Ethos Exposes Deeper Addiction

By Mark Wynn

Dear Counselor:

Thank you for agreeing to consult with me on what I thought was my addiction to shotgun sales pitches, as manifested by my recent purchase of a pretty Benelli Ethos 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun for $1,916.24, including $91.25 Virginia tax and $25 firearms shipping and handling. Plus $2 for firearm background fee. Total $1,918.24, not including mileage to pick it up. All those extra costs add up, don't they?

Do you think that is excessive? Not a problem. I charged it. No interest for 25 days. Well, yeah, I guess that might add up over the years. Hopefully, I can pay it off earlier. What price instant gratification?

Our session was helpful in giving me a better sight picture. I mean, in clearing my head. I was confusing the tool for the cause. I am addicted to shotguns because of a greater addiction to sporting clays. Why else would I need a shotgun? I don't hunt. I use other guns for plinking and home defense. I don't shoot skeet. Trap is okay, but not compelling. 5-stand is too mental. Wobble trap started the shotgun addiction; sporting clays completes it. How could anyone have more fun with firearms than shooting sporting clays?

Now nearing the $2000 threshold for ONE gun? Impossible. I'm way too frugal. How did I get here? It's worth thinking about. Could happen to anyone. Don't notice it so much when the money goes out gradually for more modest purchases.

Sometimes the fates conspire. Got this Ethos at the same store where I bought my first sporting shotgun eight years ago, an equally pretty Remington 1100 12-gauge. I went into the store vowing then and there I never would pay more than $400 for any gun. Ha-ha! Little did I know.

At least then I got to look at and handle a lot of guns. Now all the shotguns are behind the counter. Nevertheless, the on-line sales pitch and reviews for the Benelli Ethos were so convincing I had to find one. Local source had one Ethos yesterday. Sold real quick. Dunno when more might come in. Nor were any available in my whole area, since the Ethos had just come out.

Egged on by a shooting buddy, I went on line and found I could order an Ethos and have it shipped to the nearest Gander Mountain store, which is just 27.4 miles from my house. What idiot would buy a gun like that, never seeing one in person, let alone handling it?

Gutsy or stupid? Well, I've learned a lot since buying and selling about about a dozen shotguns from seven manufacturers over the eight years since my first one. Semiautos, double barrels, single barrel, 12 and 20 gauges, I have tried all types. Still prefer semiautos with their softer recoil. Oh, excuse me: softer perceived recoil. Certifiable shotgun addict.

No, I don't still have all the shotguns I bought. Didn't like some. Some had bad traits. Sometimes can't know that until you're with them awhile. When you find a problem, fix it, adapt to it, or get rid of it. A narrow 20-gauge semiauto bloodied my shell feeding finger for the last time. Annoyed occasionally is tolerable. Constant irritation is a deal breaker.

The first time I ever saw a Benelli Ethos was when the sales clerk opened the box of the one I ordered. The Ethos looked as gorgeous as its pictures. Love at first touch. Good thing, because, actually, I didn't need it. Seriously. I was happy with my Benelli Vinci. Before that, my Benelli M2. Also my Benelli Nova 20-gauge pump. I mean, really, how many shotguns does a person need?

I can't afford the most expensive house in LaLa Manor, but I've worked hard and deserve to be able to buy the best of something. That might as well be a shotgun. Hey, two grand is a lot, but there are plenty more expensive shotguns, two to 10 times that amount, so don't snake-eye me.

The best I could find and afford (barely) within my semi-automatic affliction is this Ethos, another latest and greatest Class of 2014, even if it was sold under a fancier name earlier in Italy. Yeah. The manual calls it Raffaello. My smart phone translator says that is Raphael in Italian. Not sure whether named for one of the top angels or top painters (even better known than Norman Rockwell).

Nova, Vinci, Ethos--do those marketers know how to pitch cerebral wannabe's or what? Like, who would buy a Gofa, Minci, or Dofos? Ethos is a hot seller. Guy who goaded me into buying mine checked again and it's sold out in the chain where I bought it. Color me smug.

What do you mean about return on investment? �Did the march of shotguns toward more expensive models improve your scores?� What do you think? Nothing miraculous, maybe somewhat. �Is that due as much to increased proficiency as to more expensive shotguns?� Duh.

Would I be achieving the same scores now if I had just kept that first Remington 1100 bought eight years ago? You win the teddy bear. What was my excuse for selling the 1100? It was filthy to clean. Easy for you to say I should have kept the 1100 and bought more hand soap.

I like your fancy term for this malady: cognitive dissonance. Justifying a purchase after it is bought. What? It can degenerate into permanent post-trauma rationalization? I'm there, bail me out.

Photos and specifications? All over the web. Start with Guns and Shooting Online > Shotgun Information > Gun Articles and Reviews. It's a 12-gauge that can make like a 20-gauge shooting 7/8 ounce loads. This can give you a semi-automatic softer recoil taste of the tougher Olympics shotgun requirements.

Thank you very much for hearing me out, Counselor. You sure helped me better understand why I need shotguns. Yes, I'll have to work more on the concept of enough. That's really a tough one.

Huh? How many shotguns do I actually have right this minute? Let me think. Hmmm . . . one. I have only one shotgun. The rest are just temporary until I make up my mind which one to keep after I sell the rest.

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