Five years ago today, I bought my very first gun. I became a gun owner and quickly became aware that while I’d been ignoring it, someone had already come along and helped themselves to what had been my cake (yep, I just linked that twice in a row. It’s my blog). I didn’t even get to blow out the candles.
A salesman showed me which cabinets contained the wares I, as a simple civilian, was allowed to purchase. I could look through the glass on the others, but there contents were off-limits. Still other cases contained products that I could only purchase after paying a $200 tribute and waiting for official consent.
After I picked what I liked from the approved display, the nice salesman slipped off to the back to get one that was still in its package for me. As we arrived at the cash register, I began to see the decimated remains of cake. You see, this wasn’t just a simple transaction where I exchange money for goods. Oh no!
He didn’t go to the cash register; he went to a file that housed a stack of forms. One of which he retrieved and handed to me with instructions on how to fill it out. I complied, and yet it was still not time to exchange money for goods. No, instead of the money in my wallet, he wanted my drivers license. I supplied him with my papers, and he made a copy.
Now can we complete this like a civilized transaction? Nope.
He had to call a 3rd party to get their permission for me to exchange money for goods. And what did they say? Not yet, we’ll get back to you.
Wait a minute! So here I have visited a vendor and agreed to the price he was asking for his wares. The vendor has agreed to accept my money in exchange for something in his inventory. But instead of taking my money, he took the box away from me and put it in the safe behind the counter.
Dejected, I returned home to wait. Two days later, January 25th, 2008, I got the phone call telling me that I now had permission to return to the gun store and exchange money for merchandise. So I made the trip back down to the store to complete my transaction.
Simple, right? Oh but that’s not all. A few days later, I returned to the gun store to try out my new acquisition in their indoor range. After running through a couple of cylinders, I discovered a problem. The frame was defective. No biggie, I was right there at the retailer where I’d purchased it. I even still had my receipt in the case. I’ll just exchange it, right?
Heh. Nope. For, um, reasons. None of which are the fault of the retail establishment. Instead, I was sent home with instructions on contacting the manufacturer. Upon hearing of a defect, the manufacturer mailed me a shipping label so I could send my new thing back to them. Now you would think said manufacturer could just replace it with a new one that wasn’t defective and ship it to me. And you would be wrong. You see, if they did that, they’d need to send it to an appropriately licensed dealer who would then require me to fill out that form again and again call that 3rd party for permission for me to take possession of the replacement product of the defective one I’d just returned. Instead, they put the serial number from my defective frame on a brand new frame, fit the other parts from my original into the new frame and sent it directly to my door.
Confused? You should be. You see, since I own that particular firearm, they can repair it and send it back to me. If they had kept that firearm and replaced it with an identical one, it would be a different firearm, and I would need permission to take ownership of it. This is the kind of “common sense” they are talking about.
All I’ve got are the crumbs, and no, you can’t have them. Tell you what, Diane, you give back my cake, all of it, and then… Well, then we can move on to other matters because I’m not interested in sitting down at the table. I’m not sharing my cake with the likes of you.