Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pray To God And Pass The Ammunition

Anyone try to buy a gun recently? How about ammunition?
I heard rumors from members of a small investment group I belong to, with members spread across the US, that gun shows in their local areas were jamb packed, and if you stood outside you would see folks carrying out cases of ammunition or cardboard boxes containing new rifles. The head of our group who is a fairly well know financial advisor and a generally conservative guy went to a gun show close to Del Rey Beach, FL and reported the same thing. He himself, not a gun guy, bought three guns, which now makes him technically a gun guy.

Anyway, my point being that just like the sudden and quiet disappearance of gold from retail dealer shelves starting last August, guns and ammo are now becoming scarce. Many people are citing Obama’s anti-assault rifle sentiment and an expected Clinton-esqe style ban on assault rifles.

It’s true; you will play havoc finding an AR-15 and the 5.56 NATO rounds they use or the AK 47 and corresponding ammunition. Go ahead, call around and check. But I don’t believe it is all Obama’s anti-gun sentiment behind this push.

More to the point, people seem edgy and just a little jumpy, seemingly waiting for something that has yet to be defined. This could have something to do with the increase in the sale of all guns and ammo now taking place. You can still get many hand guns and other rifles but they are being bought up in record numbers. Also, all across the country there is a massive spike in carry permit applications, something not under threat by the Obama administration.

I myself went to the gun show in Palmetto, Florida last month to see if the rumors were true about record crowds swooping down like locusts, buying everything in sight.

I arrived to see a line of people snaking around the building, waiting to get in. It was Super bowl Sunday, what were they all doing here? I thought to myself. The show, much smaller than the Tampa show, was packed. There was a dealer building AR-15s from modular components to-order right there, so I stopped to ask questions. An older gentleman was purchasing a small AR-15 with all the trimmings, laser sight, optics and what have you. He was well dressed, didn’t question the price and had little or no clue about guns, or so I gathered from his questions to the vender. I later saw this man, who with the help of another was carrying two cases of 5.56 ammunition or about 2000 rounds.
So what gives?
Trouble says I…

People are not only angry about the careless bailout gifts to the ultra rich classes of their yet to be, hard earned money, but are now dealing with a sharp increase in organized gang violence and other random acts of criminal behavior.

Remember the Rodney King riots or Hurricane Katrina aftermath? Katrina was probably the ultimate lesson for average people, not only displaying what happens in a breakdown of the social system and the speed at which anarchy develops, but the impotence of their own, (once imagined) omnipotent government. The now looming breakdown, due to lack of funds, of our local governments promises to be very similar to New Orleans after Katrina. As with the Rodney King riots and the Katrina aftermath, simply being seen holding a gun was often enough to make you appear less like prey. This might account for some purchases, but not all. Some, like the individuals who shot at rescue helicopters might have other ideas.

Given the chatter I’m hearing about outrage over the bailouts and the massive level of taxation people are bracing for to pay for them, I fear a more confrontational possibility. If you didn’t catch Rick Santelli on CNBC from the trading floor of the NY Stock Exchange last week, he seemed angry and so did others on the floor within earshot who loudly proclaimed agreement with his rant. He half jokingly said he was organizing a Tea Party on Lake Michigan in July. I found that he is not the only one. There are other Tea Parties planned, which leads me to ask, what is planned that we don’t know about or aren’t yet hearing of?
Guns, anger, lost homes and jobs, hunger and dis-enfranchisement ad up to the possibility of bad things…very bad things.
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