2A: Lessons from the COVID-19 Shutdown

20200104_114811My last post was about staying safe in the current situation with coronavirus and the shutdowns and all of the panicked buying going on, supply shortages, etc. As this thing is affecting all of us, I had hoped to assuage my beloved reader’s thoughts. This time around, I am looking at a specific action being taken by many, and thinking in terms of positives and negatives. And a little bit of advice from an old guy.

No one saw it coming. No one could have predicted the extent of the damage done to the economy. The response to the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, caused people to suddenly realize that they might need to stay put at home for an extended period of time. One thing we Americans can always be counted on for is this; if there is a crisis, real or imagined, we will empty store shelves of bottled water and toilet paper.

Going against government advice, I have been out every day. I have several projects going on at home and have been using the time off to get things done. My trip to the local big-box home improvement store was strange. The city had passed an ordinance that no more than 125 people could be inside of the building at any one moment. So there as a line of (more than 125) people standing outside of the only open entrance/exit, and as one person would walk out they would allow another person to go in. This is a perfect example of the old political plan of “do something, even if it’s wrong and won’t help!” The politicians are being quite brazen as they violate our natural rights. Where I live, I could be arrested if I decide to have a barbeque and more than ten people show up. Not that I ever invite people over to eat my food, that doesn’t happen, but if I wanted to I would. If the Police came out to arrest me, I would throw one of the guests over the fence.

On the subject of natural rights, I read a few interesting articles over the past few days about how there has been a surge in gun sales and ammunition. And not from the gun community either; this is a surge in first-time gun buyers. People were suddenly and acutely aware that relying on the government to protect your life, the lives of your loved ones, and your property from those with ill intent was probably and demonstrably a bad plan. They had a new view, one protected by the 2nd Amendment; we are responsible for our own safety, and we have a right to have access to the tools for the job.

I applaud this! But, there are a few things that have to be said. Being able to keep your home safe takes more than just buying a gun and some ammo, especially if you are new to this. The first step, preferably before purchase (but I can forgive you this because there is a crisis going on), take a class on gun safety. You defeat the purpose of the purchase if you get your brand new gun home and you start playing with it and blow your damn head off. Guns are not toys, they are a tool. You also need to go to the range and put in some practice time. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss this in detail, I’m not doing anything right now.

What really struck me was the attempts to purchase a gun in the anti-gun states. There are finding out first-hand about waiting period, permits to even own a gun, restrictions on what guns you are allowed to have, what capacity is legal, there are even restrictions on the type of ammunition you are allowed to own. Some anti-gun states made hollowpoint ammunition illegal to own or carry EVEN THOUGH those harmless lovable little round-nose range ammunition will punch through the bad guy and keep right on flying, whereas the hollowpoint is designed to expand and slow down.

People are finding out that all of these gun laws don’t do anything to stop criminals, only people who follow the law. I do wonder if it will be enough to bring the people to vote for a change. Typically, once a society gives up a right, they will not get it back. Time will tell.

I don’t believe that this crisis will go on much longer. Things will start to get back to normal, although I’m not entirely sure that stores will ever have toilet paper and bottled water again. Those of you new to the gun community, remember, like karate, guns are for defense only. If you are at the big-box store and tempers start to flare over toilet paper – leave. Let’s all be nice to each other, and before long this will be just a memory.