Gun show behavior- Harrisburg, PA last weekend


August 25, 2005, 08:39 AM
Went to Harrisburg show at the Farm Show Complex last weekend with my 7 year old. One table had a couple nice deals on used handguns in a case. The seller was tied up doing 4473 forms with a couple buyers, so a few folks were waiting to see his guns. The guy beside me (hereafter referred to as the MBI-mouth breathing idiot) had a long gun over his shoulder, and was holding, fondling, and twirling a small auto pistol (PPK?).

Kinda bothered me that he was doing this. Then I noticed that there was a mag inserted in the pistol. My bother scale went up. I politely asked him to stop doing that, as it was unsafe to wave the gun around and have his finger in trigger guard. He replied (in best MBI, shallow gene pool down in the holler voice I've ever heard), "Not if'ni tain'tloaded" and with finger still in trigger guard, lifted gun up, swept me (again), and grabbed rear of slide to open action. At this point, the muzzle was pointed at my kid.

I quickly (amazing how fast I can move when motivated!) got between gun and kid, and pushed it back into MBI's chest. He was a bit surprised, and not amused. I wanted to whack the friggin' moron over the head.

Now I know why some promoters zip tie all actions on guns brought into their shows. Anybody else seen this kind of crap? Am I overreacting?

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun show behavior- Harrisburg, PA last weekend" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 25, 2005, 08:44 AM
No, you're not overreacting. Inproper behavior is never excusable. Sounds like you did the right thing protecting your kid.

August 25, 2005, 08:47 AM
I am not sure though. Every gun show I can remember having gone too has required that.

August 25, 2005, 08:54 AM
i'm always amused that leverguns get ziptied shut, rather than open.

August 25, 2005, 09:04 AM
I know just how you feel. The gun handling you see at shows can be awfully scary. Can you imagine if some mental nutjob walked around with a couple of 12 gauge shells, and went about loading shotguns? I always see guys treating long guns displayed in the racks as toys. Picking them up, dry firing them, never bothering to check the actions, it is atrocious.
I am going to hijack your thread to tell you a story about a gunshow I attended in your area. My experience was a little different. I was in PA. for business, staying at the Lancaster Inn, where there was a gunshow in one of the conference rooms. I was looking things over at a booth/table where a biker type guy in a wheelchair was displaying his various goods. I then noticed on his heavily tatoo'd arms, that he had a rather large swastika on his inside forearm. He had to be close to fifty, and I just kept thinking about how his father, and his father's friends and aquantances would have been the ones to actually fight against the Nazis, it made me sick. I am a Catholic, and I try to live life the right way, respect others, and not impose my views on others, etc. However, I have to admit I have never felt that anyone had a more well deserved fate than that scumbag.

August 25, 2005, 09:34 AM
Bosshoff, I enjoy telling the ABs, Skinheads, and other white power prison gangs that thier hero is dead and cindered, thier side lost, and getting patched up with the symbol of the biggest loser in history is kind of stupid...
Last gun show I went to, I saw no outrageuos behavior, but that was a few years ago.

August 25, 2005, 09:48 AM
45Badger ~

You did the right thing. It is unfortunately not unheard-of for a kid to get shot at a gunshow by an idiot with an "unloaded" gun. :(

After the encounter, I think I probably would have gone looking for the show's sponsor and explained the encounter. No responsible gun owner wants an incident at one of these shows, and no show sponor wants an incident at his show. Putting a bug in the correct ear, immediately, might prevent a tragedy later.


August 25, 2005, 10:20 AM
I took my 10 year old Daughter to the show, I made it a point to get there early on Sat, just to avoid this type behavior. The traffic was light at 10AM, aand since my daughter is just getting into the sport, she had a LOT of questions, and I was very thankful to the vendors that helped me whith them (she got to see the inside of a shotgun and rife barrel after she asked what the difference was) One guy and I had a good time chatting about how they don't engrave long guns like they used to (when it was an art form), and she made me REAL proud by remembering her four rules, and asking me first before attempting to touch anything.

