Lock 'N Load - A show about the people who actually buy guns. - Slate Review

Lock 'N Load (Showtime, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET) is a lighthearted docu-series about gun culture and customer service as practiced in Denver. Practically an infomercial for a mom-and-pop weapons emporium called The Shootist, it celebrates small business (Wal-Mart gets disparaged by name on a few occasions) and big stopping power. Our guide stands-and, on occasion, dances for four or six beats-behind the counter. "I'm Josh. I'm a gunslinger," he says by way of introduction. Josh works a restrained rockabilly look, with statement sideburns and chain wallet. His chunky belt buckle conceals an ultra-compact pistol.

Josh is a loud talker but a good listener and very highly Red Bull'd. He displays the fast-adapting charm of an ace salesman, dishing out hip-hop slang to youngsters, Eagle Scout diligence to military types, historical knowledge to the collectors, Hebrew to the orthodox Jews, and flirtation to the grannies. He strikes just the right gangster-leaning pose in attending to the youngsters who come in wearing T-shirts depicting Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface. (Such clothing might be appropriate attire for a mid-level coke deal, but in the context of a legitimate gun shop, it just looks gauche.) "It's just like working in a bar," Josh says, referring to the essential part of the job in which he tends to his patrons' desire to make small talk, share anecdotes, and express feelings of mortal terror.

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