Friday, December 18, 2015

Preppers and Guns

On Sunday I went with Bill and Janice to Fredericksburg where there was a gun show and a preppers expo combined. We were very curious about the latter since this is a trend which has exploded in the States in the past few years. TV programs and world violence have fueled the public's need to build a bug out bag or a home defense system in preparation for the impeding Armageddon. I've watched the build up with curious interest.
 This wasn't the clearest posting of signs, it didn't bode too well, I thought...
 Pretty cool FJ truck and trailer but really not effective considering the cost. You'd need a fair amount of fuel to keep this running, which isn't likely to be readily available if the situation arose where the truck was needed.
 I'd seen this guy on a TV prepper program and thought he was a little overboard. He wasn't generating a lot of interest here today.
My enthusiasm peaked when I spotted a tiny house at the prepper show. I've been watching a lot of TV programs featuring these and I find them endearing. I love the idea of pulling a home wherever you want to go, and it certainly prevents a collection of needless material possessions.
It was quite roomy inside with 2 loft bedrooms and a decent sized bathroom. I could live in this happily enough but it was on the expensive side at $63K.
We were quite tempted with these ready made meals sold by the case containing a variety of dishes. These would be great for backpacking and camping. But we didn't buy.
 But we did all buy one of these versatile carbon shovels. Useful for digging, sitting on, tilling and other uses, mine is in the trunk of the car for winter use.
Then we went to the gun show. There now seems to be a lot of concern about the validity of assault weapons. A friend sent me an article from the NRA saying that Democrats are calling for a ban on "assault rifles" they categorize as "weapons of war" designed only for killing people. She wasn't happy about this move, yet I applaud it. I don't believe any of the public should be able to own these weapons, they should be for military use only. The public in the USA can easily purchase pistols, shot guns and rifles, and that also alarms me as it is too easy.
I have been sitting on the fence for nearly 2 years, trying to decide whether I wanted to buy a gun or not, and if I did, what kind. I researched brands and models and have shot many kinds of guns, including a vintage Springfield .22 rifle, a Magnum .45 and a semi automatic AK-47, with a fair few other kinds in between. The decision to buy was not taken lightly, but in the end, my purchase was made for recreational purposes first, and self defense second. I've always been a fair shot with most weapons and would really like to see how good I can get on a range, so today I was looking at pistols.
I checked out a few and was rather taken with a Springfield XDM. But I'd neglected to bring a second form of photo ID so purchasing at the show was not an option.
So we left Fredericksburg and headed straight for Gander Mountain in Winchester, with me making a quick detour to pick up my green card. The store has an extensive array of guns stretching from one end of the store to the other, and I've been told that on ammo sales days, there are lines outside waiting for it to open, and that many calibers of ammo sell out quickly. I find this alarming. A lot. I walked up to the counter and was helped by a young man who obviously knew his guns. I spent the next couple of hours selecting weapons, holding, racking, questioning, researching on line, and finally deciding on the Sig Sauer P250. I felt this would be an excellent, fair priced gun to start out on the shooting range with. I completed my paperwork and then had to wait about 3 hours for my background check to clear. This was held up because that day there had been 15 other gun shows in Virgina. That's just Virginia, no other state, and immediately I pondered on how many other people were purchasing weapons on this day. That was an alarming thought. And another thought I had was that with so many people now buying guns it surely makes those without feel defenseless and insecure, thereby encouraging them to go out and buy one or a few. So finally I left for home with my gun in the trunk along with 200 rounds of ammo. And I was pretty nervous all the way home, dreading the chance of being pulled over by the police. But I got home without interruption and promptly hid the ammo in one room while stashing the gun away in another. 
 I'm writing this 5 days after making my purchase and have yet to shoot my gun, let alone place a bullet in the chamber. And I won't be doing either until I have read and watched tutorials on how to use the gun, and also how to take it apart. The first time I sat down on my own and pulled it from its case, I was immediately aware of the power I held in my hand and it terrified me. Yet what terrified me even more was how easy it had been to get hold of this lethal weapon. Yes, I'd had a background check, but it had been apparent in the store that I had no proper knowledge of firearms, yet the law allows anyone who can clear a background check to obtain as many guns as they like with zero experience in handling them. They can build an armory and then let anyone who visits them to use these weapons, all with no training! There are plenty of idiotic videos on YouTube showcasing this, and still the government is allowing these purchases. I am taking a Basic Pistol Shooting Course in the new year to make sure I can use my gun safely. Prior to that I'll be taught the rudimentary basics by a buddy who has plenty of experience, but I won't be trying anything out on my own first. 
Gun ownership is escalating at a furious rate and the government needs to step in, restrict the number of guns that are purchased by an individual, remove assault weapons from public sale and impose that all sales must be accompanied with a proof of having taken basic training.
I found this article on line in light of the government wanting to prohibit future sales of assault weapons, and even though Americans voted pretty much 50/50 regarding this, they are strongly in favor of more gun control. And this needs to happen soon.

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