Having a gun is not about being democrat or republican here. It’s about socioeconomics

I've never seen a gun before - except on a policeman's belt. So, as we drove down the road in Memphis today and passed gun store after gun store, Lauren and I pulled over and decided to go into a gun store. Not for the project, but just out of curiosity, so I could see some guns. 

In what seems to be the fashion of this trip so far (second day), we ended up staying for multiple hours. 

We met Mike, the owner and manager of the store. Turns out he's a transplant and is from near where I grew up, but one of the rougher towns in Massachusetts, the moniker of which is "city of sin, you won't come out the way you went in". 

After we explained to him why we were in Memphis, and also that I knew nothing about guns, he showed us around the entire store explaining every different caliber, make, and model of the guns. He also told us about owning a gun store, and his experience of living in Memphis and meeting people in his store. 

"Someone called from the Washington Post and asked me if people's attitudes towards guns has changed at all since Trump became president. And I said 'you must be a liberal.' Because people don't understand what it's like to live here, people up north in a bubble. It doesn't matter who the president is. If you live here and you're surrounded by people who carry guns, who use guns to protect themselves, and who may live in violent neighborhoods, what are you going to do? You're going to carry a gun too." 

Mike told us to come back at closing in a few days and he'll take us to historic Collierville, "once the weather is better and it's prettier outside." So stay tuned. 

Lana Meyer