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Thread: REMEMBER WHEN SEARS HAD GUNS IN THEIR CATALOG?

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    For some reason today my reveries drifted back to 1964 and looking through the Sears&Roebuck catalog. I remember the ads for firearms very well.

    These days the general-interst stores that still stock and sell firearms treat them like whiskey, cigarettes and porn. But oh, the ads for guns in that old catlog. Mainly the brands as I remember were Beretta (the Beretta Minx); Iver-Johnson, Remington, Savage, and Ithaca. And the language!

    The Minx was described thus: "Fires five shots as fast as you can pull the trigger". An M1 Carbine : "Has about the kick of a pussycat". Also there were ads for "sporterized" Mauser k-98s and such.

    Oh, those days. Back when the grocery store and the drug store were fan-cooled and not air-conditioned to where you could catch pneumonia in July; when walking into the pharmacy flooded your nose with the combined scents of medicine, candy, tobacco, and the paper and ink of the Mad Magazine which you would drool over until the lady reminded you that "this isn't a library, young man!".

    I wonder are there still kids in this country who rip and tear as we did, who hate to stop because the rushing air would no longer cool our overheated bodies, who leave the house after breakfast on a late June morning and spend the day exploring the world and come back home to reality and supper. No, because supposedly it isn't safe out there anymore.

    But wait. Isn't the fact that Sears no longer puts out a catalog advertising guns a good sign? I mean, guns have been driven into the margins of society as far as the antis have been able to do. Well the fact is that no matter where we kids went, the community - as distinct from the government- was there. People who lurked around where therewere kids were noticed very quickly -and often wordlessly - made to feel unwelcome. And the community was prepared to tend to matters if it came to that, and it was common knowledge. There were quite as many child molestors then as now, but back then it was much riskier business. There were guys doing phony driveway sealing and gutter-cleaning scams too; and they likewise fell under community scrutiny.

    Now the molestor and the con man and the sneak-thief need only fear the community after they have done theirdamage and have been captured. The shield of the LEO was, time ago, a symbol that the LEO had been granted special protection and trust from the citizenry. It was a warning to the criminal that the LEO was specially protected by the community. Now it has largely evolved into a symbol of authority that the community pays homage to, hides behind, and largely fears.

    Thecriminal meanwhile fears not the community, whose citizens have more and more turned over the responsibility for thier safety to "trained professionals". More and more the criminal element is trusting that they can do their dirty work in seconds, giving the minutes required for police response to provide an escape window.

    There was a time in America when firearms were sold as casually as cameras, fishing gear, and pickaxes. The anti-gun movement throttled the life out of that day, in the name of "public safety". The curve of criminal violence has risen in direct proportion to thedimunitization of firearms in our national life. Public safety, indeed.

    And so today I found myself remembering that old Sears catalog and the neato guns, and the creeks and woods I explored without fear and I swear I could smell that old drugstore aroma, and the grocery store and the earthy scents of carrots and cabbage and potatoes; and I met a family with several kids ranging from 16 months to 16 years. And I wanted to tell them about that day which they could not imagine, that day long gone; and I realized I could not possibly convey it. So I simply wished them good afternoon; whereupon the infant smiled at me and took the tootsie-pop out of his mouth and - as kids will - offeredto share. Some things will never change, and a lot of those things are good. I wonder if anybody knew why tears were running down my face as I made my way home?

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    One of my favorite firearms was ordered through a sears catalog, the "JC Higgins 12GA pump shotgun with a compensator and removable choke tubes.
    Early morning shooting of that gun would show flames several feet either side of the barrel coming from the compensator slots. And I clearly remember shooting paper-hulled shells through that gun too.

    When did the "guns are evil" movement begin? wasn't it about the same time as the equal rights movement?

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    Thank you for the post, I much enjoyed reading it.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Alex. Made me go to Bing Maps and look to see what has happened to my old neighborhood off Little River Tnpk. Not as bad as I would have thought. I'm scared to see what houses are going for there now.
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Don't have to remember all the way back to 64', Sear's, Montgomery Wards and K-mart sold rilfes, iirc.
    I believe Sear's and K-Mart quit selling rifles in the 80's.

