In the days following the tragic Sandy Point School shootings I have been absolutely amazed at the numbers of gun owners and prospective gun owners buying up virtually every size, shape and description of guns and ammunition imaginable.
If you wanted to visit a sporting goods store that also sold guns and ammo, you’d have trouble finding even a parking place and if you did, the lines of customers waiting to be served stretched a long way.
In talking with a good number of these customers two or three comments dominated the conversation. First of all, they were buying guns and gear because they were afraid that the government was about to ban guns. Secondly, they were worried about what they perceived to be possible civil unrest in the near future, and thirdly, they were stocking up on ammunition and guns as tough times might happen and a gun and the ability to use it might be a great help in putting food on the table when times got really tough.
It appears that the Connecticut shootings and the Webster, N.Y., shootings have been a catalyst that has set off a gun-buying spree here in the United States, the likes of which I’ve never seen before.
This unprecedented demand for guns and ammunition has caused the prices of guns and ammo to soar and limit selections for buyers. Many hunters that enjoy the shooting sports have found wasting ammo on sports like skeet or even dove hunting is just too costly in today’s world.
In contrast to the huge numbers of gun buyers, some U.S. cities have started sponsoring “gun buy backs,” and there are long lines of gun owners waiting to turn over personally-owned guns to the city police. In return, the buy back programs give $1 for every long gun or hand gun turned in and up to $10 for every “assault rifle” turned over to the local city government to be destroyed. The TV stations relish in showing the long lines of cars (license numbers displayed) waiting so that their owners can have their guns destroyed.
A New York newspaper published the names and addresses of all gun owners who have been issued a concealed carry permit in their area. They’ve even published a map showing the exact location of all the concealed carry holders’ home locations.
I wonder if all these well-meaning citizens are aware that criminals are taking interest in the locations of the newly “gun free” homes and those homes where guns are present.
I was doubly surprised when one Virginia newspaper recently published information about how many legally owned machine guns (fully automatic guns) were registered in that state. Amazingly, there were more than 30,000 legally owned, fully automatic guns registered in Virginia and I wouldn’t be at all surprised it there could be four times that number of “bootleg” machine guns in the state as well.
I wonder how many legally owned, fully automatic weapons we have here in North Carolina.
And, yes, it is possible for any citizen in North Carolina to go through a complicated process of applying for a permit to own a machine gun and even a silencer for that gun. If the local sheriff’s department clears the application to own an automatic weapon, the applicant can then pay fees and purchase a machine gun. The yearly taxes on these guns aren’t cheap and the local authorities keep close tabs on where these guns are and how well they are secured.
The anti-gun forces immediately ask why any U.S. Citizen needs a handgun, a semi-automatic or fully automatic or (horrors of horrors) an “assault rifle.”
The answer is found in the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. It clearly states that, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
There’s not one word in that statement that refers to our right to keep and own guns to hunt or shoot competitive shooting sports.
Our N.C. State Constitution clearly states that every citizen of this state is part of the State Militia. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that it is the right of the individual citizen to keep and own guns.
There are several public shooting ranges located near my home and the amount of shooting activity there has increased dramatically in the last few weeks.
Trips to the range shows that many of these shooters aren’t camo-clad para military types. Most of these folks aren’t even hunters or competitive shooters. They’re average “Joe Six-Packs” who sincerely feel that they are getting prepared for some rough times ahead in America.
Many of these gun owners on the range are new to gun ownership and several are women who feel obligated to do their part at protecting themselves and their property. They’re concerned that no matter how well the local police are trained and dedicated to their duty, these public servants can’t always be there to help until it’s too late.
It’s surprising that one of the most popular guns flying off the shelves of dealers is not a high power, centerfire rifle or shotgun. The gun of choice for many of today’s buyers is a basic 22 rimfire. The reasons I hear from gun buyers for stocking up on the 22 rimfire guns and ammunition also is surprising.
Not only are the guns and ammunition relatively inexpensive but also they’re lightweight and easy to hide from a mandatory government take-over or from thieves. I was amazed at just how effective the buyers consider this 22 rimfire cartridge to be.
Much to the consternation of many deer hunters, our state allows the 22 rimfire to be used when hunting whitetail deer.
They feel that this little cartridge is simply too small to effectively kill a mature deer.
“Not so,” replied many hunters and they referred me to a popular website that has to do with the testing of guns. I found the actual testing of the 22 long rifle cartridge rendered some startling results.
Consider that there are many variations of the 22 LR rifle cartridge. Not all of these are suited to be used for deer hunting but the ones that are showed up pretty well in the field test conducted on Facebook.
In the actual test, the shooters used the CCI 22 LR Velocitor cartridge in a Ruger 10-22 rifle. This particular 22 LR cartridge drives a 40-grain, copper plated, lead, hollow pointed bullet at 1435 FPS.
The test target was a slightly frozen, boneless beef roast four inches thick. The target was prepared by wrapping it in 16 layers of denim cloth and setting it up at 300 yards from the shooter.
Once the shooter zeroed in on the target and fired several test rounds at the beef roast he examined the target to see just how much tissue damage was done to the beef roast. Much to his amazement the little 40 grain bullet went completely through 16 layers of denim and the four-inch roast. Tissue damage was impressive and left no doubt that a deer could be taken at 300 yards with this 22 cartridge (provided the hunter can place the bullet in the deer’s vitals).
If you want to purchase some of this ammo, you’ll likely find that it is a scarce item. I visited eight gun dealers and finally, after a long wait in line, found a limited supply at the Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston. The store allowed buyers to purchase no more than five boxes of any kind of ammunition at any one time. The demand for guns and ammo was that high.