Today meta_kate and I went to a gun show. Kate is about to enter law school and is particularly interested in criminal justice, and had never been to one of these, so I chaperoned her.
It was fairly tame, compared to what these events were ten years ago. California has very restrictive laws, so most of the weapons that are big and scary enough to be humorous were not available for purchase, although the .50 caliber gigantic $7,000 sniper rifles were a real hoot. Not too much over-the-top nuttiness either, although one lady who was selling all kinds of first aid gear for back country camping had little “funny” info cards on all the equipment, mostly misspelled and stuck in the 1980s. A russian army issue tourniquet or something had a picture of Gorbachev on it with some joke worthy of Yakoff Smirnoff, etc.
There was too much Nazi memorabilia for sale. Not just vintage pistols and daggers and medals, but training booklets and other propaganda, uniform apparel, and suspiciously new-looking swastika flags. Kinda creepy.
I dropped the Kate off back at Diedrichs to get her car and go home, and then continued on to our local health food store to get some baking supplies. That’s where I had my real shock of the day. Coming out happily with my flour, honey, flaxseed meal in arms I saw a couple of very normal-looking fiftysomething guys getting on their motorcycles. They didn’t notice me at all, being involved in an intense discussion of some kind, and that’s good because I stared at one guy for a full minute.
He was wearing a longsleeved jersey for Final Solution Custom Motorcycles that had the SS double lightning bolt and death’s head insignia as its logo. I could not believe my eyes. I put my stuff in my car and walked back over to confirm this, unbelieving. Then I left.
Bonus points: He and his pal both had canadian (ontario) plates on their bikes, and a woman with them was taking touristy pictures.