    I still have my J.C Higgins bolt action .22LR that my Grandma got me for my 10th B-Day.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Service Merchandise sold guns into the 90s. I believe they were probably the last general retail & catalog outfit to do so.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    What I was writing about was not just pictures of guns in a catalog. It was about remembering poring over those pictures and ads as an 11 year old boy living in a world far,far different than exists today.

    It was the best place and time to be a kid in the entire history of the world.

    THe forces we battle as we struggle to re-assert our right to openly bear arms are the same forces which destroyed that time.

    Some day, if our efforts are successful, neer-do-wells will fear the community and not just the police. Some day maybe a kid won't have to go to Chuckie Cheese to be a kid. Some day maybe people will retake charge of their own lives and run their families and communities on the foundations of commom sense and tradition and not what a bunch of eggheads who never actually changed a poopy diaper in their lives dictate from what they learned from some damned idiot professor. At least I hope so, and so I hope do you all.

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    Regular Member Carcharodon's Avatar
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    Great post. I'm 31 but I still rememer guns being sold at the hardware store. My dad was telling me the other day about looking at Tommy Guns in the case at Coast to Coast hardware. He was born in '53.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."
    Thomas Jefferson

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    great post Alex...now i'm only 21 years old, however, i grew up in a small town and over the years when i lived in NY, have seen things change. stores close and hardwares closed. hell, i dont even think we have a hardware store anymore (i can always remember there being at least 2 or 3 around). they used to sell firearms as well. i remember there being an ak47on the shelf in the hardware store on Main St. my dad bought me my first rifle at the age of 10 for my birthday, and right after we ate cake and ice cream, we went out in the backyard of my grandmothers and shot until the sun went down.

    and even though i'm only 21, i realize what you're talking about when being a kid meant getting up early, and going out into the woods or going out with friendsand being gone all day until the street lights came on or thesun went down. running and playinguntil that moment when you get home, and your mother doesnt have to worry about you going to sleep,because you ran your ass off all day, so you were dead tired. you can't do that much anymore...parents are either too afraid, or there's toomany child molestors and criminals todo that sort of thing...and the community doesnt do anything about it. i remember my dad telling me stories of the town, our littletown,taking care of its own problems...when **** hits the fans, you have choice. you don't waint for the police to get there, thats foolish.

    anyway, i'm just here for the younger generation, to let you know, that yes, at least I MYSELF still remember somewhat of what life used to be like. and yes, i DO miss those times, and hopefully like you said, maybe one day they'll come back. maybe...



    Semper Fi ~Walter

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    There was a time in America when firearms were sold as casually as cameras, fishing gear, and pickaxes.












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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    I'm not quite THAT old, Hank.....

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    I grew up in an area like you described, growing up how you described mostly. Im 27, and reading your article brought a tear to my eye, and thinking about it made me sad thinking my own son is being robbed of a childhood like mine... Reaffirms my dedication to getting the Idaho Citizens Defense League up and going..

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    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
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    I remember those days. I went with my mother and bought a 410 Mossberg ostensibly for my Gramps but I used it mostly. Got it at Sears and as I recall, there were no forms to fill out yada yada.

    As a kid I would get up at the crack of dawn, never say a word to anyone and be out the door. Lived in Palatine Ill. as a youngun. Never believe it now but back then it was a town of 1200 people.

    I and my friends would go all over that town and if we did anything wrong, which we seldom did, it'd either be catch it immediately from the nearest grownup, or the news of wrongdoing would be at the front door,,along with my mother waiting armed with a switch.

    I don't remember ever hearing about ANY child molesters or even robberies. Sure some things probably happened but I never remembered hearing of it.

    But I too am too young to remember those catalogs from Sears. Haha. a pistol fot $3.95, those were the days.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    KansasMustang wrote:
    <snip>
    I don't remember ever hearing about ANY child molesters or even robberies. Sure some things probably happened but I never remembered hearing of it.

    </snip>
    It went on and quite regularly but people in polite society didn't bother to do anything about it other than gossip. It was much more common than anyone wanted to believe and is why you now are starting to hear about people being molested or abused as children. Too much of what we hear of about child abuse from today's parents and and horrifed at was accepted practice not too many years ago. Admittedly we have gone too far the other way but I know of cases that in todays society would result in life sentences for people, butwas just accepted as part of life.

