Cocked and Loaded: Taking Aim at the Original OKC Gun Show

Growing up with both my father and mother as law enforcement officers in a small Texas town, I have seen firsthand the bloody mess that improperly handled firearms can do when in the wrong—and right—hands. They are instruments of death that, sadly, have become fraudulent symbols of freedom, typically by a group of people that have willingly signed said freedom over to a corrupt oligarch.

But, still, I’m an Oklahoman and being an Oklahoman I’m deftly aware that the culture of gun-lust is a mostly penile one that I desperately want to get closer to. To achieve this, last weekend I went to the Original OKC Gun Show—think of it as a local comic-con but with far more open-carry—at the Oklahoma Expo Hall at the Fairgrounds.

After paying a bloated entry fee of $14 dollars—thanks, Obama!—I wandered past the police officers sitting by the door and the immediate tables of high-powered weapons just waiting for greasy hands to lovingly caress and stroke them. I can’t lie though: to see that full-metal hardware lined up and fully erect, you can really feel their awesome power just being in their mighty presence.

Walking into the main event, I passed by one booth after another of loud conversations, some from dudes admitting their various violent fantasies to the tenable salespersons, such as what would happen if someone traipsed onto their property, accidentally or not. The storytellers usually fulfilled that lawful stereotype of an Okie gun-owner in saggy overalls and a MAGA hat, as if they knew I would be there to catalog it.

It was a bit of a tempered shock to see how many small children—all boys, natch—were in attendance, proud fathers and other male role models allowing the kids to hold different pieces, aiming them with giggly precision; there were a few wives wandering around as well, typically ignoring not only the pink assault weapons, but the lonely Avon salesperson back in the corner.

Around noon, a voice come over the loudspeaker and asked those in attendance to stand for the National Anthem; in an act of truly cultish behavior, everyone froze in their path and stared diligently at the American flag next to the large sign that read “Restrooms.” Apropos these days, I suppose. As the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, I noticed I was standing next to a table that had books like The Anarchist Cookbook and other incendiary tomes for sale.

Walking around the hall for a third time, I noticed a tall man with white hair following me intently, stopping when I stop, moving when I move. Eventually, he crept up behind me and told me to stop taking pictures; perhaps my association with the “fake news” had gotten the best of me?

Regardless, I wanted to get into the true spirit of the show and, with the last five bucks I had after that bloated admission—thanks, Obama (reprise)!—I bought a particularly dangerous hunting knife for my 7-year-old nephew; he may not be ready for high-caliber rounds, but I think he’s mature enough for graphic tools of faux-warfare. Don’t tell his mom!

Fully aware that I’m admittedly a beta in a roomful of alphas, I figured it was time for me to leave, especially when I noticed that same tall man with white hair watching me as I crossed the threshold for the exit. Tucking the ridiculously large knife into the front of my bulgeless jeans, I set my sights on the taco truck across 10th street, a Saturday-night special of barbacoa just askin’ for it.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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36 Responses


  1. FREEDOM!!!!!!!

    Except, you know, to shoot pics at a gun show. No freedom there, no sir.

    Shooting photos is scary to some folks, I reckon.


    1. Just as the pen was mightier than the sword, the smartphone camera ultimately is mightier than the AR-15. Even gun-toters realize this. Hence the nervousness of the white-haired gentleman who was shadowing Louis.

      No smartphone has ever been the instrument of massacring school kids. And it’s perfectly legal to concealed-carry smartphones almost everywhere!


      1. Clearly Louis was planning a terrorist attack! Thank goodness that old man was there to protect everyone.


    2. Sort of not surprising that those who are fiercely supportive of the trade, ownership and display of firearms (including the high-powered, military style variety) are also super paranoid.


  2. Hoping to sell a couple inherited guns Saturday, I ventured into a shop where one wall consisted solely of assault rifles. Those — and not my antique .32 and fancy Danish military pistol — were what the folks were interested in these days.

    How interested? A little guy — who looked like a chartered accountant — walked in, announced that he had recently bought some .762 ammo and was needing something that could shoot it. (A strange progression to my way of thinking.) He pointed out a coupla of the display rifles as already in his possession and was hefting and getting the feel of compact little rifle as I left. (I grew up around guns; I appreciate their aesthetic.)

    It would take someone a lot stronger looking than this customer to fire two assault rifles at the same time. I guess it would take talented toes to squeeze off the new purchase as well.

    Damn, those deer are getting trickier every year.


    1. You do realize that assault weapons are illegal already and not sold at any gun show correct? Look up what an assault rifle is first before you make conclusions. Assault rifles have been illegal for decades


      1. You do realize it’s smart to read an article — or at least look at the pictures — before you comment?


        1. That’s not quite true, Jon. They are perfectly legal when the shooter has to squeeze off one round at a time.

          What is illegal is when those weapons (like the AR-15) are modified for fully automatic fire, i.e. it keeps firing as long as the trigger is held down,

          A legal way to modify them that way has been with a “bump stock,” which uses the recoil to pull the trigger over and over.


