Yesterday I stopped in the local outdoors outfitter type store Gander Mountain. I had a few moments while my takeout food was cooking at a nearby restaurant, so I thought I would go over and pick up some carabiners for my son's backpacking trip in a couple of weeks and Gander should have a good selection. After his last backpacking trip, he has expressed an interest in getting a carabiner to attach his water bottle to his belt for convenience sake. So... I go search the camping section, no carabiners. I kind of search around randomly, thinking they may be on an aisle display or something. Eventually I give in and go up to the checkout counter and ask. I did so with trepidation, as its not in my nature to ask such stupid questions and I feared that they would tell me exactly where they should obviously be. The response that I got was quite befuddling. The clerks responded that they don't sell carabiners to "liabilities sake" and that "apparently people had been hurt climbing with them" and that "they would have to keep a qualified climbing instructor on staff to sell carabiners". Apparently attaching his water bottle to his belt was much more dangerous than I thought. When they told me this, my jaw hit the floor, as I was absolutely aghast at how stupid this was. It wasn't until later that I truly was able to behold the full extent of the irony, as Gander Mountain is a huge seller of guns, knives, and fire-starting technology. That is more than just a little messed up. The saddest aspect of this tale is that I will have to go to Walmart to live on the dangerous side and get a, gasp, carabiner.