All round this was one of my better show experiences, and I think it was because we arrived early and didn't have to worry about twits.

edited for spelling

Tall Man
August 25, 2005, 12:50 PM
He was a bit surprised, and not amused. I wanted to whack the friggin' moron over the head
Finish the story. How did the mouth breather react to your justified battery?

August 25, 2005, 01:17 PM
Harumphed,and locked back slide. I thanked him, and requested that he keep it that way so that everybody would know his gun did not have a round chambered. Then he ambled away........

August 25, 2005, 01:25 PM
They zip tie all actions around here.

This is exactly the reason you can't CCW at gunshows.

Jim K
August 25, 2005, 01:35 PM
Several years ago, one of the more nutty anti-gun groups was telling their "members" to go to gun shows and load guns surreptitiously in the hopes that people would be killed and gun shows banned. All in the interest of saving lives, of course. It pays to be cautious.


August 25, 2005, 01:37 PM
I brought a Springfield Ultracompact to a show last weekend to see if I could generate any interest. The LEO's at the door zip tied the gun around the grip safety after checking the action. Not sure what it was supposed to do other than show they checked it.

August 25, 2005, 05:51 PM
At a gun show last year, I was looking at an M1A (just looking, can't afford).

Anyway, I was holding the rifle in a port-of-arms position, when an older gentleman passed by and said, "don't point that thing at my head!"

Embarrassing, to say the least.

August 25, 2005, 06:01 PM
I've noticed that there's basiclly 2 types of people that attend gun shows. There's ones with a genuine knowledge and interest in the items they're heading in to look for. Then there's those that are just there to be there and see guns having little above remedial knowledge of them. These later types are the oens that have to pick up and loo at every gun and have a comment about it. Seems more and more these later types are also becomeing easier to spot as there's more of them attending. I've found the easiest way to tell whcih type one is is what they wear. The first type wear normal everyday attire. The later have the gun related shirts and usually something camo. It's these idiots that are the one to keep an eye on when they have any firearm in thier possession.

R.H. Lee
August 25, 2005, 06:06 PM
You didn't overreact at all. You warned him once and he didn't get the message. I'd have taken the pistol away from him and put it in my pocket until I could get security to escort him out of the building.

Standing Wolf
August 25, 2005, 08:54 PM
I wanted to whack the friggin' moron over the head.

Unfortunately, it rarely does much good to whack concrete.

Old Fuff
August 25, 2005, 09:24 PM
In my neck of the woods (Arizona) they inspect all firearms at the door, and then zip-tie them, either through the magazine well, or around the hammer and through the trigger guard. If they can't find a way to tie it they tell you too take it home. I think the show promoter at the one in question needs a head's up ... :banghead:

August 26, 2005, 11:12 PM DID NOT overreact. I would have done at least that and probably more.

I wrote a post a while back about the spring show in Hbg and all the total jackasses we had to deal with that day. I was with my wife, at the time 8 month old son, my daughter and my father-in-law. My daughter is 17 and a competition shooter........I was embarrassed by some of the vendors' behavior, unprofessionalism and just plain rudeness. They shouldn't be in the business to say the least.

On the other hand........there were some outstanding vendors/booths there as well. So I guess we'll have to continue to deal with the questionable characters to be able to enjoy our interest in the shooting sports. You did the right thing and maybe, MAYBE this knucklehead will think next time before being an idiot.

Bosshoff..........I actually know the dealer in the wheelchair you are talking about. He got to be in the chair via a Harley wreck and he is a militant minded fellow. Has a small, rural shop in PA out of his home. Some of the people in his circle are into the hardcore biker/racial/1% thing. But some of the guys who accompany him to the show, although hard bikers themselves, are quite nice fellows, and very knowledgeable competition shooters. You just have to get to know them. They all have tons of ink and if you know what to look for......their ink does tell a bit of a story. It probably isn't one a lot of people understand or agree with.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun show behavior- Harrisburg, PA last weekend" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!