Unintended ConsequencesSteven Lieberman
This last Sunday Kavon offered a free AR-15 informational class. There were about 40 people who showed up. (The class had been capped at a capacity of 30… but what the hell… the more the merrier.)
This is the second time he has offered the class, and there were about 40 people the last time as well.
Why the demand? AR-15’s have been around for years? Why the sudden surge in interest?
Three reasons: Sen. DeLeon, Gavin Newsom, and Gov. Jerry Brown.
We’ve seen this before:
Let’s take a brief look at the history of civilian ownership of the AR:
Coming out of Vietnam there were a number ex military guys that looked at the AR as a direct civilian variant of the M16 they had used in battle over seas. Their impression of that rifle was less then stellar.
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Secondly, they were not in the market for a battle rifle. What they wanted was a good traditional long range heavy cartridge hunting rifle. The tried and true 30.06 or .270 made a hell of a lot more sense when it came to big game hunting then the puny .223. Besides… a true sportsman is going to use a bolt action rifle or a single shot rifle when taking game… not a semi automatic!
But there was something about those rifles that stuck in the minds of our nations sportsmen and women. They were kinda cool looking, and there were reports that the performance of the weapons system had improved.
Then President Clinton made them illegal.
Illegal, but with a sunset clause.
Now gun owners… well most gun owners… share a common mindset. We are politically astute, we like to think of ourselves as individualists, we don’t like being told that we can’t do something, and we really really really don’t like it when people who know nothing about guns tell us that our ownership of a particular firearm is either too dangerous or inappropriate for our “station in life.”
So, when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended a boat load of people ran out and bought AR-15’s. Really, if for no other reason than “just because.”
They discovered something… they had gotten a whole lot better. Next the demand that presented itself to the market place dictated a new group of manufacturers enter the market. Both for the AR itself, as well as the multitude of component parts now available for the weapons platform.
Once you have a toy, you want to use it. Moreover, you want to compete with it. So we saw the development of shooting sports like Three Gun competitions. With any competitive sport manufacturers developed paraphernalia that allows the shooter to be “that much more faster”. or “That much more accurate”. The weapons continued to improve, and the market continued to expand.
In California we had our issues.
Sacramento has had a fetish with the AR for years and has done whatever they could, short of out right confiscation to keep it’s subjects from owning them. Still, enterprising California gun owners have figured out how to keep the market alive.
A few weeks ago the California Legislature came up with legislation (the result of political infighting between Senate Pro-Tem Tom DeLeon who supports former LA City Mayor Antonio “Ah Come On!” Villaraigosa and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom… who he does not support.) Gavin, crafted a proposition that will go to the voters that without going into details…. sucks for gun owners. DeLeon is scared for two reasons. If it passes, he does not want that to propel Gavin into the Governs mansion, at the expense of his friend Antonio. If it fails, he does not want the people of California to erase all of the hard work he has done enacting idiotic gun control measures.
So, with Gov. Jerry Browns support, they enacted legislation that would make it cumbersome to say the least for individuals to use AR-15’s bought after Jan 1.
That has created a massive market demand.
Perhaps the most indicative of the Angry Gun Owner (yes… that is a specific political category) is our member Richard.
Richard and his wife Laura are relatively new entrants into the world of gun ownership. Retired, they spend a lot of time training. Richard has become enamored with his handgun, becoming quite proficient with it, and getting a CCW. What he has expressed no interest in, are rifles.
You see Richard has a pacemaker, and is deeply concerned that the recoil of a rifle, regardless how minimal the AR-15 is, could have complications with his bionics.
Then the government got involved.
Richard immediately placed an order for two AR-15 lowers.
Is he interested in shooting them?
Not really… at least not really, right up to the point that the government told him he shouldn’t own one…
When your rulers tell you not to walk on the grass,… lace up your shoes and start marching!