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The MAGATs and the market

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I had a mildly interesting experience this afternoon, when I went into this place in Buena Vista, Colorado.

It’s basically a pawn shop that also does some regular consignment business and the like. The owners seem generally conscious of the fact that not alienating your customers is kind of an important part of doing business in a very small town (BV has less than 3,000 residents), or at least they were conscious of that until recently:

People over the years have shared varying opinions of the pawn business, but feedback we’ve received from our customers and visitors is always that our store is clean, well-organized and a pleasure to wander around in. And indeed many times we have been told, “This is the best pawn shop I’ve ever been to.”

Wolf Pack Trading Company is fully licensed firearms dealer and will handle firearms transfers. They stock various new and used guns, ammunition, outdoor gear and supplies, tools, musical instruments, electronics, movies and games and many other items.

“There are a lot of people in the valley who have still never been to our store, and we would like to extend an invitation for everyone to stop by and get to know us,” Martin said.

The store has always had a major focus on quality new and used goods, but has also done special orders, internet research for hard to find items and parts, consignment, secure storage, cleaning and repair.

“I have been so grateful to all of our customers over the years. The business has been better than I ever could have expected, and has been so much fun,” Matthews said.

So I was rather taken aback when I went into it — I had never been there before — and found a big Let’s Go Brandon sign over the cash register, plus another poster to the effect that the difference between Putin and Hillary Clinton was that when Putin rigged an election he would actually win it, plus some similar witticism about Obama.

Buena Vista and Salida are the only two towns of any size in Chaffee County, which has a total of 20,000 residents. The two towns are rapidly becoming rather pricey destinations for either second homes in the mountains or well-off retirees. This is reflected in the changing voting patterns: Biden beat Trump by 7% in 2020, but the Democratic candidates won by 12% to 18% in the election last November. It’s very much not a red county overall in other words, and is trending blue just like the rest of the state.

So I was struck that the owners of what to all appearances is not a booming business are willing to basically tell the majority of the local populace that they don’t want their money (I realize that the gun-pawning market is not a perfect representative of the rest of the community, but still).

Before walking out I was tempted to ask one of the owners why he was willing to do this, but I decided that less than 24 hours after the Martyrdom of Donald Trump By The International Jew was probably not the best time to be engaging in an off the cuff Cletus safari. But I’m genuinely curious — how often have you run into something similar (I don’t mean anything as relatively subtle as having FOX News on in the customer lounge)? And have you run into the opposite phenomenon at all — a business that basically tells MAGATs it doesn’t want their money? ETA: Commenter Prufrock makes a good point:

I’m interested in how they draw equivalences. For example, a MAGAt would likely claim that a Let’s Go Brandon sign is the same as a rainbow flag.

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