Let’s conduct a straw poll. Who has heard of Guns & Ammo magazine? That’s what I thought. Please don’t laugh at me. I know that it’s at every supermarket magazine aisle in the country. Never opened it, or cared to, but I’ve seen the cover, I don’t know, 7,880 times. “The World’s Most Widely Read Firearms Magazine,” right?
Apparently Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post is in the minority here:
The show is closed to the public and the mainstream press, though reporters from publications with names like Guns & Ammo and American Rifleman wander freely among the booths [bold mine — MW].
Horwitz is referring to the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, which will be held in Las Vegas from January 18 to January 21.
While I more or less agree with Horwitz’s implicit point here (viz., that the conference organizers ought to keep the doors open to the press), I find her ostensible ignorance of a 50-year-old major trade publication astounding.
So what’s going on here? Has she really never seen or heard of this magazine? Somehow I doubt it. But I do think I know what’s she up to. It’s an old rhetorical wheeze. When you really feel the hauteur coming on and want to treat something or someone with a rare contempt, don’t just be dismissive: feign ignorance. Works well. I know because I’ve used it myself any number of times:
“Ever seen The Dark Knight?”
“Is that with Christopher Lambert? If so, no.”
“What do you think of David Baldacci?”
“Did I hear him as Tamino at the DSO? Pretty awful, I thought.”
“Like Lady Gaga?”
One wonders what other magazines, cigarette brands, casual dining chains, frat-boy comedies, Georgia congressmen Horwitz has never heard of.