You got to love the sweet irony of the almost simultaneous announcements of the President’s new gun control regulations and Smith & Wesson executives raising their sales and earnings outlook for the current quarter and its fiscal year. Not surprisingly Smith & Wesson stock is setting 52 week highs. Over the last couple of years when the President speaks about gun control, the demand for guns and the stock price of Smith & Wesson has risen dramatically. Obviously the American people do not trust the President on gun control. Here is the stock chart of Smith & Wesson and the S&P 500 over the last couple of years. The San Bernardino killings is a sad reminder that the Administration is a loser when it comes to protecting the American people from terrorism. If our country is not willing or able to protect its citizens, it is time to man up and carry a gun.
If you had told me eight years ago that I would be carrying a concealed gun in 2016 I would have thought you were crazy. However unfathomable it may have been for me in 2008, this week I found myself trying out concealed carry guns at a local gun range and browsing Amazon for holsters. This change in attitude toward concealed carry and more broadly toward gun control has been brewing for some time. It probably started in 2009 when the government attributed the fatal shooting of shot 13 people at Fort Hood to “workplace violence”. This year it peaked with the intelligence failures that resulted in the terrorist killings in Paris and San Bernardino. I began to question whether the government would protect me from terrorists. Not surprisingly a Gallup poll on the confidence of the U. S. Government to protect citizens echoed this sentiment and showed a big drop in 2015. I was particularly irked when President Obama tried to change the subject and blame terrorism on climate change.
And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people — are not able to make a living or take care of their families — that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous.
How can the President be so out of touch with the American people and clueless about terrorism? We want to see some empathy by our President that you know our fears and instead we get a lecture that terrorists are trying to kill us because they are hungry. I cringe every time he uses climate change and terrorism in the same sentence.
For a long time I did not want to carry a gun because I thought it would be dangerous and inconvenient. I was more than willing to not delve into that subject until the President fumbled the empathy question. Then I remembered that the biggest crime problem in our county is theft by heroin addicts. Maybe this is the right time to investigate the self defense question more thoroughly. I may not need a concealed carry weapon to stop a home invasion but concealed carry may help me to sharpen my situational awareness. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. Then I remembered that I have been carrying a pocket knife for most of my working life. Currently I carry a folding box cutter from Home Depot. It fits quite nicely in the coin pocket of my jeans and it does a nice job opening today’s adult-proof packaging. In all my years of carrying a knife I never hurt myself or anyone else with it. How big a stretch would it be for me to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate concealed carry and practice every month?
What I find particularly fascinating is that instead of fixing the problems of intelligence failures in combating terrorism, access to guns by mentally unstable people, and crime both the Administration and state governments have tried to implement more gun control laws on law abiding citizens. As an example Virginia will no longer honor the out-of-state concealed handgun carry permits of gun owners from more than two dozen of the states with which the commonwealth currently has reciprocal privileges. Does this mean they have fixed the problem with access to guns by mentally unstable people? As a Virginia Tech alumni that is the gun control problem I hoped they fixed. When I see two instances of people killed by crazy people you have to wonder whether they care? Is the third time a charm? As long as the government fails to do their job fighting crime and terrorism, we should not be surprised to find that Black Friday Was the Biggest Day Ever for Gun Sales.
Senator Sherrod Brown caught my attention with a recent comment about Rep. Ron Maag’s concealed carry bill that would allow individuals with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns in day care facilities, private planes, police departments and airport terminals before the metal detectors. It passed the Ohio House and is pending in the state Senate legislation. Here is what he said according to the Cincinnati.com:
“The Ohio Legislature’s passed a law to allow concealed weapons in day care centers, but interesting, this same Legislature, in its wisdom, doesn’t allow concealed weapons in the statehouse,” Brown said.
“When I say they’re lunatics, that’s what I’m talking about,” Brown continued. “People that think you should allow guns in day care centers but they’re protecting themselves by not allowing guns in their workplace, that would be in that category of lunatics.”
So is he upset that the law allows concealed carry in day care centers or that it continues to prohibit concealed carry in the legislature?
