The Crossroads of the West Gun Show

About a month ago I attended the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Arizona state fairgrounds in Phoenix as a guest of Bob Mattingly, Bob the Knife Guy, who is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Bob has been a knife sharpener as a sideline for many years. He is a cousin of the mother of my daughter-in-law.* We met at the Thanksgiving table of her parents four years ago.

He gave me his card and told me to look him up when I moved to Phoenix, so I did.

Bob set up a booth at the gun show. It’s not unusual for men with guns (almost always men) to also carry a knife. Some attending also know in advance that there are knife sharpeners at such events. There was actually a competing knife sharpener besides Bob at the event.

I’ve never held a gun in my hand, and I didn’t start at the gun show. I’m not a pacifist. Just that I feel safe enough as it is. If a robber entered my apartment, I would let him take what he wants. This is safer for me than brandishing a weapon.

I have no jewelry unless you count two vintage watches that are being offered on eBay for $500 each. We’ll see how long it is before they get sold and at what final price. I’m sure that a pawn broker wouldn’t give nearly eBay’s asking price if someone brought them in.

One watch I received at 16 for my confirmation (1967). I wore it until I started carrying a cell phone. As you know, the first display on a phone is the time and date. Very convenient. The second watch was my father’s which he got about a decade after I got mine. I don’t know what he wore before that. I just remember a metal link wristband.

What do I think about gun control? I don’t think that governments are going to be more successful at controlling the ownership and use of guns than they already are.

I advocate a public policy of gun safety. Let owners of guns carry mandatory liability insurance just like car drivers do. Only private insurance companies will know who owns guns. Not the government. Insurers then issue proof of insurance cards, just like they do for drivers, which gun toters have to produce to law enforcement officers and agencies. You own a gun, you insure it.

Insurance companies are likely to require that owners get safety lessons at authorized shooting ranges. Boy Scouts get safety lessons. See their information about safety lessons for shooting sports — which include archery and even BB gun shooting.

Just as failure to insure one’s car is a misdemeanor, so failure to insure a gun will be. This may remove some guns from crime ridden neighborhoods if officers can confiscate guns that are not insured, to be returned with proof of insurance.

But gun criminals don’t buy insurance.

Insurance is a state-by-state regulation, not federal. The insurance market controls premium rates based on actuarial tables of risk. Owners choose to pay up or relinquish their guns. How many gun owners will comply? Aye, there’s the rub.

  • the mother of my daughter-in-law — In Yiddish we have a single word for this relation, one for father and one for mother: m’ KHOO ten and m’ khoo TEN iss teh, respectively. They mean something like “marrieder.”