Monday December 15, 2008
Choosing between Republican or Democrat
is a lot like choosing between stripes or solids.
Either way, it's still a game of eight-ball.
( Dec 15 2008, 08:13:18 AM CST )
Thursday October 23, 2008
Next On The Agenda : Publicly Funded Pre-School For All Children
Apparently lots of Government officials agree the K-12 education system is failing, if not broken. The solution per these Government officials therefor is...
Publicly Funded Pre-School For All Children
-Reason Magazine Online
A representative for private sector pre-school and daycare had this comment to say in response to the free publicly funded universal daycare movement...
"It's very difficult to compete with free."
( Oct 23 2008, 11:20:31 AM CDT )
Monday July 21, 2008
100 Reasons to End the Federal "War on Drugs"
Charlie Lynch, a private business owner in California, followed all the laws of his state to set up and run a business which sells medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in California. Who knows how many people's pain and suffering he's helped to alleviate. However, the Federal government has decided he's a felony-level criminal who needs to be put away for up to 100 years.
Despite having never injured anyone, never killed anyone, never robbed anyone, nor even ever destroyed anyone elses property, the Federal government believes Charlie should now spend more time in jail than most robbers, rapists, arsonists, or even most murderers.
Mr.Rodney Balko of "The Agitator" and Drew Carey have a few words to say on this subject...
Charlie Lynch Trial Begins on Tuesday
California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner faces 100 years in prison on federal felony charges.
It's a good one-hundred reasons why Libertarians believe we should end the failed "War on Drugs".
( Jul 21 2008, 03:27:21 AM CDT )
Saturday March 22, 2008
Some Proposed Bills in Mo State Congress for 2008
The Missouri Senate and House are, of course, considering quite a number of new bills this year. Here is a list of some of the 2nd Amendment related bills that have been submitted for 2008...
Mo SB-1184 "Modifies Various Provisions Relating to Domestic Violence"
It doesn't mention firearms in the title, but that's what this bill is about. In summary, it proposes expanding seizure power to allow law enforcement in Missouri to confiscate firearms if they have "reason to believe domestic assault has occurred". This bill would also expand the conditions under which a person can be permanently prohibited from owning a firearm to include being charged with and/or being convicted of, misdemeanor domestic assault. Possessing a firearm thereafter would be a Class D felony.
Mo SB-812 "Unlawful Celebratory Discharge of a Firearm"
Proposes expanding the "Unlawful Use of Weapons" laws to include discharging a firearm for celebratory purposes within an urban (city) area. Nice idea, but there are already more than enough laws on the books with which such negligent people can be charged. This proposed law would add nothing constructive to the legal process, except allowing prosecutors to stack more charges against a defendant.
Mo SB-851 "Prohibits Felons From Possessing A Concealable Firearm"
Proposes to make possession of a concealable firearm by a person convicted of a dangerous felony be prohibited and itself a Class C felony. Under current law, people with felony convictions are already prohibited from possessing firearms. "Firearms" is the set of all firearms; "concealable firearms" is a subset of "firearms". This proposed law would add nothing constructive to the legal process, except allowing prosecutors to stack more charges against a defendant.
Mo SB-813 "Prohibits Ownership, Possession, or Discharge of a Taser or Stun Gun"
This bill is the irony of the year, and last year, and the year before that. Introduced each year since 2005, this bill tries to make possession of a stun-gun or "taser" a Class D felony. What is the irony? With the multitude of efforts underway to outlaw potentially lethal means of self-defense, here is an effort to ban and criminalize even an alternative non-lethal means of self-defense. Of course, law enforcement, "people vested with the judicial power of the state", and corporate security advisors would be exempt.
( Mar 22 2008, 11:01:25 AM CDT )
Tuesday March 18, 2008
D.C. vs Heller Opening Arguments -- March 18, 2008
D.C. vs Heller Opening Arguments are now online!
