Yesterday, having received a couple of calls, I took it upon myself to wander through the local gun stores and see what was going on and the reports I have heard are 100% true.
I was witness to what very well may be the biggest civilian arms build-up in the history of the United States.
The first place I checked out was mobbed and the wall that generally holds ARs and AKs was bare. They were sold out and I overheard that another place I did business with while I was on the competitive circuit had moved over 200 ARs and about an equal number of AKs in less than two days.
A couple people told me that someone moved a truckload of ammo in a day. That's well over a million rounds and an awful lot of ammo.
The other thing I heard is that another surplus dealer went into his warehouse and got three footlockers of Vietnam era 20 round magazines out and taped them together in lots of ten and moved them in a day. Twenty round magazines normally do not sell to anyone but competitive service rifle shooters as they are shorter than thirty round mags. The extra length of the thirty rounders get in the way in prone shooting.
I have also read that Brownells, a firearm accessory and ammunition seller that the number of P-mags they sell in about 3.5 years have sold in 36 hours and they have moved even greater a number of their own brand of magazines. That's a lot of magazines. A visit to their website seems to confirm this. They have said that orders are running behind because of the volume of orders.
A lot of gunmakers are working a lot of overtime to keep up with orders which are incredible. ARs are flying out of factories like never before, and the prices are going through the roof.
I have been through the panic buys of the Clinton years and the panic buys following the election of President Obama but have never seen a panic like this anywhere.
When you consider that this is in the Pittsburgh area and that generally the area tends to vote for liberal candidates I can only begin to guess what this panic is like in other places.
Because I have never hidden my status as a competitive shooter I have gotten a number of calls over a couple of what looks like an upcoming gun ban of some sort and while the calls of availability didn't surprise me, there is one thing that did. I was asked a couple of times about the availability of burial tubes.
It seems that an awful lot of people are planning on staying in this for the long haul as the subject of burial tubes didn't come up very often during past bans and ban threats.
Another thing I noticed is that when I heard the subject of confiscation come up, the attitude of a lot of people seemed to be "Come and take it!"
While most of that is likely hot air I have been around shooters long enough to know that there are few issues that generate emotions like firearm ownership. If even one in 10,000 people decide to fight there is going to be a large number of casualties out there, likely among law enforcement officers.
Over the years I have asked a few of the many policemen I have shot with at various matches what their worst fears were and many of them have said that it was 'a rifleman that knows what he is doing'.
The AR rifle platform has beeen on the civilian market since the sixties and over the past several years has likely been the best selling rifle over the past fifteen or twenty years and there are a lot of them out there.
Many of them have been snapped up by veterans because the are comfortable with it having been trained on it since it was introduced almost 50 years ago. Millions of GIs have carried them over the past half century. The rifle also holds the distinction of serving as the basic service rifle longer than any other rifle in history and doesn't look like it is going anywhere all too soon.
Incidentally, military training generally stays with a man for life. A couple of years ago I watched with amusement as an octagenerian pulled apart a Garand and put it back together in the matter of a few seconds. I wasn't surprised to find out he had not even seen one since 1945. The same holds true for younger vets, of course, and ARs ar a lot simpler to strip than Garands.
It has also been the basis for many conversions into various forms of varmint and target rifles. Some of these look pretty futuristic and many target shooters refer to these as 'space guns' because they look like something off of Star Trek. To anyone that isn't familiar with the AR platform they will likely not know what they are looking at.
In short, the AR is likely the most commonly used centerfire riifle in history on the American civilian market today. There are plainly and simply just too damned many of them out there for a confiscation scheme to be very successful.
For one thing, who is going to enforce it? The local police?
The legislation is federal and the state and local authorities in most places are simply going to leave enforcement up to the feds. While I suppose there are a few chiefs that would risk the lives of their officers to send them out and disarm their citizens, most state and local police chiefs would tell the feds to enforce their own laws.
Of course, Congress would likely try to bully them with threats to yank their federal funding and a lot of them would supposidly comply but you can bet that the results would be nothing more than plodding half hearted attempts because there are not a whole lot of local policemen very interested in sticking their necks out enforcing something that came from the ivory towers of Capital Hill.
This is especiallly true when you consider the fact that the average rank and file cop is being ordered to enforce a law he doesn't believe in and a lot of cops simply don't believe a ban will do any good.
The doddering, stumbling attempts on the part of local law enforcement would likely be an insult to even the lowest intelligence if they tried to pass it off as an honest effort. Compliance would likely be bare minimun at best. As a general rule, local police do not like being told what to do by the feds. They have enough problems taking care of local problems.
Of course I, a lowly taxpayer, have just gotten off of the streets looking around and trying to put my fingers on the pulse of this country. Most likely there are not a whole lot of congresscritters that have bothered to get off their dead ass and onto their dying feet to see what is going on.
While my doing so does not necessarily speak highly for me, it certainly speaks poorly for those that are sitting on their asses in some ivory tower in Washington babbling away about something they know absolutely nothing about. They should spend one hell of a lot less time behind a desk and a lot more time snooping around.
Congress is sitting there with their thumb up their ass as usual.
