Take a Deep Breath
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
I don’t know about all of you, but I am exhausted! Not physically (unless you can blame lack of sleep) but instead, now that the presidential election and all the drama that followed it is over and we had yet another smooth transition of power (well, maybe not that smooth, but smooth enough, all things considered), I know I am looking forward to giving politics a break. I was a strong supporter of Donald Trump, as were many gun owners. Out of respect for members who tend to be more liberal (we have many, as I hear from them quite often when I get too far to the right in my commentaries), I will attempt to keep this missive fairly neutral.
You see, I lived through the Clinton years, including the Feinstein assault weapons ban, which really didn’t ban any semi-automatic rifles, just some of the doodads like muzzle breaks and bayonet lugs, etc. It did stop the manufacture of +10 round magazines, but everyone I knew already had hi-cap mags (as did I). I was relieved back in 2004 when the ban expired, but I cannot truthfully say my life was any different.
I also lived through the Obama years, and guess what? We gun owners survived pretty well. The only real threat to our gun rights could have occurred in the first two years of his administration, when his party had control of both houses of Congress, along with the presidency.
The only piece of legislation he managed to get passed was the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) and that didn’t bring the world to an end, although it increased our healthcare premiums. Our healthcare costs doubled, but we are still here.
One of the cool things that occurred during the Obama years, was that the United States Supreme Court affirmed the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms for self defense (District of Columbia v. Heller) They didn’t address carrying firearms for self defense on the street and that is too bad. A few years later, the USSC also ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment applies to individual states, too. Are we gun owners better off now? Of course, we are. All this occurred during Democratic administrations.
In contrast, the USSC did not address any gun issue cases during the last four years, but the important thing that happened was adding one vote to the pro-gun wing of the USSC. That means if our side can get a case in front of the USSC, we can expect a favorable outcome.
What does it take to get a case in front of the USSC? It takes a case of constitutional significance and it helps if there are U.S. Federal courts that have differed in opinion on the same or very similar issues. I can see that occurring during the next four years, although we do face the threat from many on the left to “pack the court,” passing legislation to expand the number of Supreme Court Justices from nine to more – likely 11 or 13. That would negate the 5-4 or 6-3 advantage the conservative majority of the court enjoys at the moment. I find it sad that the court is influenced by these left v. right wing battles, but that is the world we live in. I do not believe Biden will be able to pack the court, but we shall see.
Returning to my previous train of thought: I am glad the election is over. I have been truly disgusted by the main-stream media’s blatant bias towards the left. I started my higher education as a journalism student and at least back then (mid 1970s), we made an honest attempt to keep editorial opinion separate from news reporting. This no longer happens. As a result, I no longer watch the main-stream media’s TV reportage.
As I write this, I am sitting in Searchlight, NV, after a quick trip to Las Vegas and then to Southern AZ. I like to take trips in my truck/camper combo, with my dog Mac. It kind of centers me, and the sad part is that when I leave home, Gila has to stay and work the office. My part of the job is to keep the Boots on the Ground phone with me, and as I have done in the past, I will drop whatever I am doing and help any member calling after a self-defense incident. That means that wherever I stop for the evening, I need to have good cell service, so here I sit in a vacant parking lot in Searchlight, NV where there is great cell service. Hopefully, I will not freeze my you-know-what off tonight. Tomorrow, I have a business meeting with Cameron Hopkins of Super Vel Ammunition, then I head back home, dodging snow-storms.
The Great 2020/2021 Ammo Shortage
Most people do not know it, but I cut my teeth in the firearms industry as the West Coast Distributor for COR-BON ammunition. COR-BON was a boutique ammunition manufacturer, loading high-velocity ammunition in the tradition of Lee Juris, of Super Vel. For example, the COR-BON 9mm 115 gr JHP traveled about 1300 feet per second, and the studies conducted by Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow, later explained in the epic book Handgun Stopping Power, showed the COR-Bon 115 gr JHP being the best manstopper for a 9mm.
Back in the early 1990s, I got in early distributing their ammunition and by the time 1994 and the Dianne Feinstein assault weapons ban came about, I was selling about one million dollars of COR-BON ammunition per year. Then Bill Clinton was elected president and the assault weapons ban of 1994 was passed. It seemed like everybody wanted to stock up on guns and ammo. Both COR-BON and my company The Firearms Academy of Seattle were caught with our knickers down and immediately went into a back-order status. We had ten times more orders than we had ammo, and for about two years, we struggled to serve the gun-owning public. That was the first time I saw an ammo shortage.
The second time I experienced an ammo shortage was after Barack Obama was elected. By then I had left the ammo distribution business to concentrate on my shooting school, The Firearms Academy of Seattle. In 2009, we had a great year teaching new shooters, making more money that year than we had ever made before. A little anti-gun hysteria sure was good for business, and apparently people were able to find some ammo somewhere because they came to us in droves for training. We supplied .22 LR ammo for the loaner guns we used then in our introductory firearms classes, but we had started to run low by the time the ammo crunch eased.
After living through two ammo shortages induced by anti-gun politicians, I had learned my lesson. When ammo and components started showing up again at the distributors at decent prices, how much ammo and reloading components do you think I bought so I would never be caught short-handed again? Well, I am not telling, but suffice it to say neither the school nor me, personally, will be running out this time.
All I am trying to say here is that I would recommend people quit panicking. Don’t buy the high-priced ammo being offered over the Internet. Relax, and wait until prices ease up, as they will. By refusing to buy the $50 boxes of 9mm I am seeing out there, you will force the prices back where they belong. When prices do come back down, start buying ammunition slowly but steadily. The industry is trying its best to supply the demand, and they could use a little help. Finally, as a favor to the shooting schools, don’t stop training, just to hoard your precious 9mm. If trainers do not have students, they might not be there to train you when the shortage is over.
Do You Train in the Martial Arts?
On YouTube, I have recently come across on videos of the fights and interviews with five-time kick boxing champion Kathy Long. Do yourself a favor and watch some of her fights and listen to her interviews. I suspect you will be as fascinated with her and her story as I am.
Marty in the Media
I have expanded my public presence. That’s really not my personal style, but it is necessary to help educate others, especially new gun owners. Armed Citizens’ Educational Foundation now has a YouTube channel for our Armed Citizens’ TV videos at https://armedcitizenstv.org where I have started posting educational videos. So far, the videos have revolved around legalities of self defense, but we are open to posting other types of videos. I have also started writing a regular column in Gun Digest magazine, where I take a self-defense case reported in the news and pick apart the legalities of the issue. I welcome you to start subscribing to Gun Digest magazine.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.