By John Brown
I remember attending a gun show in September of 2008 and seeing a Colt AR on the table for a healthy $1,250. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Prices on these guns are just out of sight.” I attended the same show in December and that rifle was now $2,000. We all know what has happened. We have new leadership in our great country and the political winds are blowing in a direction of uncertainty. We all think we know what is coming but the plain simple truth is we have no idea what is really on the horizon. That fear of the unknown has fueled the fires of both buying and selling and the result is apparent in every haven across the country where guns and ammunition are being sold. Walk up to any location where a gun show opens in an hour, or any gun shop on a Friday night and you’ll be in for quite a surprise. I watched during a weekend this past February where at a single medium size gun show two entire tractor trailer loads of ammunition sold in less than 48 hours – at staggering prices. When I asked one of the guys who had just purchased half a pallet of ammo, “What’s the big rush?” his response was, “I do a lot of target shooting and I am afraid I won’t be able to get my ammo at these level of prices for long.” The comment left me speechless and it kicked in a fear I wasn’t ready to deal with. Should I be doing the same thing? All of a sudden I felt like I was standing in front of the toilet paper section of the grocery store and someone had just told me that there might soon be a paper shortage.
The point is simple: we have no idea what is coming and every single one of us is moving on speculation, or even worse, rumor. I have heard rumors on everything from the need of the Democratic Party to reinstate the Assault Weapons ban to a new excise tax on ammunition sales. The wind is full of speculation and rumor and it is hard to know fact from fiction. Some of my best friends have asked me questions concerning NFA and regular firearms regulations that have left me speechless. Where in the world do all of these rumors come from? No one really knows, but we all know it is hard to believe most of what we hear. If you follow the logic that you can’t believe half of what you see then log on to any of the discussion boards and look for yourself. The stories and the rumors posted by anonymous internet sleuths are mind boggling. As a result of all of this speculation the law of supply and demand has gone through the roof. There is nothing like a changing political climate to boost sales; and unfortunately pricing.
How do you separate fact from fiction and find out what is really happening? The answer is simple and it has been right there in front of you for a long time. Today there are several large organizations that are actively digging in and working to defend your rights, let alone the second amendment. Start with the NRA and their history in being there when you need them. Then consider the fact that the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Firearms Trade and Collectors Association, and the FAIR groups were all formed to work on your behalf in the firearms community. Unfortunately, many of you don’t participate in these organizations to join the forces that support all of our rights. These organizations today represent the foundations that work with our government to define the laws that are in place. All of these organizations represent the facts and the real information that we can depend on to separate truth from rumor. Membership represents strength in numbers and representation does make the difference. In the face of some of the worst disasters this great country has ever seen we know from experience that banding together works to make the right things happen. On 9/11 and during Katrina it was the strength of the public that made the difference between failure and success in dealing with disaster, not the government. And you still wonder if you should join?
I find it mind boggling that someone complains to me about the cost of any of these memberships but in the same day throws down unlimited amounts of cash to buy a firearm that costs anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 simply because they are afraid that they won’t be able to purchase that firearm with a new administration. Ask yourself this question: “How will you protect yourself, and how will you really know what is happening unless you are connected to an organization that is looking after your best interests?” The answer is simple. You will be left with reading the internet blogs, or worse, a newspaper that seems to never provide the facts. Instead of speculation, why not go after the truth and find out what you can do to support what seems to be the next disaster that may affect us all. As the President of the NFATCA, I would obviously like to see you smack down the green and join our efforts to support the NFA industry. But the plain truth of the matter is I would like to see everyone get off their duff and join any appropriate organization where you can stay better informed and do the work to protect your investment and your future in this sport.
I have said this many times before and I will remind every reader that, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” History has proven over and over again that strength in numbers supports any cause. The future is truly in your hands and how you support what the organizations do to protect you. Sitting on the sidelines is not the answer, nor is waiting for the next ruling to see just how bad things can get. If you don’t believe in joining, then show your support for your rights and make a contribution to our cause. Many of the trade organizations are 501(C)(3) corporations and the donation is tax deductible. Don’t wait any longer: get on the inside track and support the efforts that we all so adamantly believe in. Stop the rumors and the speculation and help make a difference. It is true that government by the people, for the people, is the key to success. Only you can make the difference. Otherwise, sit back, wait and don’t complain when you are left with whatever comes our way simply because you still think our efforts will never make a difference. You have never been so wrong.
You can make a difference, but only if you make yourself heard. Stand up today and support us in whatever method you think works for the betterment of the industry. Do anything, but most importantly, do something.
It will be a busy year for every one of us and we look forward to your continued support for the entire community. Come join us and make a difference with your knowledge, expertise and much needed experience. Contact us at www.nfatca.org for more information.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V12N9 (June 2009)|