As I’ve observed the scarcity of .22 ammunition over the last year, and considering the inventory that I’d accumulated over the previous decades, I wondered what to do with it. I was in the enviable position of having more .22 ammo than I would likely shoot over the course of my remaining life. I seem to shoot less and write more these days. I could sell it. Prices are high. But, my church has reminded me that generosity is a virtue. So I decided to give some of it away . . .
The problem is that people don’t really value what they get for free. I wasn’t willing to give it all to someone else who would just stick it in their storage vault, or sell it so that they could pocket the money. Ten rounds of .22 may not be much, but there is an enormous difference between having 10 rounds of ammunition and having no rounds of ammunition. I also want people to read what I write. Writers are funny that way.
So, I went to the Yuma Gun show this past weekend with a couple of thousand rounds of .22 ammo (mostly Remington), tucked into 10-round groups in baggies with a business card. And I gave it away to anyone who said that they would look at the Gun Watch blog.
I have a high opinion of people who come to gun shows. They tend to be a couple of steps up from the general population. Whether it’s because responsible people are attracted to guns, or that guns, of necessity, tend to help create responsible people, is hard to say. It’s probably a complex positive feedback loop. Of course, I had no way to enforce my informal contract, but I wasn’t really worried about it.
Yes, it was a promotional stunt. It was free .22 ammunition and it was fun. I stopped handing out ammunition when I ran out of business cards to give out with it, about 2,500 rounds later.
I had arranged to sit with the Arizona Citizens Defense League to help bring more members to AZCDL. They’re the premier Second Amendment and freedom defenders here in Arizona. They’re everything you hoped that the NRA would be in defending your rights, but without the constant fundraising and self-promotion. They are the people who were the most responsible for Arizona going to constitutional carry and I am a life member. I think I helped bring in a few memberships.
I was mildly surprised at the number of savvy consumers who shied away from anything with “free” on it. Still, there were lots of people who agreed to look at Gun Watch and take the ammo when I explained what I was doing. I warned them that reading my writing was addictive. I told them that they would keep coming back, again and again, even though there were no naked people or advertisements at the blog. I told them that what I was doing was similar to giving away free cocaine, that over time, their world view would change, and there was no blue pill to get it back.
On the next table over was a group of Girl Scouts selling girl scout cookies. Everybody had a great time.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.