The general consensus after today is that the Supreme Court seems to be leaning toward considering the 2nd Amendment as an individual right. Speculation is that the main issue to be worked through will be the question of to what extent this right may be regulated. It's all speculation as this point, though. There's lots more to be debated and discussed amongst the Justices. Overall though, things are looking good for those who believe firmly in the Second Amendment.
( Mar 18 2008, 02:52:42 PM CDT )
Monday February 11, 2008
National Firearm MicroStamping Bill Introduced
The "National Crime-Gun Identification Act of 2007" has been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Ed Kennedy of Massachussettes and Congressman Xavier Becerra of California. This bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Feinstein (California), Menendez (New Jersey), Lautenberg (New Jersey), Durbin (Illinois), Schumer (New York), and Reed (Rhode Island).
This bill, as it is as introduced, would require all handguns to stamp microsopic serial numbers in at least two different locations on the shell casing when the gun is fired. This is called "micro-stamping".
Handguns which do not have this "technology" would be classified as "unsafe consumer products" and would become illegal to "operate" (fire). As such, since an "unsafe handgun" would be an "unsafe consumer product", the Consumer Products Safety Commission would thus be responsible for determining the rules and regulations which define an "unsafe handgun", as well as the fines and penalties associated with their operation, their ownership, and their manufacture.
Oddly, the title of the bill refers to "Crime Guns". However, it is the law-abiding owners of firearms who will need to make sure their legally owned NON-crime guns comply with the new federal law as well as the Consumer Products Safety Commission's rules and regulations. In addition, handgun manufacturers will need to comply with rules and regulations which are set at the whim of the CPSC.
Late last year, California became the first state to pass a law requiring "micro-stamping" technology in all new handguns sold in that state. The California law is set to go into affect in 2010. Apparently, based on the success in California of a law which is not even yet in affect, there are those in the Federal government who feel we need to implement this now at the Federal level.
So, if this passes, how does this affect us here in Missouri? Simple- Federal law trumps State law.
( Feb 11 2008, 07:25:21 PM CST )
Saturday January 26, 2008
Uncle Sam Says I Can't Get My Teeth Cleaned
I was at the dentist to get my regular six month cleaning. The hygienist reclined my chair and put that paper-thingy over my chest. She pulled up my information on the computer screen next to us and went to enter the date and time of my cleaning into my file.
That's when a little window popped up. I couldn't see it as it was behind me but I heard the little noise the computer made. She says "oh, just a second" and gets up. "I'll be right back" she says as she leaves the room.
When she returned she was very apologetic. She told me she couldn't do my cleaning because my dentist took vacation that day and was not in the office.
It's a federal regulation, she explained. If it has been more than six months since the dentist last gave my teeth an exam, then the dentist has to be in the office for the hygienist to clean my teeth.
The dentist doesn't have to actually look at me. She just has to be in the office. This is if it's been more than six months since my last exam by the dentist. This is a federal regulation.
So... Uncle Sam is now determining the conditions under which I can get my teeth cleaned? When did this start? Why did it get started? Who in the federal government could possibly care enough about when and how I get my teeth cleaned to have started creating regulations about it? How is this benefiting me? Is it supposed to protect me from something? If so, what?
I've been going to this dentist for years. This hygienist has been cleaning my teeth for years. This is the best dentist I've ever had. This hygienist is the best I've ever had and I have confidence in her ability.
I don't mind if the dentist took a day off. I'm a grown-up. I think I can choose to have her clean my teeth or not. It's not like she's going to be extracting a tooth or anything like that. She's just cleaning them, like she's done every six months for the last eight years. She does a good job. I have every confidence in her ability.
But no. Uncle Sam says 'no'. Can't do it. Been more than six months. Nope. There's no dentist in the office today. Them's the Federal Regs.
It's not just the big things Libertarians are talking about when they speak of having smaller government. It's the little things too.
Little things, like when your hygienist can clean your teeth, or not.
( Jan 26 2008, 09:21:31 PM CST )
Wednesday January 02, 2008
2008 : It Ain't Over'til the Committee Sings!
