It was midnight in Joe's Gun and Tackle Shop.

"Hi, baby, you're a cute little .38 snub-nosed, pocket-sized revolver. Where are you from?"

"Connecticut. You're not bad-looking yourself, handsome. What's your name?"

"Saturday Night Special. I'm a .32 caliber Bulldog. They call me Bulldog because of my grip."

"I hear there's a big hue and cry about registering us because of John Lennon."

"Don't worry about it, baby. It'll never happen. The do-gooders always start yelling about handgun controls when someone famous gets shot. But once the noise dies down, it never happens."

"How can you be so sure?"

"We have the National Rifle Association on our side. They're the most powerful lobby in the country. They're pledged to see that no laws are passed to take guns out of the hands of the people who want to buy them."

"But we're not rifles -- we're handguns."

"It's all the same to the NRA. A gun's a gun -- whether it's a rifle, a shotgun or a pistol. Their lobby has a million members and an unlimited war chest. They get pro-gun congressmen elected, and defeat anyone who wants to put controls on us. When it comes to the right to bear arms, no one is safe from the wrath of gun-lovers."

"I'm still scared. I'd hate to be confiscated or thrown into the ocean."

"Relax, kid. The bleeding hearts don't have the stamina to hurt us. Besides, the Constitution is on our side. Nobody in his right mind is going to tell the American people they can't own a handgun."

"You sound so reassuring. But I heard from a .44 magnum that more and more states are passing tough handgun laws."

"So one state passes a tough handgun law, and the next state doesn't have any laws at all. They can't stop somebody from buying us."

"What about the federal gun laws?"

"The Federal Handgun Law is dead. Republican Sen. McClure of Idaho has a bill in Congress right now that would rescind the law and take the government out of the gun control business, where it should never have been in the first place. Even Reagan is against gun control."

"You seem to know a lot about it."

"When you're a Saturday Night Special, you have to. If they really wanted to get tough on handguns, we'd be the first to go. There are a lot of creeps in this country who would deep-six us if they had half a chance. But the gun people know that if they start with us, they'll only be encouraged, and no handgun would be safe in America."

"How much do you sell for?"

"Well, I wasn't made in this country, so I can be had for $50."

"How much do you think they'll ask for me?"

"A pretty little thing like you? With that blue steel body and smooth walnut stock, I'll bet somebody would pay over $200 to have you under his pillow."

"You're really a smooth talker. Have you ever shot anybody?"

"Not yet, but I'm primed and ready."

"Do you think I can shoot somebody soon?"

"You've got as good a chance as the next handgun."

"I hope somebody doesn't just buy me and stick me in a drawer."

"If he does, the kids in the house will probably find you and shoot you off for kicks. It happens all the time."

"I don't want to kill anybody."

"You won't. Don't forget what the NRA says: 'Guns don't kill people -- people kill people.'"

"That makes me feel better."

"I wouldn't be surprised if you're out of this glass case and on the streets by Christmas."

"You make a handgun feel real good. It's been nice talking to you."

"Don't mention it, baby. Maybe we'll be meeting in a dark alley one of these nights."