I can’t say this connection had occurred to me consciously, but it made only too much sense to see that in one suburb, at least, two outsized, fearful items of modern conspicuous consumption have converged: Hummers and assault weapons. It does indeed seem to take a similar mentality to think that suburban personal safety requires driving to the supermarket in an armored personnel carrier and that personally acquiring enough munitions to capture Iwo Jima is a good idea. And to regard living that way as somehow cool and manly. But let the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tell it:
Like many of his competitors, Hummer dealer Jim Lynch is fighting for survival.
Unlike the rest of them, Lynch reached for a gun. Lots of them, actually.
Faced with declining sales and an uncertain future, his Chesterfield dealership has expanded in a direction that’s drawing national attention. It’s what happens when you replace some of those pricey Hummers with dozens of Glocks, Sig Sauers, Colts, Berettas and Brownings.
For Lynch, those guns are the solution to a problem that’s been hounding him for months.
“We’ve got a beautiful building with a big mortgage,” Lynch said. “The Hummers weren’t going to cover it.”
In the good old days — way back in 2005 — Lynch’s dealership could sell 70 Hummers during a strong month. But high gas prices, a sour economy and the auto industry’s ongoing struggles have wreaked havoc. These days, he’s happy to watch 10 of the gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles leave the lot. But the money he pockets selling guns makes up for the profit on about 15 Hummers.
But why guns? Why not flowers? Or lawn mowers? Or jewelry?
That’s easy. The people who like Hummers also tend to like guns.
The story goes on rather matter-of-factly from there, with the dealer, his customers, and even a Marketing professor from Philadelphia treating guns-n-Hummers as the most natural thing in the world, which I suppose it is, at least in this part of it.