When the newspaper sent a photographer to take a picture of the Maxon sign, the gun shop called the police. Who came, reminded them that this still is America, despite their best efforts. This was that kind of story.
There’s something soothing about buying a gun.
Driving to Maxon Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines Wednesday to purchase my first assault rifle, I admit, I was nervous. I’d never owned a gun before. And with the horror of Sunday’s Orlando massacre still echoing, even the most pleasant summer day—the lush green trees, the fluffy clouds, blue sky–took on a grim aspect, the sweetness of fragile life flashing by as I headed into the Valley of Death.
Earlier, in my editor’s office, I had ticked off the reasons for me not to buy a gun: this was a journalistic stunt; done repeatedly; supporting an industry I despise. But as I tell people, I just work here, I don’t own the place. And my qualms melted as I dug into the issue. I couldn’t even figure whether bringing an assault rifle into Chicago is legal. The Internet was contradictory. The Chicago corporation consul’s office punted me on to that black hole of silence, Bill McCaffrey. I found that Illinois has a 24-hour waiting period between buying and taking possession of a gun. Unearthing that fact alone made the exercise seem worthwhile. I was learning stuff.
Reluctance melted when I walked into the large, well-lit store. Maxon’s looked like a meeting of the Mid-50ish Guy Club. A dozen grizzled men in ball caps , milling around. More on the glassed in shooting range. Imagine a steady, muffled pop-pop…pop going on behind the rest of this column.
I eyed the cases of weapons....
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