Time to Buy a Gun?

by James A. Bacon

I’ve never owned a gun. The last time I shot a rifle, using a 22 for target practice, was about 55 years ago when I was a kid. Guns always made me nervous. I don’t hunt — I don’t like killing animals. Besides, I felt I was far more likely to accidentally shoot my foot off than ever need a weapon for self defense. Now I’m reconsidering.

Apparently, a lot of other Virginians are, too. Virginia gun sales set a record in June, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Estimated firearms sales, based on mandatory criminal background checks, reached 81,204. That’s a 157% increase over the number of transactions in June last year.

Much of the traffic is driven by gun owners stocking up on more weaponry. But Joshua Jennings, owner of Guns, Gear & Ammo in the Danville-Martinsville area estimates that one in ten are first-time buyers. “We’ve had some unusual buys, and what I mean by that is buyers who ordinarily would not statistically be likely to enter a gun store.”

“Civil unrest, rioting, looting and calls to defund the police are unquestionably motivating factors of why this trend is increasing,” Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the Associated Press. “Americans are right to be concerned about their personal safety.”

Here in the Richmond area, there isn’t any noticeable uptick in violent crime or burglary — at least not as reported in the City of Richmond police statistics, and the city is where most violent crime in the region occurs. Most violence associated with the protests here in Virginia has been low-level, vandalism mainly, with a spike in looting and occasional assault at the height of the George Floyd protests. Richmond isn’t Seattle. It isn’t Portland. It isn’t Chicago.

Yet… who know where things are heading? When the Commonwealth of Virginia orders a construction site to take down an American flag to avoid provoking leftist demonstrators, it’s not entirely clear which side “law enforcement” is on. Better safe than sorry.

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33 responses to “Time to Buy a Gun?”

  1. kls59 Avatar

    Quoting an insightful unknown American, “God created man, Sam Colt made them equal.”

    JB —- get a .45 ACP… because shooting twice is silly!

    1. 9mm says “slow down”, .45 ACP says “stop” and take two steps back.

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Oh my God! A geek with a gun!

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      She’s hardly a geek. Oh, you meant James. Yeah, that’ll likely cost him “a nominal egg”.

  3. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    OTOH, they bring with them all manner of unintended consequences.

    1. UpAgnstTheWall Avatar

      They’re also really hard to turn into precision weapons as anyone who has needed to use one somewhere other than a gun range will tell you.

  4. djrippert Avatar

    Only one gun? Do you have only one pan in your kitchen? An AR-15, a Sig Sauer pistol and a semi-automatic shotgun would be a good starter kit.

    And Richmond may be immune for some reason but evidence from New York is not promising:


  5. MAdams Avatar

    If you’re concerned about your family, purchase a shotgun and a handgun. Load the handgun with hollow points less you want it to travel through your walls and possibly harm your family. AR-15 platform rifles (direct gas impingement or short stroke gas-piston) while easy to shoot because of the very little recoil are not advantageous for home defense.

    If you have a varmint problem they are pretty good, but you’d have a difficult time taken a dear with one.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      “you’d have a difficult time taken a dear with one.” Interesting. Freudian slip?

      1. UpAgnstTheWall Avatar

        HAH! This entire thread feels like a Freudian slip.

      2. MAdams Avatar

        No, it was just and error. Thanks for pointing it out though.

        Let me know your thoughts on a 223 or 5.56 NATO, while you’re at it.

        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          As a druther? #2 buck, and sadly, my long ago sold Ithaca 37.

          1. MAdams Avatar

            So that’s a negative, you’re previous ownership of a discontinued military shotgun is irrelevant.

            Please tell me more about how you abhor personal attacks, yet can’t seem to provide anything but.

          2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Mine was a civilian model. Ornately carved stock, long barrel. What do I care about your knowledge of the triva of rifle rounds and loads?

            But, please, regale us. I’m sure.

          3. MAdams Avatar

            Well I hate to break it to you but John M Browning didn’t design anything for the “Civilian Market” they were just sold there at a latter date.

            “What do I care about your knowledge of the triva of rifle rounds and loads”

            It’s not trivial knowledge, it was a direct point in my comment (things you’d know if you spent more time researching and less time flapping your gums).

            Why would I “regale” someone who lacks any and all ability to conduct a “civil” conversation and that appears to be so uneducated that they use snark in every comment?

