What the 2012/2013 Panic has taught me
Shooting for me has ground to a standstill thanks to Gun Panic 12-13. Sure, I've always made certain to have a combat load of ammo around the house for emergencies, so no real worries there. But that ammo is for emergencies, and with every common caliber drying up at gun stores and online all over the place, I don't dare shoot it. I have no idea when I'll be able to get more. This means that my review of the Gunsite Scout is on hold, which torques me right off.
I've never seen it this bad. I mean, yeah, there was a panic after the 2008 election, but nothing like this. And now that I'm knee-deep in this gun and ammunition wasteland, some decisions I've made pertaining to firearms and ammunition have come under review.
1. "Common" calibers aren't so common during a panic like this, which means you can bet your ass they won't be common at the onset of an emergency either. My .223, 9mm and to a certain extent my .308 are lying dormant, the ammunition I have for them being carefully controlled. If I had gone and had one really good range day a few days before the panic, I'd be SOL.
2. Politicians will not stop trying to infringe on the 2nd Amendment. Their common tactic is to shoot for the moon and demand bans and absurd magazine limitations and then "compromise" to get a tenth of what they want. Then, after the next tragedy, they'll do the same and get another tenth. It's a long game.
3. Depending on the state you live in, you can become a criminal overnight depending on which politicians want to make a name for themselves.
4. Prices go crazy-up during a no-kidding politically-inspired gun panic.
So, what do I do? Well, the good news is that it's looking more and more like Sen. Feinstein won't get her ban. There may still be some ugly new laws pertaining to magazines coming, but nothing is certain yet. However, you can bet there will be another attempt just as soon as some other psycho decides to make a point by murdering innocent people with a gun he stole. Until then, there's still time to make some changes.
1. Time to look into some uncommon options that will allow me to shoot and give me a better chance of finding ammunition during times when it's needed. .357, .38, .44 magnum I have no problem finding right now because they're primarily revolver cartridges. A .357/9mm Ruger Blackhawk or a S&W Model 29 in .44mag might not be the fastest guns out there, but they're powerful, and their cartridges can also be used in lever guns. Not as fast as an AR or AK, but fast enough. Shoot, a Coonan 1911 in .357 would solve my problem toot-sweet. Same deal on the rifle side. I can find .270 and 30-06 more readily than the modern military cartridges. If that GSR had come in 7mm-08 (the other Jeff Cooper-approved cartridge for a scout rifle), you'd probably be reading a review about it right now.
2. I'm going to rejoin the NRA and some of the other pro-2A groups. People give the NRA a lot of guff because they say the organization won't "compromise" on gun laws. People forget that's what the NRA is paid to do: Hold the line. That incremental whittling away of rights only happens when one side, the pro-2A side, budges. And they always do.
3. Develop a plan in the event my state does something like New York or I'm forced to move to one of them. A sizeable portion of New York's gun-owning population just found out they're about to become criminals thanks to a law passed in the middle of the night with no public debate. If the choice comes down between registering my firearms with a government like that, giving them up, or moving them out of state, I choose out of state. Fortunately, I have options, so this action is practically done. You, however, might want to start asking yourself "who do I know that I can trust who lives in a free state?"
4.If I had known a year ago that a stripped AR lower receiver from Palmetto State Armory that normally goes for about $70 would be fetching around $500 online now, I would have bought three of them when they went on sale. Guns have always been an investment. They age well, and when things get tough, everyone suddenly wants one. Having an extra SKS or Hi-Point lying around to sell or give to a friend or family member who find they have need of one but can't find it would be nice.
I'm sure there's going to be more lessons-learned as they whap me upside the head at the worst moment, but for now that's what I'm going with because you can bet that even if the polticos back off, this is going to come up again. Like they say on Battlestar Galactica: "All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again." The only question is what kind of position am I going to be in the next time it does?