Last Sunday I was in a concealed carry class with three women. One of the women is both a veteran and a new mom. Although she was experienced with a rifle, a pistol is a better choice if you plan to carry a weapon while traveling around town. Unlike Israel we have panic attacks when people walk around with assault rifles. Since she is both comfortable and experienced with guns, I think it would be pretty normal for her to want to carry a concealed handgun into a day care center. If she is comfortable carrying a concealed handgun into a grocery store then carrying a concealed handgun into a day care center should not be any different. The only time anyone would know she was “carrying” is if a crazy person showed up and opened fire. The rules for engagement with lethal force are pretty similar to those used by soldiers and the police. Then every mom and dad would know and be grateful.
That leads me to the conclusion that Senator Brown was upset that legislators did not allow concealed carry in the legislature. Since most government buildings prohibit concealed weapons including handguns, continuing to prohibit concealed weapons in the legislature sounds pretty normal and makes the Senator sound like the lunatic. As a person who will try to “carry” most of the time when I get my license and gun, Rep. Maag’s bill is a common sense step forward at eliminating some of the gotcha’s of concealed carry. Like most concealed carry people I will try and follow the laws. Common sense makes the laws more effective. Just imagine that young mom dropping her kid off at day care. Do you really want her to take her gun out of her holster and lock it up every time she goes into the day care? She is not a terrorist or a crazy person. She is a veteran. She is one of the good gals. Remember, Senator Brown, as my Senator I expect you to know the difference between a veteran and a terrorist. If you had done your job with terrorists and crazy people we would not buying guns.
A couple of weeks ago my wife told me that my Christmas present was a concealed carry class and gun. Yesterday I was waiting for my time on the range when I found myself watching President Obama talk about ISIS and gun control. Since I had not shot a gun in two years, I was nervous. So while my mind was racing through the checklists, I could see the image of the President trying to make his case for increased gun control. It was surreal. It was as if he was making one last plea to me before I took the final part of my concealed carry test. I can see his face but I cannot remember a word he said. His plea was falling on deaf ears. When it comes down to the safety of my family whose advice should I trust, our President or my wife? The answer was obvious. A few minutes after his speech ended I went to the range and passed the test. Sorry, President Obama, I moved on.
I am curious what common sense gun laws is Ms. Clinton and the Whitehouse referring to that will stop a crazy person like Vester Flanagan(aka Bryce Williams) from committing a hate crime. Is she advocating increased background checks on black men or just gay, black men with anger management issues? Is she suggesting that every gun store have a psychologist on staff? Unlike the Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, Mr. Flanagan probably seemed normal to his friends. Mr. Flanagan has said that he targeted these two young, white people because he thought they were racists. I am sorry. They just do not fit the stereotype. So how do you convince people exhibiting the same symptoms as Mr. Flanagan to put down the gun and seek counseling?
Since concealed-carry permits for women are up 270% since 2007 and we have not had a major gun safety mishap, what do women know about gun safety that the National Guard does not? 🙄
With shotgun shells as the only ammo on the shelf at Walmart and Joe Biden extolling the virtues of shotguns for self defense, I knew it was just a matter of time before my wife’s favorite gun shop reeled her in. Last year she got her CCW but she has been unable to practice due to the lack of 9mm ammunition. This week her favorite gun shop made her an offer she couldn’t refuse so “we” are now proud owners of a shotgun. If the objective of gun control legislation was to talk down gun ownership in America, the plan is having the opposite effect. Gun sales are booming. Now look what she is posing with!
The irony of gun control and the stock market is that they are both divorced from reality. At one time our professors taught us that the stock market was a leading indicator for the economy. I doubt Mike O’Rourke is alone in his sentiment that “ The Market Has Dropped Any Pretense Of Being Connected To Economic Reality”. The stock market is not relevant to the average man and woman and its tenuous relationship to the economy is severed. Now we have Senator Manchin saying he is going to bring up failed gun control legislation that adds additional regulations on honest people and does very little to restrict access to guns by criminals or the mentally insane. This bill failed because the average man and woman were not fooled with the political rhetoric and the shelf life for this dumb law has passed. Somebody should tell Senator Manchin that it is a sign of insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Stupid is as stupid does. Eventually common sense wins, our stock market starts responding to real economic gains and failures, and our legislators start spending their time focused on how to make the average person’s life easier and better. Someday the decisions we make will matter.
