March 01, 2009

History Repeating

While the "tea party" protests against the new administration and spending-crazed Congress are certainly getting a lot of attention in the conservative blogosphere and in isolated news stories, I suspect these small, but growing nationwide protests are masking a far deeper disenchantment with our arrogant young President and his allies in the House and Senate who seem to have one massive tax-and-spend (or more accurately, spend-and-spend until the economy completely crashes) bill after another lined up.

What am I talking about?

I wrote a blog entry in 2007 correcting a poorly researched Associated Press story by Estes Thompson. Thompson apparently decided before writing his article that he was going to blame a police ammunition shortage he had heard about on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which would fit in nicely with the years-long anti-war bias prevalent in most "professional" media.

Not surprisingly, Thompson was too lazy to go to the source, and only spoke to several police departments and their immediate suppliers, people in a position to appear to have credibility, but who were not far enough up the supply chain to have any idea what the real cause and effect were. I did the work Thompson was too lazy to do, and actually contacted the ammunition manufacturers themselves, and they explain what was really going on.

I followed up on that 2007 article yesterday in a post at Pajamas Media, explaining why the current ammunition shortage we are currently experiencing is even worse than that which hit in 2007. I'd suggest you go read it for a more detailed explanation, but the gist of it is this: demand that spiked in 2007 never abated, and the election of a President with a anti-gun record with cronies pushing aggressive firearms and ammunition laws on the local, state, and national level, combined with a global recession spiked demand even higher.

The firearms and ammunition industry are clearly recession-proof thanks to our new President's agenda.

It is next to impossible to find a gun store that stocks the kind of military-style semi-automatic rifles and pistols that our Founding Fathers would have recognized as the exact kind of weapons that are best suited for duty in the modern version of the citizen's militia, one they so strongly advocated to be built from individual citizen-soldiers as a defense against tyrants, both foreign and domestic.

I spoke with a contact of mine at a major firearms manufacturer several days ago about acquiring a new AR-15 type carbine that his company just recently brought to market for a T&E (testing and evaluation) loan as he had done for me in the past with handguns. Demand was so great, and their backorder so large, that he estimated it would be 6-8 months before I could get one. When I asked him what was causing such a massive run on his companies AR-15-type rifles, you might guess his one-word response.

Merely adding to the anecdotal evidence I've compiled from manufacturers is that which I've gathered from retail merchants, from mom-and-pop gun shops to big-box retailers.

Late last night I visited one of the local Walmart stores and swung by their ammunition counter to see if supplies at one of the largest retailers was as scarce as individuals around the country has related on various Internet forums.

"We just a got a shipment in!" the gentleman behind the counter told me. The shelves were still at least two-thirds empty, but he did indeed have several thousand rounds of 7.62x39mm and .223 Remington rifle ammunition, along with an equal amount of 9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP pistol ammunition. He told me it would be gone by sunrise.

He claimed that since late October demand had gone up, and that since Obama won the election, it went through the roof. When he has ammunition to sell, he's pushing out 10,000-15,000 rounds per shift late at night. Two Saturday night's ago, he sold 5,600 rounds to one customer.

I've been focusing on looking at why we've been having shortages from the supply side of the equation; I haven't done as much research into why demand is so high from individual purchasers. Obviously, that is because building an accurate picture is going to require a level of in-person interviews that a single person can't easily manage. That said, I am seeing anecdotal explanations in the comments to my posts on the subject and in reading comments on firearms blogs and other internet forums.

Many people are buying significant amounts of ammunition for their personal supply, from thousands to tens of thousands of rounds each, to one person who claims to have built a stockpile over the past decade of three-quarters of a million rounds that seems to fantastic to believe.

Most claim they are building a reserve in anticipation of ammunition prices continuing to rise. Another significant component are buying ammunition as a hedge against uncertain times, both as an investment, and as security measure.

But an increasing number of people are openly expressing that the reason they are stocking up on ammunition is that they fear the actions of our federal government. These are people who have never been radicals, most could generally care less about politics, and many have never even dreamed of owning guns until now.

And while it will no doubt come as a surprise to those who would like to perpetrate the stereotype of gun owners as rural and uneducated—the kind that bitterly cling to their guns and Bibles as someone once scornfully said—anecdotal evidence suggests many new gun owners are minorities, and all social classes are purchasing firearms and ammunition.

While we seem to have a tea party movement growing nationwide as people voice their dissatisfaction with our power-mad, spending-crazed government by calling on the symbolism of the acts of Patriots in Boston Harbor more than two hundred years ago, I suspect those protests are hiding a deeper resentment and fears about the competency and goals of our federal leaders.

If our government continues to make citizens feel abused, and makes an over-aggressive miscalculation in asserting their power—certainly possible with our fumbling Attorney General who was part of the Clintonian Justice Dept management nightmare under Reno—tea parties will be the least of their worries.