You've probably heard the quote, "If you have a right, but no way to exercise that right, do you really have the right?" A lot of second ammendment supporters know this quote, as it applies to certain situations in which they find themselves. Take the Illinois firearm laws for example- Sure, you have a right to own a firearm and defend yourself, but try to actually do either of those without breaking some provision of their law. Good luck. Hopefully, at least your relatives will be able to come visit you on Wednesday's from 2:00 to 2:15pm.
Most people understand how the laws that obviously strip people of their right to self-defense are more harm than they are good. But what about the laws that everyone thought were meant to support or bolster the right of lawful self-defense? How do these laws sometimes become twisted into traps for the decent citizen?
In answer, I'm reminded of a quote by the legendary sherpha Imahd Ihtup. While standing at the top of a mountain after a long and challenging climb, amidst the cheers and congratulations, he quietly turned to the climbers and said, "That was a good climb. And now, we must climb down."
Of course what he meant was, getting there was only half the task. The summit may have been the goal, but there was still just as much mountain to climb going back down as there was coming up.
Bills that have become new laws are much like that. Becoming law is the summit. The mechanics of enacting the law are the climb back down the mountain. A surprising number of people are involved in these mechanics; people you've probably never heard of and who were never elected. They are the employees of the various government agencies who now have to meet in workgroups and planning sessions to determine if, and if so how, some new law affects their agency or department. If they figure the law does affect them, they then have to come up with the policies, procedures, and processes which they will follow. They are also the committees and exploratory groups that are selected, designated, or appointed to explore and codify one or some other aspect or impact of the impending implementation of some new law.
Most all of these people are ones whom you and I have never met. We never had a choice in wether they contributed to the actual implementation of some law we may or may not care greatly about. Most were hired. Some were appointed. All have their own opinions about politics, about what's right and what's wrong. And about what should or should not be law. These people are the bureaucracy.
If you want to get technical, it's actually incorrect to say that politicians make the laws. What they really do is
instate new laws and changes to existing laws.
It is the bureaucracy that turns these into the actual code of law, procedures, and policies which will then affect our lives (possibly daily). A lot can happen on this "climb back down the mountain". These people may follow the spirit with which the law was passed, or they may not. If they don't, they can make it impossible for anyone to actually be able to exercise their rights under the new law. They can, if they want to, affectively subvert the will of the people.
This last year's enactment of SB62, what has been referred to as "The Castle Doctrine" bill, is right now having all the rules and procedures figured out and written up by State government departments and committees. In other words, the bureaucracy is figuring out just how they're going to handle this new law that's been handed to them, and how is it going to work in actual implementation.
Have you reminded your elected officials that this or some other bill that passed last year was important to you? Or did you, celebrating having acheived the summit, forget that now we must climb back down the proverbial mountain?
A committe has been appointed to write the instructions to be presented to jury's that must sit in judgement for court cases where the defendant claims innocence and immunity under the Castle Doctrine. Do you know who the people on this committee are? Do you know or remember where they stood in the debates leading to the passage of SB62?
"Debate Continues on Missouriâ€™s New 'Castle Doctrine' Law"
Word Type: noun
Inflected Form(s): (plural) buÂ·reauÂ·craÂ·cies
Etymology: French bureaucratie, from bureau + -cratie -cracy
1a: a body of nonelective government officials
1b: an administrative policy-making group
2: government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority
3: a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation
( Jan 02 2008, 07:51:30 PM CST )
Tuesday December 25, 2007
Are We Reaching the Turning Point?
In early 2007 there was discussion among 2nd Amendment supporters about how the major media had a reputation for rarely reporting on citizens defending themselves with a firearm. On those occasions when they did, there were notable times when the media would omit the fact that it was a citizen with a firearm that had stopped the bad guy.
Take for example, this posting from "Clasically Liberal", entitled
"When Mass Killers Meet Armed Resistance". It pretty well sums it up; when a regular person like you or me used a firearm to defend themselves or others, the media pretty much ignored it.
And then an odd thing happened. A series of high profile shootings occured. The news was reported both on TV and in online news web sites. Those web sites allowed the public to post comments. And it was this last item that led to a two-fold realization.
