Monday, April 20, 2009

Economic stimulus, Pawnshopping, and Investments

I missed the actual Buy A Gun Day, what with being on duty at the fire station and all. They really frown on going in the fire truck to a local sporting goods retailer and walking out with a new gun. They being the Fire Chief and most of the city managers office. Ironically, it seems not to bother them to go to the same retailer and walk out with golf clubs, baseball bats, or the occasional exercise equipment. No, just one trip to the local store which ends with walking through the parking lot while in uniform to the big red fire truck carrying a nice new shotgun WILL end in a bad way.

I know. I did it.

So rather than stimulate the economy where I work, I kept my money closer to home.

A few days before, I had been checking out the local pawn shops around my area. This coincided with the desire to find a .22 rifle for my son. He's 13 now, and the little Savage Cub he has is just a bit small for him, both in size and design. It's meant to be a learning gun, for younger kids, and at that it is excellent. But he's ready for something else. So, a pawn shopping I went.

As I posted about earlier, I had found a Remington semi-auto in a shop. Ironically, it was the same model as my own that I had bought for myself as a teenager in a pawn shop. It was/is a 552 Speedmaster, one of the only models I know of which can function with shorts, longs and long rifles. In fact, I have loaded mine with a combination of shorts and long rifles and they all shot and ejected fine. It won't eject shot shells though. I really like mine, and have found it both reliable, and very accurate.

With all that in mind, I went back to the pawn shop. The tag on the rifle was marked $149. I had done some checking, and knew that it was a fair, even leaning slightly to good deal at that price. I already knew about the model, and what to look for. So I really went with the intention of buying it. But this was a pawn shop, and it was a used gun. It would have violated the rules of the game to just walk in a buy it. We had to haggle. That's how the game is played.

I asked to see the rifle and noted it had a bit of finish wear, but otherwise looked to be in good shape. I mentioned the wear to the counter guy. I asked if he knew it worked. No, they didn't shoot it, but they guaranteed they would fix it if it didn't. I asked if this was the only .22 they had, which I already knew was the case. He said it was the only one.

And then he said the magic words; "We can do a little better on the price."

"How much better?" I asked
"I'll do $125" he replied
"Huh" I snorted.

I then let him spend the next 10 minutes convincing me that Remington was a good gun and this one in particular was better than the new plastic stock model they had at the big box store.

Finally I just stared at the gun and he said "How about $125 out the door?"

It was an effort not to smile. I walked out with my new investment, all happy in my pants as they say.

On the point of investing: In these economic times, it was a real investment. I believe the value will grow in the near to long future. Monetarily, I traded paper that was changing in value everyday (usually for the loss) for a real steel and wood item. The gun will last longer than the paper.

This was also an investment in my son. I believe his value as a man will grow with the addition of the knowledge and experience this gun will bring. His values will be changed. He will mature. He will likely become an equal of myself. Not just a child to take hunting, a hunter to hunt with. A partner in the fight for our freedoms.

And that is a much more valuable investment indeed.

Mr Fixit

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