Covid-19 And The Gun Industry
No toilet paper, no ammo
I write this to share my most recent experience at my local gun store. An experience which many gun store owners and employees run into every day.
I myself have seen and heard and even helped first time gun buyers at gun shows or at gun stores and have offered advice to every single one of my friends who have asked.
In fact, in the past week I have answered numerous phone calls and texts from those close to me looking to buy a handgun, rifle, and ammunition.
If you are one of those who have reached out, this is not a blog meant to put anyone down, rather to uplift and inform everyone so that they may have a more broad understanding of what so many American experience daily.
The Coronavirus, regardless of its origin, is something that affects the entire world.
From nurses to cashiers we all must work hard to keep things in order. For law enforcement and first responders whose staff has, on the most part, been short handed we must understand that this virus will push to test themselves.
Yes, the media may evoke fear at times which I will discuss later, however, it is the responsibility of every single human being to not only care for their loved ones but understand that we are all connected and this idea should create mutual respect for the survival of our race, the human race.
As stores begin to become situated from the shortage of goods, we must understand that everyone is affected. As gun stores also begin to suffer shortages of ammunition and firearms, we must again understand their feelings and beliefs.
Scared, but not alone
My story begins on Thursday afternoon at my local gun store.
I frequent this store often and stock them regularly. My workload has been increased due to large demand and this day I was in early as I passed a large line of customers waiting to come in.
The first person in line is a grandmother of 3 grandchildren. She enters the store and explains to an associate that she needs a firearm for protection because the world is going crazy and she needs to protect herself.
She went on to explain that she has never fired a handgun but grew up shooting rifles. She wanted to know what she could take home today and wanted something cheap.
I am paraphrasing as best I can, but these words are mostly hers. The associate first began explaining the process of purchasing a firearm and that she would need to pick up whatever she decided on in 10 days.
He went on to recommend a 9mm rifle, showing her how to use and operate it. He then showed her a S&W SD9VE and also showed her how to operate the pistol.
After all this she picked up the handgun and tried to replicate what she was shown but was unsuccessful. The associate again calmly and nicely explained the same process in which she tried again.
She felt defeated but the associate assured her and continued to help her.
Her movements and actions showed how scared she was to be in the store, how uncomfortable she was to be around a firearm, but at the end of the day and after all of her life experience, the current social situation pushed her to come in and buy a firearm for protection.
This store is one that, like I mentioned, is shared weekly among gun stores, however in recent times these occurrences are happening every minute of the day.
The media is a part of our culture that has a great impact on our lives.
Big or small, good or bad, the media is here to stay. Some may listen and take it to heart and truth while other listen to it and do their own research. One thing is for sure, our current situation has, in part, been influenced largely by the media.
Chinese stories of uprising to silence from the corona virus has circulated the media for months. The images and videos we have experienced showed their pain and loss as well as struck up ideas of conspiracy.
These images have been weaponized in some respect to scare buyers into prepping as the virus progressed and made its way into the United States.
Social media and the like portrayed and placed blame in numerous areas from political to regional, but the fact remained that the virus would soon affect our nation.
Could the USA simply have portrayed an image of calmness and recommend we stock up on goods and prepare for what may come? Yes.
Did the media show the panic and numbers of death as a certain end to life, yes.
So many avenues that could have been taken, but humans we hold in our nature the god given attribute of free will.
We cannot blame the media entirely but must know if we are not educated or have an outlet for education, we will be left to follow the masses. As we have seen with the panic buying that has left so many unarmed and with no toilet paper.
Though I am a firm believer in preparation, most American will never be prepared enough. It is said that the average American uses about 1.5 rolls of toilet paper a week.
Though I am proud to say I am above average, one pack of toilet paper should last a few weeks. As an American we live with the reality that most of us live paycheck to paycheck and that our refrigerator and cupboards are filled with things we will be using soon.
Fast food also may have provided us a resource to not stock as much. All these attributes paired with honest reporting from the media has sent citizens in a panic to buy more and hoard.
Fights have broken out in stores and homes have been robbed for supplies. Individuals are living in fear of not only a virus but other human beings who may want what they have.
As mentioned before, many of us live paycheck to paycheck.
This is not a trait we must judge others on, but we as individuals must be educated and prepared for our own wellbeing.
Many gun advocates have been saying this for years. Many of these same advocates are still saying it now. It is a hope that I share with these folks that after this panic has come to pass that we all remember.
When times are tough, and the world is changing so must we. When help is not there, we must be able to defend ourselves. First time gun buyers take note, anti-gunners take note
First time gun buyers
I mentioned in the beginning of this blog a store of some outstanding customer service from my local gun store.
The employee’s tolerance and ability to maintain composure is what we as humans and American citizens must replicate and share with those who are new to guns.
Just yesterday I spoke with a friend who is still to this day terrified of guns, but he told me he had just bought a M&P Shield.
His reason was his fists could only do so much and the world is becoming more dangerous.
Now whether that is true or not I cannot say with certainty, but I respect his respect for a firearm and his ability to protect his family should the need arise.
He, like the woman in my story, does not have a familiarity with guns. I take it upon myself to provide as much education and advice to resources as I can.
Where to train, who to talk to, gear, how to carry, what to carry in and anything else that may come up.
As a first-time gun buyer, he was surprised by the amount of paperwork and background checks and waiting period that exists in California.
They both believed they could just walk in and leave with a gun. This is partly their own, but some fault lies within the media. I can understand that their ideas are researched, but experience plays a big role in that.
I am happy to state that their experiences are more pleasing when it comes to guns as those around them helped them in a manner that was calm and understanding. At the end of the day they want to stay safe and protect themselves and their family the same as anyone else. If you are new to firearms there are several videos and outlets to research.
That would be my first piece of advice. Second, ask your friends who own a gun their experiences and where they may recommend going. Perhaps even have them go with you. I can one hundred percent see how buying a gun may be intimidating, but in life we become stronger by overcoming adversity.
The Future of Gun Laws
The fact of the matter at hand is that this will pass.
The virus will slow, or a vaccine will be developed to combat the virus. Life will once again resemble what it was in time.
These new gun owners who may have been anti-gun could be the vote we need to win some rights back in our nation. I, being from California, hope this to be true.
The future of Gun Laws is in our hands and what better way to vote then with knowledge and experience. In life we are tested daily. Make sure to study and take all the tools needed to pass.
May it be toilet paper or a handgun, good luck out there and stay safe.