You’re at the gun store, and you overhear the gun store guy. He clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This gun store commando wants a new shooter to buy some hog leg revolver in .44 Mag. Or some other disaster. It’s not good. You can ignore it, or you can intervene. What do you do?
What do you do When You Face a Gun Store Commando?
We have all experienced it. We are at the gun shop and someone behind the counter is sharing information that is questionable as best. A good example is them pushing a .44 Mag as a personal defense weapon. The customer is new to the gun world, and you are faced with a decision – do I intervene? The cliches are plentiful, and the term “boomer” is quickly thrown out there offering “old school” information.
This plague of bad info can also flow from the mouth of younger clerks as well, as they are more focused on “cool and hip” as opposed to practical and effective. We can go from a 1911 that has won “two world wars” to a custom Glock with a custom bling-threaded barrel, extended mag, and suppressor sights. While some would just mind their own business, I feel we as responsible members of the firearms community have a responsibility to make sure people get good information. How do we do it though?
What I have done in the past is to move closer to the discussion and act like I am listening in. At the same time, I would ask the clerk to explain in more detail why that specific gun is the best choice. While we are using a .44 Mag as an example, I also see countless people pushing micro guns to women, simply because they are women. At that point I would ask about a different, more appropriate gun and or caliber.
Help Where You Can
Essentially, I would redirect the conversation to something more appropriate. One of two things will happen at this point. The clerk will follow your gentle lead, or they will become indignant that you are offering information contrary to their opinion. If they get an attitude, it is time to essentially call them out. I would tell the customer that they might be better served by trying a different shop and why.
Be prepared to explain, for example, why a .44 is not the best option. Using facts as opposed to just preference will be important in this intervention. While I am at it, I would offer my opinion on just what I believe they should look at and why. I would also suggest just where they might be able to find said firearm. At this point you will probably be asked to leave the gun shop and that is fine. I would not bother as asking to see the manager/owner. At this point it is best just to leave. I would follow up with an email, however, to let them know they have someone that is not serving their business well. If they are unresponsive or offer an argument, I simply write them off as a shop and never recommend them to any possible customers.
We had some great feedback as normal on this topic. Alex Tham shared: “When I’ve seen any situation where I think someone’s safety could be jeopardized. I’ll give the person my business card and ask if they’d hear me out bad on my experience. No strings attached.”
As we gain so many new gun owners joining the 2A family, it is important that they get the best information possible. We have an opportunity to create an enthusiastic and solid new wave of gun owners. If they end up having a bad experience because of a knucklehead gun clerk, we all suffer. Speak up and save the day!
Editor’s Note: This marks the third response in our new column, Mister Manners. Follow our social media pages for more scenarios for the gun aficionado. We’ll tackle all kinds of situations, from the awkward to the ever-increasing violent world around us, with expert opinion to help you navigate contemporary society. So stay tuned, and follow the Athlon Outdoors Instagram page, as well as on Ballistic Facebook and Ballistic Twitter accounts. You can also find us by searching #mistermanners or #ballisticmistermanners. Submit your scenarios, comment on others, and stay part of the Mister Manners conversation!