First, the major media began to realize that amongst the average people there was a rapidly growing sentiment that gun-free zones where "free-crime zones" and that a lot of people were definitely "for" the average citizen arming themselves for self defense.
Second, all those people posting comments realized that there were a lot of other people posting comments similar to theirs. For a large number of these people, the opinions within the comments they posted were ones they themselves had been feeling for quite some time, but hadn't realized so many other people felt the same way. Seeing the large number of postings agreeing with their comments and sentiments, they realized an important fact: They were not alone in their opinion on the right to self defense.
For better or for worse, mankind is basically a social, group-oriented creature. If one person has an opinion different than the rest of the group, that person will most likely stay quiet. Yes, there are exceptions, but most always the lone opinion will go unvoiced.
Suddenly, large numbers of people realized they were not alone in their opinion:
- "Gun-Free Zones" are merely very inviting "Free-Crime" shooting galleries
- It's just wrong if you are required to be a good victim and die
- Even just one average citizen, armed with a firearm, can make a world of difference
And so we have -perhaps- reached a turning point in our society. For nearly sixty years we've been travelling down a road of progressively stripping citizens of their right to self-defense. Most people thought they were alone in their disapproval of this path (thank you, major media)
. Now, thanks to comments posted on the internet, we may be on the verge of the citizens of this nation overwhelmingly demanding a return to one of the founding, bedrock principles firmly believed in by those who built this nation: that everyone has a right to defend themselves
The major media may have some trouble dealing with this. Witness the recent exchange between show hosts on MSNBC's "Morning Joe
" show. After reporting on the New Life Church shooting incident in Colorado, Co-host Joe Scarborough commented that "One person with a gun in the right place can make a big difference." Co-host Mika Brzezinski replied
"You know, that is the most inane statement I have ever heard."
Fortunately, a large number of Americans have recently realized that a large number of Americans share their same opinion...
"One person with a gun in the right place can make a big difference."
Clasically Liberal: "When Mass Killers Meet Armed Resistance"
NewsBusters: Mika "Inane"
NRA-ILA: "Outrage of the Week"
"Morning Joe" Show Video Excerpt
( Dec 25 2007, 09:08:38 PM CST )
Tuesday November 20, 2007
The Supreme Court Will Hear Washington D.C. Gun Ban Case
Posted on Yahoo News is an article regarding the Supreme Court deciding to hear the Washington D.C. gun ban case.
As with the Supreme Court's 1939 hearing of the 'U.S. v. Miller' case (which centered around a sawed-off shotgun), the Supreme Court may decide to address only a portion of the issue. Likely, they will look at whether the combination of laws which D.C. has regarding firearm banning amount en toto to an affective ban on all firearms. This is an aspect of the case they are likely to uphold.
So, those who want a clear "personal right" versus "collective right" decision, probably won't get it. At the very least however, the decision they make will certainly serve as a weather-vane. Will the USA continue down the European and Brazilian gun-grabber route to state control and dwindling freedoms? Or will there be a renewed vigor to restore and bolster the freedoms we've been losing for the last 60 years?
And how does this apply to Missouri? Missouri is one of the more self-defense friendly states around. For the most part, Missouri doesn't seem to mind people being responsible for themselves, doesn't mind people standing on their own two feet. Missouri doesn't seem to have much against someone defending themselves or their loved ones either.
However, if the Supreme Court decides in favor of Washington D.C., the political landscape could change, and change quickly. There are a lot of big out-of-state organizations with political agendas that would love to come in and break the hold on self-defense rights and firearm ownership that Missouri citizens have determinedly kept in place. The question is, will they have a new icon to hang from their proverbial lances? A decision from the Supreme Court upholding D.C.'s affective banning of all firearms could easily give them that new icon to march behind.
( Nov 20 2007, 01:22:59 PM CST )
Thursday August 09, 2007
Missouri Municipal League and Banning Discharge of Firearms
In Newsletter No. 261 of June 2007, the Missouri Municipal League (MML) encouraged cities and municipalities to act before August 28th of this year to create ordinances/laws prohibiting the discharge of weapons within city limits.
