By Dan Shea
I’d like to welcome our readers from Modern Day Marine and the AUSA Shows, as well as MSPO Poland. To make a tangential quote of the ancient Chinese curse: “We live in interesting times.” As I write this, the Russians have just pulled back in Georgia – not back from the two sections of Georgia that they invaded, just stopped at the edge. Numerous countries, including the US, rattled the political rhetoric and Russia basically ignored them. Meanwhile, in the old Soviet stomping grounds next door in Afghanistan, it is heating up, and Iraq seems to be cooling down a bit, the current policies appear to be doing their job. Al-Qaeda is threatening Pakistan, among other places, and we’re facing more disruption around the world. Who knows what will have transpired in the weeks between now and you reading this. The only thing that I know for sure is that conflicts are not all of a sudden going to stop happening, and the US military and our allies are bound to be having daily surprises and changes in direction. I don’t see any lull in the action out there, just a change in locations.
Small Arms Review would like to thank the men and women in our armed forces and the associated agencies for standing tall and making the sacrifices necessary to make this world safer. It’s a tough and frequently thankless job, since the majority of Americans don’t feel a real connection with those on the line unless they have a direct familial exposure. I blame our general media for blurring that normal chain of national involvement.
On the home front, a major victory was had for Freedom in that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as an individual Right. As predicted here, they said: “reasonable restrictions apply” and now, well now, the fun starts. I anticipate twenty years of courts and advocates on both sides of the issue parsing “reasonable restrictions.” Inside this issue you will find more analysis, but I personally don’t see any major sea-changes today or tomorrow. Everything we win for our Rights, will be worked for. It’s going to take time and money, and proper planning. The right cases need to be backed and tried, as in the Heller case that led to this landmark decision.
Also as I write this, we are in the middle of the normal mid-summer slump in Class 3 sales; happens every year. Every year since the advent of the Internet, people start questioning the drop in sales of Class 3. That’s all normal. On the other hand, there seems to be a leveling of the prices on many machine guns that had large increases in perceived value, and some of the entry level guns have experienced a drop in prices. I believe this is due to the natural effects of credit shortening – lots of buyers used their credit cards or massively increased value on their homes to access high priced machine guns, and with the collapse of home values putting the screws to many people’s home credit lines, as well as some negativity in the economy, and lost jobs, well, there you have it. I don’t expect to see wholesale drops in values of good pieces, but please remember that all along this author has been counseling that these are not an “investment,” they are “speculating,” and you should be buying these items if you want them and can afford them. An increase in value is a bonus for the collector/shooter, not the point of the exercise. There are rises and falls in prices in any collectable market, due to many factors as simple as the seasonal changes, and as complex as “The Madness of Crowds.” I still hold with my thoughts – if you want it and can afford it, buy it. If the kids need shoes, sell it or get a second job to support your MG habit. – Dan
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V12N1 (October 2008)