Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sardines in the Civic Center: Obama Packs the Gun Show


I witnessed more anecdotal evidence, if any were needed, that the Great Obama Gun Rush is still on. The Great Southern Gun and Knife Show came to the Birmingham Civic Center today and unprecedented long lines and packed-like-sardines aisles announced that skeptical Americans are still voting with their wallets.

More unbelievable was the fact that these crowds were here in spite of the Annual Alabama Religious Festival known as the Alabama-Auburn game, aka "The Iron Bowl." As the number of Alabama fans added to the number of Auburn fans equals the entire population of the state less a few hundred unassimilated transplanted Yankees and a few hundred thousand illegals sitting at home watching Telemundo, something very odd is going on. When Alabamians risk their football time for mere economic transactions, something very, very unusual is happening.

The lines formed up almost an hour before the show opened at 9. We got there at 9:30 and it took us until almost ten to get in. Greatest throngs were around the ammo and reloading supplies tables and the black rifle and AK sellers. Met a group of four guys walking out the door carrying a half dozen 7.62x39 weapons. They were also burdened with AK and SKS 30 round mags. I asked if they had been selling or buying. Buying, I was told, and they had to take this plunder to the car, so they could come back for their ammo. Ten cases of it. From overheard snatches of conversation, it sounded like they were provisioning a new militia unit, but I did not pry as they seemed rather, well, shy.

Chats with dealers who were backed up running background checks revealed that many purchasers were first-timers. I was called upon to give advice to several individuals or groups of newbies. I was happy to oblige.

All anecdotal evidence suggests that Obama will far outstrip Clinton as an unintended marketer of firearms. The question is, will the Obamanoids get the message that their skeptical fellow citizens are sending them much as the Clintonistas eventually did in the 1990s? These firearms are not being bought just to hand over to the authorities when it later seems convenient to the administration. This story has just begun. It will prove to be perhaps the greatest chapter in the long history of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

They Obama transition team may not be paying a whole lot of attention to this phenomenon yet, but rest assured the analysts in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover Building and that new shiny monument to Elliott Ness are following every little uptick in the firearms market.

And it's not even a "panic" yet. ;-)


tom said...

Not to "burst a bubble" BUT:

"Panic Buyers" are the least likely to be of any use to any of us, excepting a very small small minority.

It's like the Y2K thing, all these yuppies were having electricians over and generators installed and when nothing happened right away, they forgot all about it and many sold the generators. The ones that didn't likely don't keep diesel in the tanks and start them up once in a while and the batteries are likely flat.

We are who we are.

The "Panic Buyers" will never be more than the exact people that will buy firearms just to turn them back in.

I actually had a c***s*cker today tell me my views were dangerous at the range. I pointed out that there would be no ranges if there weren't people with "dangerous and interesting", as they worded it, viewpoints.

Anonymous said...


There is no bubble to be burst. While I'm certain that some of those would turn them in and that few of the newbies will prove to be "of any use," the fact of the matter is that the sheer numbers involved become daunting to those within the federal government tasked to study the situation.

Clausewitz famously said that "in military affairs, quantity has a quality all its own."

The increased purchases, as they spiral up as they did in the 90s, become both a military fact and a policy uncertainty for those who would oppress us.

In addition, for those first-time buyers who go on to get marksmanship training, their increased competence is a confidence builder that translates into a more aware armed citizen. This in itself, even though it may represent a decided minority of the purchasers, is bad news for the confiscationists.

We are still a minority, us three percenters, but we will be a larger minority from day to day as this process plays out. This is discomfitting to the prohibitionists.

Anonymous said...

I saw the same thing up here in Michigan yesterday in "Birch Run" gun show. For Michigan standards, it's one of the biggeste gun shows, and it was packed to the transom in people, all buying mostly military look-a-like rifles, accessories, and ammunition. This one started on Friday, and from what I was told, yesterday's crowd was "much more reasonable". I found it to be a very crowded affair.

I took an old Mini-14 with me on my shoulder to sell and translate into other necessary items of the 7.62X51mm kind. I was half way down the first aisle before I got the first offer. Too low. Next aisle, second offer..still too low. Sold it on the 4th aisle at a reasonable price. Took all of 20minutes. That is highly unususal here.

I saw anxiety in a lot of faces. I saw a lot of people buying up web gear (cheap crap, too...); I saw one man walking with an AK clone on his shoulder for $500; $100 8mm Mausers were going for an average of $200 (devaluation of the dollar is showing I think).

The only thought I had watching this as I perused the ammo tables was, "If the SHTF (civil unrest brought on by economic meltdown), man, is there going to be one hell of a fire fight in the cities!" It made me very glad that I have well-trained companions.


Johnny said...

It certainly is a fundamental problem for the prohibitionists: the more guns there are they have to take in and destroy, the more costly it is to do it. Since they will simply print money that's not really the issue but it does mean it will require more manpower resources to effect. Plus it automatically multiplies the incidences of JBTs killing civilians, including the inevitable cases where JBTs kill bystanders and those attempting, or intending to, comply with the law. However the MSM spins it, a body count demonstrably as a consequence of Government action is still going to look bad.

There really is safety in numbers, even if it's simply the case that the attackers are too busy killing someone else to be killing you. And, in the case of the (I'm sure for the purposes of this public discussion hypothetical) three percenters it can become the case that the JBTs are busy with the wrong target while the three percenters are busy fighting back.

Atlas Shrug said...

In addition to the quantity/quality perspective, other aspects are of interest to those of us who've been paying attention a bit longer than the recent late-to-the-party yuppies.

I wrote this to a buddy in a recent exchange discussing our own observations of gun show mania.

While most of these current buyers aren't doing much/any training, what they are doing is getting a large supply of good material into the free market. When/if such things get hard to acquire, they may unload them if they aren't going to use them personally. Thus those who will use them have a potential resupply source.

One other thing these useful idiots are doing is to muddy the waters. They provide cover of sorts for the more serious types, as there is so much more noise in the market. It's harder to separate the serious folks from the bravado BSers right now. I like that.

Thus I realize that most of the activity of late may not contribute directly to any "III" type preparations. Our numbers may not be growing much, if any. Perhaps they don't need too - time will tell on that. What is clear is that some cold water has hit some faces - openly and nationally, and perhaps the number of those who think they are doing enough to defend their gun rights because they pay $35 a year to the NRA will dwindle. If nothing else, I think the issues are more stark now and are being redefined more along the lines of actual civil rights rather than arcane political points. One can hope so, anyway.

Anonymous said...

>>"Panic Buyers" are the least likely to be of any use to any of us

Nonsense. Every one of them has utility. The Y2K yuppies were specifically mentioned - I agree that they didn't become 'hardcore' survivalists, but they did manage to mainstream survivalism to a degree within the general populace.

These new gun owner may not become die-hard gun owners but the more mainstream gun owning becomes, the better. I want more guns owned by responsible folks. I want those folks to consider their responsibilities as both gun owners and as citizens. I want them to consider possibilities and scenarios, how cops may not get there in time and what to do if the SHTF. I want them thinking about the security and sanctity of their own homes and families, and how they themselves can accomplish that rather than the cops or a cheap alarm system.

Nothing quite does that like owning a gun for the first time.

Anonymous said...

As someone else mentioned, I appreciate the "panic buyers" as they provide a distraction from my purchases. With the high volume of sales at the shows, no one takes notice when I buy 200.00 worth of ammo.