          4. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Because braying is the nature of the beast.

          5. Let’s shut it down. Otherwise, I’ll have to delete this thread.

          6. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            I, of course, meant me. Self-deprecating, ya know.

    2. WayneS Avatar

      And besides, it’s illegal in Virginia to hunt deer with a .223 caliber rifle.

      1. MAdams Avatar

        That’s very interesting, I knew the (semi-auto) like PA but wasn’t aware of the .223.

        The first time I went hunting for deer in PA, I used grandpa’s .222 bolt-action.

  6. UpAgnstTheWall Avatar

    Hot woman holding a penis substitute while her breasts are conspicuously displayed on a commentary piece about whether it’s time to buy a gun is a genius piece of marketing or satire, I’m not sure which.

    Anyway, no you shouldn’t buy a gun for safety because you’re currently not unsafe, the presence of a gun makes you and those around you less not more safe, and the likelihood you would hit something or someone other than your intended target if you were to discharge your firearm is greater than the likelihood of you hitting your target.

    If you’re worried about home safety invest in a set of strong locks and a loud dog. A bat is as effective at deterring a criminal as a gun and comes with the added bonus of not accidentally blowing a hole through a loved ones body.

    If you’re worried about your personal safety while out in the world a gun is only effective if you shoot first, which increases the likelihood of killing someone who wasn’t a physical threat to you if you hit who you were aiming at or killing someone totally uninvolved in the much more likely scenario you miss.

    You’re a retirement aged white man in an affluent, outer ring suburb. No one cares enough about you to come hurt you, and if you lived in Church Hill in the 80s/90s without a gun you certainly don’t need one now.

    1. MAdams Avatar

      “You’re a retirement aged white man in an affluent, outer ring suburb. No one cares enough about you to come hurt you, and if you lived in Church Hill in the 80s/90s without a gun you certainly don’t need one now.”

      I wasn’t aware that 35 was retirement age and the VA loan I used to by my house made me affluent. Should I call the Army and tell them I shouldn’t have been given a commission and an infantry platoon when I was younger?

      I can tell you what you certainly do need? That’s a brain with functioning synapse before you make such a lengthy Bullsh*t comment.

      What’s even more humorous is that you’re the only one comment on a stock image and being derogatory about the women (how enlightened you seemed to be).

      Also, you’re penis envy is noted.

    2. WayneS Avatar

      You sure do know a lot about guns and personal safety. And I’ll bet it doesn’t bother you one whit that the overwhelming majority of what you know is wrong.

  7. TBill Avatar

    I loved rifles as a kid…bought a 22. But we moved to NJ as young adults, and even a BB gun was hard to buy in NJ, much to my dismay. So NJ was the end of guns for for me, decades ago. .

  8. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    So why not buy a firearm just because you want to and because you have a constitutional right to do so? No one asks someone whether they have a need to speak their mind or a need to have an abortion. Why is buying a firearm different?

    1. WayneS Avatar

      Well said.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      I think Bacon is the one who asked, no?

  9. Matt Hurt Avatar
    Matt Hurt

    No, now is not the ideal time to buy a gun. Prices have skyrocketed due to the overwhelming demand. They are getting hard to find, even if you don’t mind paying 25%-33% more than you would have before the panic buying started. If you already have a firearm, my recommendation is to wait until the demand goes down. However, the last time that happened (2013), it took several years and a presidential election to bring on the “Trump Slump” in firearm and ammunition sales. If you don’t own one, try to get what you can, and be prepared to pay a premium for not taking advantage of one of your civil rights sooner.

    I do not wish for anyone who does not want anything to do with a firearm to purchase one, but anyone who does, should. The likelihood that anyone will ever need to use a firearm is small, but unfortunately not as small as being hit by lightening. Most folks I know try to take precautions to avoid getting hit by lightening. That being said, there are other risks associated with owning a firearm, and each individual must weigh those risks to determine which path is most acceptable. Below, please find some of the statistics that a lot of folks with whom I have spoken are concerned about regarding firearms ownership. I had a very nice table set up with links to all of the sources, but alas, it would not copy so nicely into this text editor. Please see a link to a clipped image.


  10. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    I don’t know why but I keep coming back to this story.

  11. LarrytheG Avatar

    expecting a different result? 😉

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Yeah, drives me crazy.

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