August 28th is when Missouri Senate Bill 225 goes into affect. This bill, referred to as the "Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act", states that "the discharge of firearms for hunting, sport, and other lawful purposes shall not be prohibited in hunting heritage protection areas, which are defined as the 100-year floodplains of the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency."
The areas affected are only the 100-year floodplains of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. However, the MML has encouraged all of its members to pass laws prohibiting hunting and weapon discharge within their city limits before August 28th. SB225 has a clause in it which allows any such law in affect before August 28th to stand and remain on the books.
Interestingly, SB225 already has a provision in it which specifically exempts areas designated as "urbanized areas according to the 2000 U.S. Census". Additionally it exempts "land used by facilities that are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; land used for the operation of physical ports of commerce and customs ports; land within Kansas City and St. Louis City; and land located within one-half mile of an interstate highway, as such highway exists as of August 28, 2007."
There are already plenty of laws and ordinances on the books with which a person who discharges a firearm can be charged. So, the questions are- Why the push to get all MML member cities to pass these laws before August 28th? If the "urban areas" (i.e.- cities and towns) on the 100-year floodplains are already exempt, why do they need to pass yet another new law? Why do cities not on the 100-year floodplains need to pass yet another new law?
Here is an excerpt from Missouri Municipal League
Newsletter No. 261 of June 2007 (as of August 9th, 2007):
"DISCHARGE OF WEAPONS WITHIN THE CITY â€¦ The General Assembly adopted H.B. 327 that allows hunting and the discharge of weapons within the city limits in Missouri and Mississippi River flood plains. They also passed S.B. 225 that allowed cities to prohibit such activities if the ordinance was passed before August 28, 2007. The bills are in conflict and, at this time, no one seems to know which will prevail. The Governor may veto H.B. 327. If you do not now have an ordinance prohibiting hunting and the discharge of weapons within the city, we encourage you to do so before August 28, 2007. We have an excellent sample ordinance from Leeâ€™s Summit on the MML Web site."
-- Mo Senate Bill 225
-- Missouri Municipal League
( Aug 09 2007, 03:59:41 AM CDT )
An Eminent Domain Victory You Might Have Missed
On July 6, 2007, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt vetoed House Bill 327. This bill, amongst other things, would have allowed creation of Regional Railroad Authorities. These agencies or departments would have had the ability to use eminent domain within Missouri and would have been under the control of unelected officials.
In his veto letter, Governor Matt Blunt had this to say [emphasis mine]:
"IV. The bill would create a regional railroad authority giving eminent domain and taxing authority to unelected officials.
"House Bill 327 authorizes local government entities to create a new type of political subdivision called a regional railraod authority. Regional railroad authorities created under this legislation will be directed by unelected officials and granted some degree of eminent domain and taxing powers. This comes at a time when we have been working successfully to end the abuse of eminent domain authority to protect private landowners."
House Bill 327
Read more about eminent domain abuse in Missouri and find out how to sign the petition...
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights
Missouri Eminent Domain Abuse Coalition
( Aug 09 2007, 03:08:13 AM CDT )
Thursday July 12, 2007
Be Glad You Don't Live in Australia
In late June an Australian man was arrested by Australian authorities and charged with "conduct endangering life and firearm offences". His arrest and confiscation of his rifle came after a reported group of three to five men cut the power to his southwest Victoria house, worked their way around it trying to find a way in, then threw rocks through the front window, and finally started forcing the locked front door open. The man reportedly fired a single shot through the door, to protect himself, a woman, and a young girl with him in the home. Since then, none of the reported house-breakers have been arrested. The only arrest has been the home-owner. And apparently, as far as Australia goes, he's in a fair amount of trouble.
This story has been posted on a lot of internet news sites. Some give more information, some less. Here's two for example...
