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Guns! Guns! Guns!


I used to love getting the NRA sweepstakes mailing — Guns! Guns! Guns!, it blared cheerfully.

The machine gun from the previous post, because someone asked. Attitudes about guns aren’t so simple here. I know plenty of Brits who think guns are magical self-activating sticks of evil but — especially out here in the country — there are plenty of people who love and miss guns. Including many a sad bastard who had his prize collection confiscated.

I’d say the majority of children at these fetes and festivals are there with their grandparents (blue hair…blue hair as far as the eye can see). Sitting there minding this gun, I wasn’t surprised when grandpa propped a little boy in front of the gun for a picture, but I was very surprised how often grandma did it.

I know what you’re thinking: WWII generation. But no – all the living veterans are in their nineties now. The oldest of these remembered the war from their older brothers going off, or being evacuated to the country themselves. Most have vague memories of rationing. (Uncle B remembers rationing in London, which carried on well into the Fifties. Brits wuz poor after the war).

The laws are a bit strange, too. It’s a hard ban on almost everything, but I’m told they must allow you to buy a shotgun if you apply. The restrictions for keeping it at home are a world of ass-ache, so we haven’t done it.

There was a gun dealer at the airshow we went to last week with a neat selection of old handguns, most of which had been “decommissioned” (ruined, usually by slicing part way through the barrel). But he had one nice little antique revolver that he said was completely intact and I could have bought it on the spot and walked away with it, no restrictions.

“Because the ammunition it needs is no longer being manufactured.”
“Oh,” says I, “it doesn’t look unusual. What is it?”
“320,” says he.
“Wait, what? But that’s .32 – that’s totally still manufactured — ”
“In the US, not here.”

Well, I didn’t know any ammo was still manufactured here. I suppose if I were going to smuggle ammo I might as well smuggle guns to go with, so it isn’t much of a loophole. Still think it’s weird.

Also, somebody I know does cowboy re-enactment. It needs a license, but you can buy powder and ball handguns, including the early-style revolvers. He has a beautiful one of modern manufacture from Italy. I mean geez, I could totally knock over a gas station with one of those.

Oh, and ExpressoBold asked why they were playing the US national anthem. Dude, if you’re going to have a brass band, you WILL play American music (and German, for that matter). We dominate the repertoire. The National Anthem was just the first chunk of a medley, that went on to Oh, Susanna! and The Yellow Rose of Texas. We came in on the Star Spangled Banner and went out on Sussex by the Sea. Nice.

August 29, 2017 — 7:01 pm
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