?), many Black Americans, and many people of various indeterminate ethnicities and sexualities (I didn’t feel I needed to ask them about it). I watched the most polite crowd I’ve ever seen in Southern California endure 80+ degree temperatures without shade and without concessions (OC Fairgrounds would not allow food/drink vendors) and without seating. People were kind to one another, laughing, and enjoying the outdoor environment.
While, ultimately, I did not enjoy the outdoors as much as others (I now have something in common with my mortal enemy: shellfish) it seemed that it was a really relaxed affair. With proper seating, shade, and food/water, it would have been a really lovely afternoon supporting the injured economy with stimulus money.
As it is, anyone who has attended one knows: there are few guns at any California gun show. There are accessories and ammo, but not a whole lot of guns. There are muskets and 18th-century pistols (some with the most beautiful embellishments). There are various components to help make out-of-state firearms California legal (encouraging people to be law-abiding!) and there is usually at least one vendor that is helping people take their California Firearms Safety exams. There are jerky and home-made hot sauce (go with the ghost pepper variety, it’ll take your breath away). There’s usually even fudge (I think they bowed out with it being outside). More often than not, there’s handmade jewelry, silver, hand-forged knives, t-shirts with pithy sayings, and buttons. New for this year were the various home-made masks and gaiters.
There were children, babies, service dogs, plain ol’ people with their dogs, elderly, disabled. Every variety of people were there. I heard at least four languages spoken while I was there and that is on the low-estimated end. It was hard to completely discern from 6 ft. away and masked. But it was beautiful. People chatting in the lines they were waiting in (because you couldn’t all gather together, you know, safety first). It was a great sense of relief and joy. And unity.
Not the unity that you get during political photo ops.
This was the kind of unity where everyone respected one another, were polite, chatted politely, and gave everyone room to do whatever they needed to do.
Heck, even the Libertarians were there.
I’m glad I only found out about the attendance of my political “betters” (clearly not Representatives) as I was leaving, otherwise, it would’ve soured the experience for me. Instead, I got to see a truly diverse, truly polite, kind, helpful, and better society where people loved America (whatever their vision of it was) and believed in the rule of law and of the natural rights of citizens. It was a place where people talked ideas and even disagreed, but nodded or shook heads and laughed.
It was a place where I met a lovely woman who was anxious about taking her FSC exam, despite reading the manual many times and having understood gun safety well. She was just convinced that California was so difficult, that she really probably was not going to pass. I reassured her that it wasn’t so (I recently had to retake my exam, since my certificate was from the olden days of “Handgun Safety Certificates”) and that she would be just fine. We chatted at great length about women needing to be empowered, about the history of the gun as the great equalizer, and about how it makes sense to practice rights as fully as able and to respect those rights.
The gun show in CA in particular is less and less about the guns themselves and is more a haven for entrepreneurs selling unique or handmade items. It is a place where people of a certain mindset can feel free (or free-er) to be themselves and to speak knowing they won’t be immediately demonized. It is a place where they know they can respect while being respected.
After all, an armed society is a polite society.
It is even the first place where, after 40 years in California, I saw a BMW driver who was fully entitled to back out, pull back into his spot, wait, and wave us on as we walked behind his shiny black sedan.
Truly, the OC gun show is a wonder.
…By the way, the day after I met that lovely lady I was wandering around and she tapped me on the shoulder while sauntering away. “I passed!” she said from a distance and waved.Published in