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
”• Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I am surprised that Greg Gutfeld has not created a special category for banned studies. The Washington Post Fact Checker looked at the background check issue and found that the numbers that the President and many others are using come from data collected in 1994 and published in a 1977 study. The problem is that the study had two estimates for the number of people who have purchased guns without a background check, a 40% number that includes gifts and family transfers and a 14 to 22% number which does not. Since the universal background legislation does not require background checks for gun transactions between family members, the Post argues that it is misleading to use the 40% number in the debate. Here are some of the quotes from President Obama that earned him three Pinocchios.
“Why wouldn’t we want to close the loophole that allows as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases to take place without a background check?”
–President Obama, remarks on gun safety, March 28, 2013
“FACT: Nearly 40% of all gun sales don’t require a background check under current law. #DemandAction”
–tweet from @BarackObama, March 28
So here is my problem with universal background checks. It is a pretty ineffective tool at controlling guns going criminals and the criminally insane. I assume we can all agree that we are not going to get background checks on gun sales to criminals. Criminals are dumb but most are not dumb enough to complete a background check that will fail. From our recent mass murders we can see that criminally insane people are functional enough to acquire weapons without raising alarms during background checks. Even if we happen to create the perfect gun control legislation for the criminally insane, the criminally insane people can easily choose other weapons of terror such as fire, poisons, and bombs to express themselves. Unless we are willing to deal with the mental health issue, it is just a matter of time until we have our next mass murder. This time it is assault weapons. Next time it might be a bomb. Universal background checks are just another burden heaped upon honest, sane people. Once again we are reminded that no good deed goes unpunished!
With all of this discussion about gun laws my wife decided it was time to go to the gun range. Shooting is a skill you maintain by practice. The problem was that she was almost out of bullets and she was concerned that her favorite ammo stores, Walmart and Target, would be out. Our farrier said the only ammo available at Walmart was the 9mm. On Friday she went to Walmart and there were no bullets on the shelves. Hmm I wonder if we can get Yahoo Finance to post the current prices and availability for common bullets like they do for pork bellies, CDs, and insurance.
I really, really wanted to shoot today, but wasn’t able to. Why, you might ask? Was I backed up with work? Nope. Did I have a long list of chores to do, to stay in my wife’s good graces? Nope. I was free as a bird. But I couldn’t shoot because, with the exception of 100 rounds of 22LR and the loaded 9 mm magazines that I keep at home for purposes of self-defense, I was out out of ammo.
Nor was I alone. The shelves here in Minnesota are empty. You can still find a few rounds of .380, .40 and even .45 caliber bullets, along with more exotic varieties, but the most popular ammunition”“22LR and 9 mm”“is sold out everywhere. The shelves are literally bare. Every now and then someone gets in a small shipment; a friend told me that a local Dick’s Sporting Goods got some 9 mm bullets in yesterday. They were gone almost instantly.
9 mm bullets
I figured if anyplace wouldn’t run out of ammo, it is South Dakota, so I checked with my brother. Sure enough, ammunition is gone there, too. A local store that does a major firearms business ordered a semi truck load of ammo; what got delivered was three pallets. They were told they could expect another delivery in 2014.
So what is going on? In part, certainly, the perception of a potential shortage due to the policies of the Obama administration has led to the reality of a shortage, as everyone started to stock up. I can understand the mentality: if I wandered into a gun store and found that they had just put 1,000 9 mm rounds on the shelf, I would buy them all. But does that fully explain what is happening? How about the fact that government agencies are buying up billions of rounds? There have been lots of news reports and lots of rumors, but no clear explanation of why the federal government has invested so massively in ammunition”“including the most popular civilian calibers”“over the last year. One way or another, it seems that there is a story here. But for it to be pursued, we would need “reporters.” Remember them? Nah, that was a bygone era: you probably don’t.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Out of Ammo
Sun, 03 Feb 2013 01:07:45 GMT