Buy a gun at Walmart but not a bottle of wine

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL December 16, 2012
Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac

Here, for what it’s worth, is my America-and-guns story. Arriving in this country from the UK, I could barely believe what I found in the local Walmart, near our holiday home in Garrett County, Maryland. I could buy a gun in Walmart any time I wanted; but I could not buy a bottle of wine! For that, I had to go to a liquor store. While I admire the inclination to temperance and the authorities’ commitment to the public good, I could not help but wonder what America would be if this balance were reversed. Even though many supermarkets in other counties of Maryland and other states of America do sell alcohol, the wide availability of guns is something that cannot but shock a new arrival. Unless, of course, one’s most recent point of reference is Mogadishu.

I’m not sure what to make of the rather gruesome name of this gun store near our Maryland home: Honeymooners Gun Shop. Call me old-fashioned, but the notion is rather too gruesome for me.