I have written all three of my congresscritters simply to get their take on this issue. Two of them have not replied yet and Senator Pat Toomey of them gave me an answer based on how he voted over a UN resolution several months ago.
An analogy of his reply would be that I asked him how to replace a fan belt on an '87 Toyota pickup and he sent me directions on how to do a brake job on a '57 Chevy. A lot of good the answer was, but what do you expect out of a politician?
It sounds to me like the three of them are waiting until they see who is going to give them the fattest bribe for their vote.
The next question that I'll pose is who is likely to actually obey the law? When I have people asking me for the availability of burial tubes it makes it pretty clear that there are a lot of people out there that have no intention of obeying the law.
While I suppose that some people would run straight up to the police station and hand the nice police officer his rifle, it might be a nice time to recall that the state of New Jersey tried that with a remarkable lack of success. The rumor going around is that one rifle was turned in by a panicky wife that was trying to save her husband from himself.
Although that might not be totally true the fact remains that they didn't get too many rifles turned in.
Actually the real crux of the entire thing seems not so much as to outlaw firearms so much as it is to make our schools safer. I just read on Yahoo! News that one Texas small town has taken a pretty proactive approach.
Texas is pretty much a gun loving state and one small town there looked at the budget and could not afford a security company so they simply have allowed teachers that are licensed to carry concealed handguns to do so in class.
I see a little humor in this because it is funny how a small town school in Texas solves a problem for no money whatsoever, yet I can imagine how a major city will wind up handling it. It will likely include the request for a multimillion dollar federal grant and won't work worth a damn.
It s a simple solution that will cost them no money and in return provide the students with real protection. Concealed means concealed so it's likely that the kids won't even know their geography (or whatever) teacher is carrying.
It should be made clear that most states that permit concealed carry have had a background check run on the applicant before they are issued a permit so there is no issue there about a teacher licensed to carry, unless someone wants to create an emotional one out of thin air.
Of course, it won't be long until the uber-liberal NEA comes rolling in complaining about this. For one thing this solution is simple and free which means the NEA isn't going to buy it. For another thing the NEA the NEA has a pretty good history of fighting to make sure that their members have as few responsibilities as possible.
The NEA is most likely to tell their members that they can't carry on the job because if they allow the teachers that have passed the background check to carry than it is likely to create pressure on other teachers to get licensed and trained. (Remember gum? Did you bring enough gum for everybody?)
The NEA is likely to support a firearms ban that would provide no safety for students whatsoever because as we know criminals do not follow laws. If everyone obeyed the law we would not be dealing with criminal behavior in the first place.
The truth of the matter is the having teachers armed works as was found out a while back in one of the southern states. I believe it was Alabama. (I have been corrected. It was Pearl, MS)Someone entered the school and the principal ran out to his car and retrieved a .45 and ended things instantly. It has happened in other places.
One of the biggest parts of keeping score and getting statistics correct is there really is no way to judge what was going to happen if someone didn't stop a crime in progress. There simply is no way to know how many lives were saved by the quick thinking principal and with no deaths and no gory details the media isn't likely to be interested in that particular story. The truth here is the number of lives saved is incalculable.
Still, allowing licensed and trained teachers to carry concealed firearms makes sense if you view it logically.
It sure makes a lot more sense than enacting a ban that someone bent on creating murder and mayhem isn't going to pay attention to in the first place.
Actually the paradox here is that teachers don't have to carry. Just because a person has a permit doesn't mean that they are armed. I have a permit yet I haven't carried a firearm in months. Several months. I have, however developed a cute little trick for dealing with rude customer service people that need and ID for something.
I hand them my carry permit and it is astonishing how polite they get. They simply assume I'm armed when in reality my pistol is 347 miles away locked in a safe at home.
Perhaps requiring all teachers to get carry permits and permitting them to carry is all that it takes. Perception is a big part of the game and when you have a school and every teacher is licensed to carry the forces of evil will jump to the conclusion that they are all armed when in reality few (if any for that matter) actually are.
Actually this holds some water because several years ago a nosy neighbor picked an argument with me over my being involved in the shooting sports. I suggested that he back his beliefs up by putting up a sign that said 'Gun Free Home'. He did and his has been the only house burglarized in all the time I have lived here.
Almost instantly many of the neighbors asked me for NRA decals which I cheerfully supplied. Many of the people I gave them to do not own firearms.
Any teacher that can't pass the background check shouldn't be teaching, anyway. It would also serve to weed out teachers with dubious backgrounds.
Incidentally, as I was about halfway through what I have written so far, I got a call from my wife telling me that there was a telephone wire sagging across my driveway. She noticed it as she drove past on her way to complete an errand and a few minutes later she called me to tell me she had just flagged down a telephone truck and the guys were on their way.
When they got there there were a pair of them and as usual I went out and offered them the hospitality of my heated garage which they declined. We then started yakking for a few minutes. Both these guys are working stiffs that work out in the elements and neither of them like the direction the country is heading and neither of them think a ban is going to do a damned bit of good except likely to get more people killed.
Writing this piece has left me with a very tight knot in my stomach that I have not had in decades. It's the feeling we're headed into a major civil war and there isn't a damned thing anyone can do about it.
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