I got an email today from a lifelong family friend who I’ve recently been introducing to shooting, in part sparked by his confessed ignorance about guns, their operation and role in society. I’ve managed to get him and his wife hooked, but received an email today scheduling another shooting trip, and lamenting, in part:
I have to admit I’m feeling a bit frustrated by the fact that we seem to have chosen the worst possible time to get into this hobby. Even after we’ve decided for sure what gun we want to buy, it sounds like it might take some time to actually find one. And then, from what I hear, we’ll have nothing to shoot with it.
I sympathize. But what strikes me is that nothing inherent to us sparked the first trip to the range that was the catalyst to this process. It was not that I was suddenly more capable of hosting guests at the range or they were suddenly more available. It was the “national discussion” about guns that’s been going on since November about firearms and their place in our culture that pushed us in to finally going shooting together. Although on the micro scale it is unfortunate that it is a terrible time to get in to shooting, it is because, on the macro scale, there are thousands of new gun owners being minted every day.
It’s not just the “old guard” gun owners, which I guess includes me now, buying up all the guns and ammo. It’s the silent majority suddenly feeling the water in the pot start to boil and realizing they might should exercise their gun rights before they are stripped away. This may seem like a bad time to get in to guns, but people rarely get in to guns in good times.
The ideal scenario I hear from people complaining about the shortage is they had wished they’d done this a year ago, but the fact of the matter is that we all had better things to be doing a year ago than going out and learning to shoot (for those just starting) or taking our friends to the range and evangelizing (for those of us old hands).
Is this cold comfort for those, like my friends who are unable to come by a humble Glock to start shooting, coming from a guy sitting fat and happy on his stockpiles of reloading supplies? Sure. Is the shortage of everything gun-related significant of a new birth of freedom that will hopefully sway this nation to be more hesitant to so eagerly give up rights we can never regain? I can only hope.
And it could always be worse. As my friend concluded in his email:
On the other hand, I do feel fortunate that I happen to be in North Carolina, rather than somewhere like Colorado or Maryland. So there’s that.