Man Charged For Firing Shot to Scare Off Home Intruders
After having the power cut to your home, a group of men rounding your house testing the windows and doors, throwing rocks through the front window, and finally starting to work on breaking in your front door.. I'd say it's safe to assume those men were not there to make a FedEx™ delivery. Yet, in Australia, the home-owner gets arrested. Well, it's that way in England too, as I understand.
As sad as self-defense rights are in Australia, it is also interesting to read the commentaries on these articles.
A lot of mention is made of the United States and how people here have the right to defend themselves. A lot of mention is also made of how we in the USA can have firearms to defend ourselves as well. Then typically the anti-gun commentors kick in and point out how much lower the "violent death by guns" rate is in Australia compared to... in the USA.
The pro-self-defense and pro-gun commentors then point out how many more times a firearm is used to ~prevent~ crime... in the USA.
To this the anti's point out how "Americanizing" their gun laws would lead to rivers of blood and how they would have the horrendously high gun-deaths numbers like... in the USA.
Someone usually manages to insert a comment about how steeped in the violence of the gun our culture is and how American's will, "sadly", continue to be such a violent people. Often times an additional negative comment is made about the NRA (National Rifle Association)... in the USA.
Pro-gun voices then counter with numbers showing how violent crimes using alternate weapons have shot up in Australia.
Anti's return the counter with numbers on how gun suicides have dropped to almost nothing. (I still don't understand how this point is the counter to the previous one).
Pro-gun commentors next respond that the law-abiding citizens are the only ones being disarmed; the criminals still get guns.
Well, the anti's will reply, that's why more and stricter gun laws and more banning of firearms is needed.
A few more reasonable points are made by a rapidly dwindling group of commentors.
Someone at about this point mentions the cost and time of law enforcement arresting law-abiding citizens for defending themselves against the ever-growing tide of criminals. Meanwhile, real criminals don't get caught or get sentences smaller than the victims who defended themselves.
Before much longer the remaining comments degrade into personal digs at each other by the small handful of remaining comment posters.
But having read through a fair number of comment sections on various outside-the-USA web sites, I'm surprised to find how consistently the chain of comments follows this pattern.
Here's a fairly typical example...
TheWideAwakes.org - I'm ashamed to be an Australian Tonight
A couple of thoughts:
( Jul 12 2007, 05:07:47 AM CDT )
- I never realized we in the USA were "such a violent people".
- Australia is much further along in the process of disarming their citizens than is the United States.
- It seems it is a ~lot~ easier in Australia to get yourself arrested and put in jail for simply defending yourself from a criminal than it is in the USA.
- There's still a number of people in Australia who believe they should have the right to defend themselves, and be able to use a firearm for that purpose if need be. Unfortunately, they are fighting an already-lost battle.
- Anti-gun people in Australia use pretty much the same reasons and "evidence" for gun control/banning as do the anti-gun people in the USA. They seem to stick to a repertoire of statements and will only use certain selected statistics to support gun-bans. They ignore any other statistics presented and instead reply with "so you want blood to run in our streets, you violence promoting mad-man" type responses.
- The NRA is despised even in Australia.
- The debate seems so similar to the one going on here in the USA. The only difference is, they're way ahead of us in the banning of firearms and the controlling of who may, or rather who may not, have a firearm.
- Reading articles like this in TheAustralian.News.com, and more so the comments, makes me wonder if I'm looking through a window to our future.
- And lastly, it makes me realize I'm glad I live here... in the USA.
Saturday June 02, 2007
Why Gun People Always Have A Stockpile of Ammunition
I'm not sure why I've been thinking of this lately, but for some reason it's just been on my mind. No particular recent news article made me think of it. Perhaps it's just there've been so many online, printed, or broadcast stories over the years that it's just sort of stuck to the roof of my brain; a big to-do article comes out about some person's house being searched (many times for reasons unrelated to a weapons offense) and they find "a massive stockpile of ammunition" - which they always confiscate too, by-the-way. They always make it sound like there's something seriously wrong that George Doe had "hundreds of rounds of lethal ammunition". Invariably they quote some bystander or opinionated official who says something along the lines of "there's just no reason anyone could possibly need that much ammunition".