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    KansasMustang wrote:
    I remember those days. I went with my mother and bought a 410 Mossberg ostensibly for my Gramps but I used it mostly. Got it at Sears and as I recall, there were no forms to fill out yada yada.

    As a kid I would get up at the crack of dawn, never say a word to anyone and be out the door. Lived in Palatine Ill. as a youngun. Never believe it now but back then it was a town of 1200 people.

    I and my friends would go all over that town and if we did anything wrong, which we seldom did, it'd either be catch it immediately from the nearest grownup, or the news of wrongdoing would be at the front door,,along with my mother waiting armed with a switch.

    I don't remember ever hearing about ANY child molesters or even robberies. Sure some things probably happened but I never remembered hearing of it.

    But I too am too young to remember those catalogs from Sears. Haha. a pistol fot $3.95, those were the days.
    I remember running all over town or the woods where I grew up as well. Kids didn't get into too much trouble back then. You got your tail warmed up if ya did. I knew I better not get out of hoolerin' range, cuz if I heard my mom or dad call I better get home, quick.

    I remember my folks always warning me about not takeing candy from strangers or getting into a car with anyone I didn't know. All they ever said was that there were bad people that did bad things to kids. I never heard of any cases of child molesting back then.

    KM, you have to remember that $3.95, back when that catalogue was published, was like a weeks salary if not more, for allot of folks.Think about this. When I was around 10 years old, I could go to a saturday matenee at the local movie theator on .75 cents (50 admission and .25 cents for a hotdog and cherry coke) When my Dad was a young lad he did the same for only .25 cents.

    I seem to remember seeing some ads for automobiles in an old S&R catalogue one time. They were offered for $300 to $400. BRAND SPANKIN' NEW!!!:what:

    I donno, sometimes I wonder about progress. I don't think it's all been a good thing.




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    the rifle on the left is the mrs., ted williams mod 100, sears on the buttstock.

    although this was before my time it's fun telling friends that this rifle was probably originally ordered straight out of the sears catalog and dropped on someone's door.



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    I think it would be safe to declare this the "Old Farts" thread.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    I do remember them but at that age I was more interested in the ladies' garments pages, ifyaknowwhaddimean.

    When Wendy's first opened their stores, they used to have copies of these pages (including the gun ads) laminated in their tabletops, made for cool reading while munching on a double cheeseburger.

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    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    Don't forget Monkey Wards had a gun counter also, don't recall if in the catalogue.
    I’m proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Yep, Monkey Ward had them in the catalog, too.

    Gibson's Discount Stores didn't have their own catalog, but they had all the manufacturer's catalogs at their sporting goods counter and you could order anything through them.

    I recently sold the Sears & Roebuck Mfg. Model .22 that I picked up at an auction several years ago. It was a nice little shooterwith a 14 tube I had bought for my daughtert tolearn to shoot on.

    Yeah, I remember up-before-dawn to go fishing, home at dawn to clean the fish and put them in a bowl of salted water on the counter for mom to scramble eggs and fry up fish filets for breakfast :P

    Then off for the day, sometimes on foot, sometimes on the dirt bike, sometimes in the boat, have to be home by the time Dad got in from work around 5:30 for supper, then back out until called in from the pack of kids running around, to collapse for the night, then get up and do it all over again the next day ... I sure miss those days and it kills me that my own daughter could not be brought up that way, too.


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    PT111 wrote:
    KansasMustang wrote:
    <snip>
    I don't remember ever hearing about ANY child molesters or even robberies. Sure some things probably happened but I never remembered hearing of it.

    </snip>
    It went on and quite regularly but people in polite society didn't bother to do anything about it other than gossip. It was much more common than anyone wanted to believe and is why you now are starting to hear about people being molested or abused as children. Too much of what we hear of about child abuse from today's parents and and horrifed at was accepted practice not too many years ago. Admittedly we have gone too far the other way but I know of cases that in todays society would result in life sentences for people, butwas just accepted as part of life.

    I'm glad someone gets it. I quickly tire of listening to people recite their selective memories in order to glorify the past. There's a name for the phenomenon, but it escapes me now.

