It was one of my co-workers speaking, a man some years ex-military, politically conservative, the kind of guy whose neighbors probably figured already had a gun.
Technically they were right; he'd bought a shotgun the previous month, figuring if the bans came down he'd at least have something. He'd certainly been talking about buying a handgun for a couple of years. As the weeks rolled by and the antis grew more strident, he'd called his Senators and even his Representative (at least for the record, his man in the House being Andre Carson, who is rather more the President's man) and was considering applying for a carry permit,* at which point he was going to need something to carry.
I'd advised starting with a .22; sure, he'd shot a Beretta 92 in the service, but that was years ago. A good .22 handgun is cheaper to shoot, less likely to inculcate a flinch in the self-taught shooter and there's a ready market for them when it's time to move up. But they're marginal at best for self-defense and by the time my co-worker went to buy a gun, the gun store shelves were getting pretty bare: ammo, guns, all in small and dwindling supply. Selling faster than supply. He figured now was the time, and bought a name-brand polymer handgun in a grown-up caliber.
So far, so good; he's a pretty big guy and plenty strong, with previous experience so his muscles know what to expect in the way of recoil. Given the givens, it's a suitable choice.
...Except for one thing: he may not get much of a chance to shoot it. While the store did still have some selection of good quality handguns, when it came to handgun ammo in popular calibers, the shelves were bare. The range from .380 to .45ACP was empty. If this goes on, collectors like Tam and to a lesser extent me will still have 7.62 Nagant, .32SWL, .38S&W or .44 Russian (etc.) for self-defense, but the guy with a shiny new 9 or a .45 might be scramblin' until the supply catches up to demand.
There are problems with that. Issues of self-defense aside. a guy with a Glock collecting lint in his sock drawer is not as apt to be politically engaged and he's certainly not in class at the range, learning good habits and marksmanship.
Do what you can. If you've got plenty saved back, spare a box for new shooters. If you can find the time, help new shooters at the range. Teach good gun-handling -- and where to look up the name of Congresscritters.
We're getting an influx of new shooters. Let's make sure they stay. We need their voices and their votes. I believe it's better to have plenty of allies than more ammo stockpiled than I can shoot in a year. You can only shoot each round once, but people vote year after year.
Want to keep your guns? Share your ammo. Be a friend.
* Indiana's is the License To Carry Handgun, a shall-issue permit. There is no requirement to conceal and no provision for open-carry without a permit: if you want to carry a loaded handgun in Indiana, you need a permit. Already have one from your state? Then you're good here; our State legislature understands the "full faith and credence" clause.
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