  3. Selling Avon at a gun show? Know you customer base much?


    1. It’s a way for the predominantly male-gun lovers to talk their female partners into coming along to the gun show. Very thoughtful, I think.


  4. did you miss the trump t-shirt table?


  5. I’ve attended a couple of OKC gun shows, great people watching. The only thing you left out of this article Louis was the amount of truck nuts tonnage in the parking lot, what gives man!?


    1. Nuts at the truck’s tail, and a phallus for its rear window. Who can mistake the symbolism?


  6. Isn’t it “Locked and Loaded”


    1. Not to our president. Louis is giving him a gentle dig for his odd phrasing.


  7. I had no idea anyone actually sold the Anarchists Cookbook. It’s been floating around on computers since the days of dial up modems and floppy disks.


  8. Looks like a bunch of tiny pecker fat asses to me. Also, they need Avon to make up their blow up sex dolls.


  9. Understandable a gun show might not be for you. Just as attending a comic-con and having to witness mostly slovenly miscreants dressed as their favorite super hero from their sad childhoods would not interest me. That’s the beauty of America , we are all free to pursue what we chose to . Everybody.
    And stopping and facing the flag in silence is paying tribute to all those that made the sacrifices needed to keep that freedom , not some cultish display. Your parents may have been honorable public servants but they seriously failed in passing along the importance and sarifices needed to maintain the freedoms you obvoiusly take full advantage of.
    Do yourself a favor and make your next article about the treatment of Vets at the VA hospital and while you’re there doing your research take some time to meet and listen to the people that made it possible for you to go around bad-mouthing most everything about the U.S.
    That’s another freedom you take for granted.


    1. After WW2 what war was fought to protect my freedoms?


      1. Aside from the Revolutionary War, what war was fought to protect my freedoms?


    2. Your stereotyping of ComicCon attendees is worse than any stereotyping of gun show attendees that I have seen.

      Flag worship IS a cultish display, complete with social pressure to conform – even if you like things that way. (I am a Vietnam veteran who sacrificed two years of my life during a failed war, but I wasn’t there in support of your social conformity. Quite the opposite.)


    3. The irony being that the freedom they sacrificed for is the very freedom to not participate in forced displays of patriotism or to point out that they do find such displays cultish. On that note, mandating patriotism is extremely common in despotic nations, and is really the very opposite of freedom. Making it about the vets is a pretty cheap tactic to try to quell dissent, and the founding fathers would roll in their graves at the insinuation that we have to participate.


    4. What’s funny about it is that forcing people to participate in displays of patriotism is most common in authoritarian governments, ie: places where freedom didn’t actually exist. The ironic thing is that if those sacrifices were truly made to keep freedom, then they include the freedom not to participate just as much as to participate.

      Because freedom isn’t about the power to choose between comic con or a gun show, but to be able to point to people snapping to attention to recite a pledge written by a socialist (it’s true, look up who wrote the original pledge), but the power to look around and say they think it’s ridiculous to.


    5. Did you serve, Gar or did your feet hurt like President Trump?


  10. Most generally there are signs posted at the door about not taking pictures . Much like you see at most any decent concert. Wonder what they have to hide? I’ve noticed most concert goers seem to show the same respect for the rules as Louis did.


    1. It’s not illegal for a private gun owner to sell a gun. But judging by the location you listed you are referring to African Americans and I’m guessing that you’re scared of those characters bc you’re a slack jawed yokel that cant quit fingering his sister. See how stereotypes work. Even in Oklahoma the gun show loophole allows private sellers to not posses an FFL or do background checks in order to sell. Which is the same exact thing as a legal gun owner on Penn & NW 122nd selling a gun in a private deal. Moron.


      1. I’m actually black, but nice try idiot. Grew up around Hefner & western, and not live in those apartments .Saw illegal gun deals all the time. Go take your white guilt someplace else.

        No wonder the dems are gonna lose against trump


  11. I’m pretty sure that headless torso feller in the over-hauls is my ex-brother-in-law Tater. Was he sportin’ a snapback cap that had the word, Damifino on it? I see he lost few lbs cause them britches was buttoned on the sides, something I though would only happen with the second coming of the baby jeezus.


  12. Aren’t WOMENGUNOWNERS compensating for their men’s inadequacies ?


    1. Wow. Two small dick comments on this single post. Not saying that’s an obsession, but…….? Here’s a nice article from Psychology Today about a new definition for penis envy. Maybe it will ease some of your “tiny dick” angst. It’s OK, you’re just fine the way you are.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-freud/201301/penis-size-consideration-fantasy-and-reality


  13. I own a woman…. and I definitely don’t want her owning a gun…


    1. You can say that again.


  14. I own a woman…. and I definitely don’t want her owning a gun…


    1. You don’t own a woman. I was told a woman is never yours – you are just the latest in line.

      Besides – the warranty sux.


    2. If you treat “your” woman like property, you DEFINITELY don’t want her to own a gun – or to have access to one.

      You’d better be sleeping with one eye open.


  15. “mostly slovenly miscreants “. You must have seen Louis there.

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