Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays

I've been traveling, and find that when I'm with family and friends out of town, I don't have a lot of time to sit down and post blog entries.

One thing I did while I was in Tucson, AZ was visit a gun show. What makes this interesting for me is that I am able to compare this show with shows that I attended a few years ago. Seeing as how I've been away from Tucson for that long, I was granted a unique opportunity to observe first hand the changes that our new administration is wreaking on the firearms industry.

Tucson isn't known for having a show every weekend like Dallas. While I saw advertisements for another show in mid-January, typically you see shows in Tucson about 4 or 5 times a year.

So I grabbed my father, who also enjoys shooting and carrying firearms, and a good buddy of mine who has been working with me on various shooting techniques he learned the hard way and we headed down to the show. I intentionally arrived just as the show opened, as I've seen here in Dallas just how nasty things have been getting.

I was very impressed. Tucson, where I have never seen a line to get in to any show had a line that was well over 100 yards long to get in. And this to one of the smaller shows I had been to. Luckily, my father noticed that people were all waiting in line for one ticket booth - another was open right next to the first without a single person waiting. After dispelling a whispered rumor in the long line that you had to be in that line to get a firearm zip tied, we proceeded right into the show.

I was shocked at the dearth of actual guns for sale. Racks that in previous years always held a few good battle rifles, tables full of AR uppers and lowers and accessories, palettes of ammunition - all pretty much absent. I noticed a fair number of Mosin Nagants and their like, but not a *single* M1A was in evidence. I did notice one, and I mean one, Garand (it was actually a beautiful example of the species and not unfairly priced - if I had had the money I would have bought it). I did see a few AR uppers here and there, but in all reality - most of what was around, with the exception of hand guns, was junk.

I saw one real ammo dealer, and it looked like he was selling gold bullion to Wall Street investors - his table was jam packed with people buying everything they had.

After grabbing some plinking ammo to shoot with my buddy while I was in town (I drove my lovely M4 clone out there with me as a treat) we left. We had been inside a couple of hours, and came out to guessed it - a line 100 yards long waiting to pay to get in. And of course, with BAA sounds in my mind, the second ticket booth was still empty. I took pity on the line folks and mentioned the red-headed ticket booth a few times as I walked beside it on the way to the car.

Nothing has happened yet. As Vanderboegh has mentioned, the crush is on, and we haven't even had pending legislation mentioned yet. I do believe that there are a fair number of first time buyers running around out there (a friend at work whom I have been attempting to introduce to shooting told me today he's "heard some things" and wants to buy a gun very soon), but certainly not the press of blind sheep that will surely come when the Messiah takes office and the legislation starts flying. The worst part - rifles and ammunition are already running very low. There are little spurts of bulk ammunition popping up here and there, and if you're savvy, you can still hit a show and find a lovely Patriot Ordnance Upper for MSRP (and by the way, that price hasn't budged by much for the last year or so that I've seen), but in reality, I agree that the crush is coming. The panic will start.

As with the Clintons, I think we can likely thank the Libs for promoting firearms, and especially "assault weapon" (man I hate that term) proliferation, but I cringe to think of the final buying panic when the first couple of bans are suggested on the floor of the House or Senate.

Have you gotten enough ammo to hold out for a while yet? Why not?

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