So why do all these people have these "massive stockpiles" of ammunition? The "drive-by media" (I'm starting to like that phrase) make it sound like the person must have been saving it up and hording it for years. What were they possibly going to do with all those deadly rounds of lethal lead? The media typically leaves the reader/listener hanging in suspense on that one, to ponder on their own worst fears of havoc and carnage.
Well let's look at widgets for a moment. You have a set amount of money you earn each month. Widgets cost a certain amount, and like everything else, the price always tends to go up. Fortunately, Widgets stay good and usable for a long time even after you've purchased them if stored properly. The manufacturer makes different types of widgets. There are little ones, medium ones, and big ones. Packaging and labor costs a certain amount and as is often the case, especially with the little ones, it's just not cost-affective to sell fewer than certain quantities per box; the labor and packaging costs more than the manufacturer can charge for the number of widgets in a too-small-a-quantity box. Occasionally there are special sale bargains like buy 2 get one free, or 10% off, and such. There are also price breaks if you buy larger quantities. Lastly, the demand for widgets
is seasonal. Small widgets are popular year-round, but the medium widgets are primarily wanted by widget-consumers in the fall and the large widgets are in big demand in the spring. During the on-season the stores are crowded and mail-order is backed up. During the off-season it's often hard to find the widgets you want or they're only available in limited quantities. Some stores even quit carrying certain widgets completely during the off-season, to reduce their overhead costs and make more room on their shelves for faster moving, currently-in-season products.
So what does the widget consumer do? Knowing that the price will go up yet the widgets will still be good long after they've bought them, the consumer is inclined to buy now. To minimize the headache of shopping in crowded stores and standing forever in long checkout lines during the on-season, they are inclined to buy in quantity. Doing so also gives them the benefit of the price breaks at higher quantities, further inclining them toward buying larger quantities at a time. For those buyers who prefer the smaller widgets available year-round, the manufacturers only sell them in certain minimum quantities, so they end up buying larger amounts regardless, if simply because they have no other smaller purchase option. These consumers don't typically mind however, as the smaller widgets are less expensive and tend to get used up faster anyway. The buyers of the medium and large widgets also know that during the off-season it will be harder to find the widgets they want, and so they are yet again further inclined to buy larger quantities and "set some aside" (store them) for use later.
Now, go back and re-read the above two paragraphs and replace the word "widget" with the word "bullet".
It's actually very easy for even a modest gun owner to accumulate a quantity which meets the pervading media's definition of "a stockpile of ammunition" or a "lethal cache". Small caliber ammunition (like .22 rimfire for example) is typically sold in quantities of 100, 300, or 500 rounds and is rather inexpensive. Find it on sale, let's say a 'buy one get the second for half price' sale, and you can easily walk out with 200 to 1000 rounds of "lethal ammunition" and still have money left over for a BigMac (tm).
Medium caliber ammunition (like 9mm just to name one) is typically sold in cartons of 50, with a price break for 250 and 500 round boxes. Being such a popular round, you can frequently find it on sale somewhere, so again, people easily walk out with a couple cartons or boxes.
Other medium caliber and larger caliber ammunition (like shotgun shells, or hunting rifle shells, or .45ACP, or .357Magnum rounds) typically come in packages of 5, 10, 20 or 25. They are more expensive. Many of them are seasonal. Especially with the seasonal ammunition, people will buy as many of them as they can at a time for the best price they can find. And why not? After all, they keep for years if stored properly, the price is only going to be higher next year, and out-of-season they're harder to find. So... buy now and buy lots while you can.
So what it comes down to is most of the time the "ammo-hoarding gun-nuts" aren't gearing up for doomsday, they're just responding to common buyer economics. They're wisely making spending choices to maximize their purchase for the most equitable expense. Yes, there are a few real nut cases out there who really ~are~ stocking up on ammo for when the brain-sucking aliens invade earth, but the greater majority are just simply spending their money wisely.
( Jun 02 2007, 09:30:57 AM CDT )