They should be more concerned they are convincing many Americans to prepare for Lexington Green.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 1, 2009 12:42 PM

People in my community know I was in the service and quite familiar with firearm. I have been astonished by the number and types of people who are coming to me for advice on buying firearms. Mind you, these are people who are buying their first gun. Most of them are buying AR-15's but there's plenty of interest in pistols as well. Many tell me that that their wives told them to gun up and get ready.

Posted by: dan in michigan at March 1, 2009 03:34 PM

It doesn't take a genius for foreign affairs or domestic policy to understand that things could go very, very wrong in America (heck, in the world) in seconds. Civilization hangs by very slender threads. The police are effective only because most citizens are willing to obey most laws most of the time.

Should any of that change, no one will protect the individual but the individual and those who love and support them. Those who understand the law know that the government (ie: the police) not only cannot protect them, but have no legal obligation to do so. In times of genuine national crisis, in times of the breakdown of social conventions, the loss of cheap electricity and gasoline, refrigeration and all of the conveniences we take for granted. one's ability with and supply of firearms and ammunition would surely mean the difference between death or survival.

All of that, and most folks understand that Obama and his merry band of Constitution renders are, in fact, after the firearms and rights of honest Americans. They know that it's harder for the government to seize weapons already in the hands of Americans than to prevent future sales. It's all nothing more than common sense, something for which liberals have nothing but contempt. Should worst case scenarios occur, there is one good thing that will surely occur: Liberals will be among the first to perish, so unprepared for reality will they be.

Posted by: Mike at March 1, 2009 05:00 PM

One of my "guilty pleasures" is the 70s movie "Billy Jack". Yes, it is full of a bunch of leftist anti-gun propaganda, but one line from that movie rings true - today, more than ever.

"The forces which make peaceful evolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable."

We are not there yet. And we might never get there (God willing!). But the clock is ticking...

Posted by: Da Possum at March 1, 2009 05:59 PM

I've had to report all of my guns "stolen". Which of course is a real shame because now I will have to buy more. But this time I think the paperwork will some how be skipped.

You know if you don't have any one can come and "steal" or "take" them.

Papa Ray

Posted by: Papa Ray at March 1, 2009 06:34 PM

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. by Thomas Jefferson.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

CDNN is a great place to look for solid weapons.
My advice is stay away from those glorified .22's and get some weapons in calibers that matter. .308 works wonders at changing attitudes all the way out to 600 yards.

PTR-91 is my personal favorite..unbreakable and accurate right out of the box.

Get yourself off to a Appleseed event to learn to shoot. Gotta be able to hit out to 500 yards.

Get stocked up on ammo...

And then we wait to see what happens next.
Don't Fire Unless Fired Upon but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.

The communists in power right now think they are dealing with a bunch of Europeans who will sit passively by while they enslave us. By God We Won't.


Posted by: Pierre at March 1, 2009 06:50 PM

My arsenal has not changed since pre-Y2K. I have been stocking up on AMMO for all of my guns since then. I left a link to The Sportsman's Guide for AMMO on PJ's site. They run specials for bulk sales all of the time. This is for .223, but other Cals are listed at the bottom.

The "Battle Packs" are the best deals, but they go quickly.

My last buy was 00 Buck 12 GA. Got here in a week (UPS).

We moved to the country 9 years ago to be more secure. I have 16.7 AC of Jungle. It and the house are paid for. My favorite door gun is an old 12 Ga pump riot gun. With 00 Buck you are good for multiple attackers.

We need to replenish our food pantry with new canned stuff before next Hurricane season. I did a clean out last year and tossed the expired stuff. That and 500 gal of Propane and we are good to go.

If things GTHIHB we will be turtles for a while.
I pray that we will not need to.

Posted by: Marc Boyd at March 1, 2009 07:10 PM

I've always been a conservative but never owned a gun until this last November. I went out and bought a shotgun (Mossberg 500) and I've stocked up a couple hundred rounds of ammo. I have plans to buy a rifle soon. I fall into that category of someone that never thought about buying a gun until I feared the government would take away my right to bear arms.

Posted by: Deconstructing The News at March 2, 2009 12:44 AM

I believe Democrats realize any stringent anti-gun law would be ignored by most. For this reason they probably will do nothing for fear people would finally understand the power they have and might ignore more laws they do not like.

Nevertheless I'm taking no chances.

Posted by: Rick at March 2, 2009 09:32 AM

I've never owned a gun before, went and bought a little Walther P22 after the election, shoot it every other week or so. Need to pop in to Walmart and see if they have .22 ammo

If HR 45 hits the House floor, I will definitely buy a larger caliber gun.

Posted by: William Teach at March 2, 2009 11:33 AM

I guess I'm one that can't see the point in all this. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm still hanging on to our Constitution and judicial system that this will be resolved through the laws of our land.

I know how the courts function, but I still keep hoping for a judge that isn't bought, and politicians that aren't bought.

I guess I'll be one that dies in the street, while attending court, hoping for change. I have never known war in our land. Only what I see on TV, but nothing like what Americans talk about gearing up for.

I have to try the courts, just as Scott Easterling and other military people are trying.

