This past weekend, I had the opportunity to ingest a super-sized slice of Americana.
I got a bug up my butt to rent a table at a local gun show for the weekend to sell some of my books. Obviously my primary goal was to break my back for a weekend to provide for the family. Hanging out at a gun show for a couple of straight days was purely an unplanned fringe benefit, and I’m sticking by that story.
You hear a lot on the news about gun shows, and how delightfully evil they are, right? Criminals buying guns, thermite grenades and TOW missiles for sale and not a background check to be seen for miles around. While I’ve attended dozens, OK, hundreds, I’ve never invested the time to do some good old-fashioned crowd watching.
Being a lousy journalist, but somewhat good at stalking, I decided to make some notes throughout the weekend on my observations. This is quality science folks, because I was an Economics major in college. Real numbers economics, not home economics, so I can count reliably to nearly three digits.
Here’s what I saw…
Percentage of people wearing hats. As one might expect, about 75% of all hats were ball cap types, but a surprisingly low percentage were camo or emblazoned with things like “don’t tread on me” or “molon labe.” Most were logoed with the wearer’s favorite sports team. I looked hard, but did not see any hats promoting Poysippi, Wisconsin’s Legion of Broom curling team. Rounding out the hat community were a good number of floppy jungle hats, Panama Jacks and bandana head wraps.
Percentage of attendees what were children.
Percentage of attendees that the Brady Campaign refers to as children when they recite crime statistics. This demographic actually represents people aged 17-25.
Percentage of women attending the show. Yes, I did numerous aisle counts and averaged the results. I was that bored. Guys, if you saw me looking at your wife or girlfriend, it was all in the name of science. Really.
Percentage of women working in booths at the show.
Number of (obviously) pregnant women.
Number of men who appeared to be pregnant.
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