I remember the first time I walked into a Wild Birds Unlimited store. I was just like those characters on the TV show “Naked and Afraid,” although I was slightly less naked and much more afraid. Realizing that I might be exposed as a poseur who didn’t even know the difference between a pied-billed grebe and a black-bellied plover, I tried to fake it.
“Hi, I need to buy some bird seed.”
“No problem sir, what are you trying to attract? Chickadees and titmice or are you more into American sparrows, towhees and juncos?”
“Umm … I’ll be back in a second, I think I left my car lights on!”
So went the “faking it” strategy. But that was my fault, as I’d forgotten the basic premise of retail stores. The good ones survive and thrive by sharing their expertise with folks new to the subject. If they’re smart, they welcome people who don’t know anything. When they invest some time in teaching newcomers, they’ll be rewarded with loyal customers.
It’s no different with gun stores. If you’ve never touched a gun in your life, a gun store visit can be intimidating. Because guns are scary! But seriously, a gun store is like any other retail establishment; it’s a place where you can go not only to buy, but to learn.
With that said, let’s consider a few tips that will remove the stress from your visit. There’s no reason your experience can’t be a pleasurable and safe.