You guys should know your ammunition is no match for an entire army of foreign soldiers who hate you. They practice to take over our nation and have no problems rounding everyone up.

Even corporations have their own armies, and it's them who is benefiting from the stimulus bills. We are run by corporations who dictate what laws will be passed, who will govern and who won't. Sadly, politicians are all too eager to side with them instead of us. I don't think Americans will stand a chance in a civil war because the corporations have their own armies.

But, I love America and Israel, and I will stand by those who support them. Until then, I'm going to keep trying in court.

Posted by: SharkGirl at March 2, 2009 02:25 PM

The only thing Obama has done of value so far has been to increase gun and ammo sales. A good stimulus package if there ever was one.

Posted by: mytralman at March 2, 2009 02:32 PM

Shark Girl ... I know how most young people feel about guns, because I was young once too, before World War II. But playing by civilized rules only works if the guys you are playing against are civilized too. Otherwise it can be fatal, for you and those you love.

My advice is to put on your Big Girl pants and face what has happened in the world. If you expect the cops to protect you when your home is invaded, they can't get there fast enough. All they can do is perhaps avenge your murder. Which may help your neighbors, but won't help you much, if you're dead.

Buy yourself a house gun. And learn to use it. Your life may depend on it.

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at March 2, 2009 03:44 PM
It is next to impossible to find a gun store that stocks the kind of military-style semi-automatic rifles and pistols that our Founding Fathers would have recognized as the exact kind of weapons that are best suited for duty in the modern version of the citizen's militia, one they so strongly advocated to be built from individual citizen-soldiers as a defense against tyrants, both foreign and domestic.
I'm guessing the word in italics is supposed to be either "for" or "by." Posted by: CayleyGraph at March 2, 2009 04:12 PM

"CDNN is a great place to look for solid weapons.
My advice is stay away from those glorified .22's and get some weapons in calibers that matter. .308 works wonders at changing attitudes all the way out to 600 yards."

Might I suggest that you look up the reason we went to 5.56.

The average engagement range during most firefights is between 25 and 300 meters. 7.62 has its place. But ya might want to be carrying a firearm that is chambered in the same caliber that those you fight are carrying.

Posted by: Matt at March 2, 2009 04:42 PM

SharkGirl, you're on to something. Keep in mind that many of these people who are preparing for "civil war" in America are the same crowd that got all hyped up over Y2K, which amounted to nothing. I get the feeling that they WANT it to happen.

According to many reports on the net, which are always truthful, of course, the gubment has already established some re-education camps. For those conservatives who, unfortunately, can't be rehabilitated, a few concentration camps may have been built as well. I'm sorry, I don't yet have more details but I'll keep checking Rush's site and WND for accurate updates.

From what I hear the conditions are horrible in the concentration camps. A few liberals have been mistakenly "sent away" as well. Can you imagine how terrible it must be for those poor souls to be surrounded by all those angry conservatives?! It's my understanding that the ACLU is working feverishly to get them released before they, too, are brainwashed beyond rehabilitation.

Hang in there, girl!


Posted by: Dude at March 2, 2009 05:19 PM

I think SharkGirl & Dude miss the point.

Posted by: Rick at March 2, 2009 06:33 PM

Indeed Rick, indeed. *SIGH*

Posted by: cmblake6 at March 2, 2009 10:56 PM

I recommend the Mosin Nagant, runs on 7.62x54mmR, and was used by the likes of Ivan Sidorenko and Simo Hayha. It is cheap($75-150 dollar range), very reliable, and accurate. I don't have one but I'm looking into it. Also, as an armchair strategist, I recommend reading Mao's On Guerrilla Warfare. For purely legal purposes of course.

Also, sharkgirl, there are 100 million armed citizens (and growing) who are better armed than most of the world's armies, and the US military, both of whom are predominantly of libertarian-conservative persuasion. Corporations don't actually have armies as that would cut into their profit margin. It should also be mentioned that the Patriots comprised only around 20% to a third of the colonial population.

Posted by: Sun Stealer at March 3, 2009 09:23 PM


I sent the below letter to Barack Obama and my Federal officials and included a tea bag:

Mr. President,

As the early colonists of the USA did on December 16, 1773 I am starting a Washington DC Tea Party for the same reason as they did: TOO MANY TAXES. THE STIMULUS TAX INCREASE is the straw that broke the taxpayers back.
This is my token way of tossing YOUR TEA into Boston Harbor. I will be contacting as many people as I can to do the same thing if they feel the government is overtaxing us. We need TAX RELIEF, not a bunch of NEW TAXES. No reply necessary, except to start putting the taxpayer first.

I encourage anyone who feels the stimulus bill is the tax that broke the taxpayers back to do the same, and to send a tea bag to each of your members of Congress. Please pass this idea along to others. Send the president and members of Congress a tea bag, and include a SHORT, polite letter explaining why you are doing it. The address to send it to the president is:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC

Posted by: Smorgasbord at March 3, 2009 10:03 PM