One of our local-ish TV stations* KCOY ran a fascinating story the other day:
GROVER BEACH - As handgun sales continue to rise the supply of the bullets that go in them keeps falling.
Grover Beach gun shop owner Lee Schlitz [the gun-seller that made SLO famous!] says he's never seen anything like it.
"9 millimeter, 45 auto, 38 special, 357 magnum, 380 automatic, 25 automatic, anything basically that goes in a small handgun is hard to get right now," Schlitz says, "they are basically buying anything and everything that they can get their hands on."
Not to be the grammar police--especially since the grammar police carry nothing more frightening than a red pencil--but what is the antecedent for "they"? That's mighty important to know. If "they" is my neighbor, like, say, the guy with the sign "Asshole's Garage" on his garage door and the "I'm the NRA and I vote" permanent lawn sign up, I might like to know. Or move.
Schlitz says there's only a few boxes of bullets remaining on his shelves.
Geez, this empty shelf thing is just like Russia before it fell and was no longer Communist. But we're about to be Communist. Therefore, having food is socialism.
He says people are stockpiling ammo mostly out of fear and rumor that the Obama Administration will tighten gun control laws.
"The fear that it is going to happen is out there but nothing really is happening," Schlitz says, "people are over-reacting, that's my honest feeling, you know we're totally over-reacting to the situation and almost creating this problem ourselves."
Luckily, they can shoot their way out of any problem, I guess.
"It's one of my fears," says Army veteran and gun enthusiast Timothy Krynak, "I do not like the fact that there is even rumors about the Constitution being amended to take away our rights."
That the Constitution might be amended to take away other people's rights, well, he had no comment on that. (If we take away their right to marry, will only the gays have guns? Discuss.)
Krynak says the stockpiling is driving up the price of ammunition.
"I know of at least 7 or 8 individuals in Santa Maria alone that have well over 20,000 rounds in their garage because of the ammo shortage," Krynak claims, "when they find it they buy it."
So there's not really a shortage of ammo, it's just that it's mis-distributed. Perhaps the problem is that maybe 1% of the households hold 38% of the ammo. If we could only spread the ammo....
Krynak says he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and would regularly go to an indoor shooting range to relieve stress. Now he says he's given up competitive shooting and sold some of his weapons because he can't afford it.
"You're talking 25 bucks for low-end ammo for 20 rounds," Krynak says, "it's ridiculous."
One, I get a stress disorder thinking that people with PTSD believe the best way to let off a little steam is to shoot things. Two, sold off some of his weapons? How many does a man need? Three, "low-end ammo"--I'm assuming that doesn't go as far, or gets bought from Acme if the Coyote passed on it? Four, it is ridiculous.
While handgun sales have gone up there's been no noticeable increase in requests for concealed weapons permits in either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties.
Probably because it's hard to ask for a permit from the person wielding a gun. "Permits, we don't need no stinking permits. But can we bum a bullet or two? We need more margin for error if our aim isn't true."
*Don't get me started on what Direct TV thinks is local. Los Angeles TV stations, which often provide very useful news for Santa Barbarans, for example if fires happen, are NOT local, or so we are told. But Los Angeles sports teams ARE local, so they get blacked out. Makes sense to me.
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