Last week’s SHOT Show was my third or fourth convention; in all the excitement I kinda lost track. It was definitely the first show where I made the trek to the Hard Rock Cafe to visit the annual AVN convention. That’s where adult entertainment actors meet and greet a Clorox of OFWGs who believe – quite rightly – that a picture of themselves posing next to a half-naked porn star will give their Facebook page a certain je ne sais quoi. As a man of the world, I can report that the main hall held few attractions. The real action was in the toy room . . .
I was blown away (so to speak) by the ingenuity of the sex toys on display and the entrepreneurial spirit behind them. What kind of mind looks at a kids’ Hippity Hop ball and thinks, you know what this needs? A dildo! A built-in dildo! And then sets about the arduous job of creating, marketing and selling a dildo-sprouting bouncy ball.
There were dozens of truly amazing inventions. A ball-shaped vibrator that uses ultra-sound technology for up to 40 different speeds and 20 different patterns (fully submersible for bath-time fun). An ankle strap dildo for people who want to give themselves penetrative sex as they pleasure others while on their knees. All-natural lubricant with vitamin E and aloe to heal cuts and abrasions. A pillow with a secret compartment to hide toys while keeping them within easy reach.
I suggested to the owner that the pillow could be used for a firearm. “Way ahead of you,” he said, showing me a video of his boss shooting through the pillow. “It has a holster pocket too.” Apparently, these “hide your vibe” pillows have been around for ages. The Glock Store’s been selling something similar for at least two years [click here for YouTube video]. Respect to the people trying to make money making our lives better, whether that’s by hiding dildos or building GLOCK handguns.
It’s easy to miss the forest from the trees at SHOT. We journos scurry around trying to find The Next Big Thing. The GLOCK 42. The Remington R51. The Gilboa double-barreled AR-15. [Click here for our coverage.] The real story of the show: diversity. We’re talking 12 miles of show floor filled with thousands of firearms-related products for millions of Americans; goods that go through the same basic development process as the AVN’s sex toys. Guns, optics, slings, clothing, boots, cases, safes, and on and on. SHOT could swallow the AVN without even noticing. Maybe I should rephrase that . . .
The antis think of SHOT’ as a secret gathering of “death merchants” who “push guns” on weak-willed citizens. I view SHOT as both the incubator and safe zone for the Second Amendment, using the world’s best communications system (capitalism) for the benefit of all. Sure, there are gun industry types who’d throw your natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms under the proverbial bus in the name of fiscally remunerative “compromise.” But there are plenty who wouldn’t.
The SHOT Show reveals the health and vitality of our gun rights as surely as AVN reveals the health and vitality of the urge to merge. In one we have the literal embodiment of our species’ instinctive need for self-defense, which includes using firearms to create a society where we can safely obtain resources for our individual and collective survival. In the other we have an easily understood display of our instinctive desire to pass on our genes, which includes keeping a long-standing partner sexually satisfied.
Guns and sex. It’s a yin-yang thang. Maybe that’s why guns are sexy and sex evokes so may firearms-related metaphors. In any case, I’m going to say it: happiness is a warm gun. And a surprisingly attractive porn star who told me why she prefers striker-fired handguns to hammer-fired pistols while modeling my hat (facing backwards). Go figure.