On Tuesday, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and friends introduced four new gun control bills. It’s the usual farrago of firearms fail: bans on modern sporting rifles and standard capacity ammunition magazines, increased penalties for not reporting lost or stolen firearms, etc. To ensure we win the race to the bottom in the post-Newtownian disarmament derby, one of the bills removes the right of cities and towns to issue concealed carry permits. That power would be vested solely in the Attorney General, who will base his decision on “need.” In direct contravention of the State Constitution, the bill would transform RI from “shall issue” to “may issue.” Anyway, I went to see the immediate impact of all this on my local gun store . . .
For the first time in weeks, I could park in a designated space. The store was busy, but nowhere near the mosh pit it was a month ago. One of the sales guys said he’d sold four AR lowers, but the wall o’ ARs was still well covered. Either every Rhode Islander who wants an AR now has one (or two or three), or the shockwave hasn’t hit yet.
The mood in the store was . . . resigned; the same sort of downbeat gun guy gestalt that followed the Sandy Hook slaughter. There were no stand and fight flyers. No talk of giving the anti-pistol pols a pasting in the polls. Just gun buyers buying guns.
And ammo! I nearly tripped over the boxes of ammunition by the door. The store imposed a three-box per customer per caliber limit and prices were high. But there it was: gun food.
I bought 150 rounds of 115 grain Federal American Eagle 9mm ($15.99 per box) and 60 rounds of 55-grain Winchester 5.56 target ammo ($22.99 a box). Just because I could.
Because I could do so without a license (unlike Massachusetts and now Connecticut). Because I own firearms legally. And because it makes me feel less powerless in the face of those who seek to infringe upon my Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
As regular readers know I’m leaving Rhode Island for Texas this summer. Until then I will do what I can to turn back the tide of disarmament that threatens to swamp a state founded on individual liberty. I am not optimistic but we have a few tricks up our sleeve (avoiding the definition of insanity). Reports to follow.
Meanwhile, I will save these cartridges. They will be the last rounds I fire in the state where I was born, purchased during the darkest hours for firearms freedom (I hope). In that sense, they were worth every penny.