    Did I mention that nothing bad ever happened back-in-the-day?


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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    i remember studying that "big book", and that i could order everthing i would need to be a cowboy, except the, actual horse. guns, boots, coffee pot, every id need! all right there! you could get "sears, good, better, or best" stuff. still gotta jc higgens 22 simi auto, and my deer huntin knife. boughtem 40 years ago!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

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    Nutczak wrote:
    One of my favorite firearms was ordered through a sears catalog, the "JC Higgins 12GA pump shotgun with a compensator and removable choke tubes.
    Early morning shooting of that gun would show flames several feet either side of the barrel coming from the compensator slots. And I clearly remember shooting paper-hulled shells through that gun too.

    When did the "guns are evil" movement begin? wasn't it about the same time as the equal rights movement?
    With the birth of liberal gas bags in this country and they have been the worst thing since Hitler.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
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    NigNog wrote:
    PT111 wrote:
    KansasMustang wrote:
    <snip>
    I don't remember ever hearing about ANY child molesters or even robberies. Sure some things probably happened but I never remembered hearing of it.

    </snip>
    It went on and quite regularly but people in polite society didn't bother to do anything about it other than gossip. It was much more common than anyone wanted to believe and is why you now are starting to hear about people being molested or abused as children. Too much of what we hear of about child abuse from today's parents and and horrifed at was accepted practice not too many years ago. Admittedly we have gone too far the other way but I know of cases that in todays society would result in life sentences for people, butwas just accepted as part of life.


    I'm glad someone gets it. I quickly tire of listening to people recite their selective memories in order to glorify the past. There's a name for the phenomenon, but it escapes me now.

    Did I mention that nothing bad ever happened back-in-the-day?
    Yeou were allowed to use a leather doubled up belt on a kid. If you drew blood, God help you if went before the Judge. Back then, the thugs' parents and the lawyers both did not boss the judge in their court room.
    Assault weapons causing crime? If that were true, the pre-1968 GCA era would have been the most violent in history. 20 shot Broomhandle pistols, 30 shot M1 carbines, 13 shot Browning 9mms, AR15s, AR180s. All these guns were sold through the mail order, no form 4473.
    The Miranda Decision destroyed America, not mail order gun sales.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Oh brother. Not the "Miranda handcuffed the police" BS again.....

    Here are the facts: Ernesto Miranda was interviewed by the police, who got a confession to a rape out of him. Miranda's lawyers argued successfully before SCOTUS that he had confessed because he belirved he had no other option. Hence the so-called "Miranda Warnings" routinely read to suspects before formal interrogation. HOWEVER!!!

    Miranda got a new trial. As it turned out the cops did not NEED a coerced confession, and he was convicted anew, even though his statements were not allowed. Mirnda was convicted of rape, and as ro what happened to him I do not know nor do I care. He is just another rapist as far as I am concerned.

    As to the "Miranda warnings" I read an article about a Montgomery Co. MD cop a while back who wanted to get a mooonlight job as a car salesman and the owner of the dealership doubted his ability as a salesman, and the cop told him:

    "Every day almost I drag guys into a room where they don't want to be and who don't want to talk to me. THEN I tell them they don't HAVE to talk to me, AND that if they DO talk to me I will use WHATEVER THEY SAY TO ME to put them in jail.

    And THEN I get them to tell me in detail the worst thing they have ever done.

    AND YOU DON'T THINK I CAN SELL A &^%^^$ing CAR????"

    Like I said, there were Chester Molestors in my day. Diff was, often there ws no formal police/government involvement. When for example a neighbor boy (true story) tried to get me to "go back in the bushes", I told my dad. He was 16, I was 9. My dad told me he would take care of it. The next day he had a talk with the older boy which consisted of my dad smacking the crap out of him. I did not know about this until way later but I did know that "Dougie" from that point on acted as if I was radioactive. No court appearences or "bad-touch doll" re-enactments for me, just the knowledge thqat I was protected. Three quarters of the crap we lay on the police and the courts these days could be resolved if only individual citizens and the community locally would stand up for what is right. Back when you could get a revolver shipped to your doorstep, that was the case. Not - alas- anymore.

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