The recent brouhaha over the establishment of a new credit card merchant code to categorize sales at gun stores reminded me of a funny (in retrospect) experience I had with my Wake Forest University-issued Visa card back in 2014, just a couple of years into my research on American gun culture.
It all began with the $249 registration I paid to attend the 2014 Rangemaster Politie Society Tactical Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
My study of American gun culture was aided at the start by a small grant from Wake Forest University. I used the funds to subscribe to magazines, buy DVDs and books, join gun organizations, and attend training events. The events included the Massad Ayoob Group’s “Armed Citizens’ Rules of Engagement” (MAG-40) in 2012 and the last Polite Society Tactical Conference held at the Rangemaster facility in Memphis in 2014.
Then, as now, you had to sign up for…
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