A few years ago on Gun Talk, Tom Gresham announced the Operation Mag Drop campaign. Essentially, whenever you go to a place that has a ‘reception area’ where people wait (doctors’ offices, airport lobby, hospital, etc.) you bring along a few gun magazines to leave behind. The idea being that by appealing to people’s curiosity and offering an alternative to the usual reading fare we re-normalize gun culture and might even be able to counter anti-gun rhetoric found in other media. In doing so, we hopefully reach people that otherwise wouldn’t hear our side of the story.
Granted, the likelihood of a magazine causing an instant pro-gun epiphany in a dentist’s waiting room is slim but if it at least causes someone to question the credibility of something like the “90% Lie” next time they hear it (plenty of folks still have no idea about Project Gunwalker), the purpose has been served. Plus the overall positive portrayal of firearms helps in itself and you can say you’re saving the planet by keeping all that paper out of a landfill.
The reason I bring it up is because of the jury duty I served earlier this week. I spent pretty much all of Monday in a jury assembly room. Six and a half hours to be exact; simply waiting to be called. We were greeted, thanked for our service, watched a 10 minute orientation film and then sat in silence. There were several magazine racks already there with reading material, mostly fashion and Hollywood reporting magazines. I felt prepared with a netbook, magazines and my smartphone but most people didn’t bring anything with them to occupy the time. The courthouse did have open WiFi but only a couple out of the group had computers and many (Android) smartphones have short battery life when used frequently. Even then the WiFi signal quit sometime after lunch. It was a perfect setting for Operation Mag Drop. During breaks, I seeded the magazine racks with some recent issues of Guns, American Rifleman and America’s First Freedom. [I do trim off the address labels]. I would also recommend American Handgunner and other such broad spectrum gun magazines that show sporting use* of firearms. I’ll leave it up to you as to whether to leave behind a Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, S.W.A.T. or Soldier of Fortune magazine. Those may not be the best for winning hearts and minds but I’ll still be thankful for them if I wind up in a waiting room where the only other choices are Redbook, Newsweek or Highlights.
[*Yes; not about duck hunting. Got it.]