It's been about five months since I've stood behind the counter at a gun store and led a customer to his or her perfect firearm.
I miss it.
Today, my husband and I went to the not-so-local Scheels Sports and of course we stopped by the handgun counter to see what was up for grabs.
While my husband oogled over a pre-lock Smith & Wesson, I browsed the Sig Sauers with the little man (that is, of course, our son). Beside me, two young men were looking over an array of Glocks, Tauruses, Springfield XDs, Smith & Wessons and Berettas. As a seasoned handgun-helper I had seen the scene before me play out many times: Person A wants to buy a handgun but doesn't know the first thing about them and so he enlists his buddy, Person B to help him because Buddy B knows more about guns than Aquiring A, meaning, of course, B owns or has fired a gun and A has not.
I observed them silently for a few moments listening to the dialogue between them as they commented on things like calibers, finishes, sizes and weight. My ears pirked when Mr A asked, "So, what's the difference between that one and that one?"
I stole a glance over my shoulder to see he was pointing between a standard bi-tone Springfield XD in .45acp and a 4" service model with a thumb safety. Boisterous B started with, "Well,.. That one has the different colors... and ahhh... Hang on," B paused, "I'm trying to read the tag."
I couldn't resist. The temptation was too great.
"That one has a thumb safety," I interupted. "The other one doesn't."
They both looked from me, the skinny little blonde pushing a baby stroller with a 5-month-old sucking his thumb, to the two firearms in question and back.
"Oh yeah!" B said.
A-boy shrugged and let out a little, "Humph. And I wonder what the difference is in those two." He said while pointing at two Glock 19s, one priced at $550, the other at $600.
"Which two?" my husband questioned from accross the counter.
"Two nineteens," I replied.
"Does one have night sights?"
I leaned over to get a good look. "Yep."
"Well then, there you go," he said and went back to his fondeling of revolvers.
"How can you tell?" A asked.
I showed him the difference.
From there it became a litanty of questions down to concealment, caliber, size, weights, this gun vs that gun, models.. I was in my element.
When we parted ways I took my husband's hand and we strolled toward JCPenny's with our son while I said, "I miss helping people find that ONE gun, ya know? I like it."
"Yeah," he said.
"Aww darn!" I snapped my fingers and glanced back at the store.
"What?" he asked.
"I forgot to tell them that the XD m and the M&P have the different back-straps."
"You're slipping," he laughed.
"I know," I shook my head. "I've got to get back on my game."