On Feb. 1, my curiosity took me to the gun show at Madison Marriott West.
It was easy to get in. No ID needed. Just pay the $7 and in you go. As you enter, there before you are displays of any kind of gun or ammo you might want. All that's needed is money. Put your money down and you can walk out with an AR-15 or even a semi-automatic. What a deal!
The crowd was friendly. A guy told me he'd never seen a show so crowded. He said that's because gun buyers to get their stuff before the laws change.
I was drawn to a booth that was manned by a very nice lady. She had books for sale, mostly about survival and bunkers. She left and came back holding a purple thing that she called her very own AR-15. She sure looked proud holding it.
Next, I asked a dealer what he would suggest for a woman who just wanted to feel safe. He brought out some .22s and some handguns: Smith and Wessons, Rugers, Tauruses and others. He said I'd only need a .38 because that could kill a person with one shot. He said I should get a laser because all I'd have to do is put the laser on the attacker's forehead and pull the trigger. Sounded easy to me, if you don't mind blood.
I got a little scared when I saw a rough-looking guy in camouflage walking by with three AR-15s or AKs slung over his shoulders. I wanted to ask him what he was going to do with those, but I was too intimidated.
When I got to the booths in back I saw a lot of T-shirts that had "FIRE OBAMA" on them, bumper stickers with "TAMMY BALDWIN ISN'T EVEN A GOOD LOOKING LESBIAN" and other nasty things. One sign just said "OBAMA = HITLER." That I didn't like because I think Obama has lots of good ideas about how to save more 5- and 6-year-olds from being shot dead.
This was not only a learning experience, but also a religious one. Just before I left I picked up a free pamphlet called "The Essence of Christianity."
Jan Bohn is a retired school counselor who lives in Middleton.