gun store coronavirus
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Those looking to expand government power and limit Americans’ freedoms and civil rights hate to let an opportunity like a global pandemic go to waste.

What history books gloss over is how both [Prohibition and the Great Depression] during the 1930s were the result of bad public policy. Alcohol prohibition incentivized organized crime, while credit expansion by the Federal Reserve led to the infamous stock market crash of 1929. Subsequent economic interventions by the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations impeded a timely recovery.

To their credit, politicians ended the absurdity of Prohibition by ratifying the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933. Nonetheless, most of the great leaps forward, such as the establishment of the Social Security Act and the National Firearms Act of 1934, have stayed in place. The latter has seen other forms of federal gun legislation built on top of it in an all too predictable manner.

The ratchet effect that Robert Higgs has aptly described, whereby expansions in state power during times of emergency are rarely reversed, has been a mainstay of American politics since the Progressive Era. Considering previous episodes of American history over the last century, the present coronavirus pandemic seems like fertile ground for another instance of the ratchet effect.

Surprisingly, the attempts to use this crisis as a springboard for infringements on the right to bear arms have not been so effective. The federal government has not only shown a surprising degree of restraint, but also declared gun stores “essential” businesses at the end of March. In contrast, various state legislatures and municipalities joyfully lumped gun stores in with other “nonessential” businesses in their shutdown measures. Nothing says “equality” like dishing out equal misery via administrative fiat.

– José Niño in Gun Control: Americans Have Been Lucky during the COVID-19 Panic, but It’s Still a Toss-Up

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  1. What we need to keep a sharp eye out for are infringements being snuck into the *massive* relief bills being created in record time and signed into law…

    • Yes. And we need to limit these massive welfare bills as much as possible, and safely open up the economy.

    • Yes. I’m hoping the .Gov stops bribing people with fake money. It isn’t actually helping the economy with the small buisnesses being closed. Only people that are getting paid right now is Jeff Bezos and the Waltons.

  2. We need to remind our representatives that anything in a bill not directly related to Corvid-19 relief for American people doesn’t belong in the bill.

    We also need to thank our government officials who have stood beside us in keeping Gun Stores and Ranges open.

  3. Ignoring all the intellectual cow pies being tossed by the Mises Institute and their school of Ancient Austrian Anarchy “THIS IS SPARTA!” Economics …..

    Fear and panic are driving gun sales. It has happened before, what is unusual now is the scale of it. Apparently being driven by mostly first time buyers. The advantage to us is a great many voting age people learning first-hand that all that Hoplophobic chatter about guns being easy to get was all fear mongering bullshit of another sort.

    The long term advantage to us is the increased awareness among voters that anti-gun voices have been telling them delusional tales for decades.

    Inanimate objects are not the cause of crime of violence or suicide, humans do all that. Humans were doing that in a time of stone knives and bearskins. They will continue to be the root cause of crime and violence when firearms are obsolete and it’s Star Trek phasers and Star Wars blasters.

    • Sparta was a military dictatorship run economically on the backs of slaves who were in near constant rebellion. That’s a neocon wet dream and the opposite of all the Mises institute stands for.

      Individualism does not mean that you don’t belong to a community or help others. It means that no one has a right or authority to harm or control you or your property.

    • I’m old enough to remember when firearms were as easy to get as a hamburger. Maybe easier, since there were many more sources of guns than there were sources of hamburgers. Not the least of which was Sears/Roebuck mail order. Y’all youngsters let that freedom be taken away from us, and now you think that government permission is the way things ought to be. Bull.

      • Just fantasize for a moment….
        To be able to go back in time with just the money in your pocket.
        Couple of Thompson’s, BAR’s, a solothurn or two.
        Sent right to your doorstep.

        • hell, i was as happy as a kid could be goin’ downtown with pa to buy ammo at marshall field’s sporting goods. i’ll never forget that big stuffed kodiak bear.

        • “hell, i was as happy as a kid could be goin’ downtown with pa to buy ammo at marshall field’s sporting goods.”

          As a kid living in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the late 60s, the corner store has .22lr on the counter next to the register, 25 cents for a box of 25…

      • I bought my first shotgun when I was 12, in 1966. Placed the order for a Stevens break-action single shot 20 gauge youth model from our favorite family dealer, who ran a gas station nearby. My brother, who was 8, bought his then, too. We save up all our money from a summer’s worth of berry picking and extra farm chores. When the guns came in, Mom drove us over to pick them up – $35 each (he sold them to us for wholesale) and I think he threw in a couple boxes of shells. Still have the shotgun!

        My first rifle purchase was probably in 1967 – bought a surplus 7×57 Mauser from Sears. My Dad and I sporterized it and I redid the stock in a full length Mannlicher style.

    • enuf, I’m not at all sure what your comments have to do with the Austrian School of Economics. That’s the problem with tossing around important sounding words in an internet post—you occasionally run across people who actually know something about Ludwig von Mises and Austrian economics. His subjective theory of value, while destructive to progressives and socialists, was hardly anarchic.

    • “…and treat FDR as the criminal he was.”

      Damn straight.

      Let’s exhume the rat bastard and execute him for it! 😉

      • No, we just need to do a through de-FDRification the way we removed every public monument to Saddam in Iraq.

        • Well, the good news is, the boomer and older crowd are dying out at a good clip, so he should fade from memory…

        • I’m a boomer. And I believe fdr exposed, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the democrat are the party of institutional racism in America. He rounded up American citizens based on nothing but race and put them in concentration camps.

          Crimes against humanity doesn’t begin to cover the democratic party.

        • No offense intended to this gang of fine fellows.

          (And JWM.)

          Running away, *FAST* 😉

  4. What is expanding is the surveillance state under the guise of public health. They will be back for the guns later.

  5. Shockingly there is little anti-gun policy in ILLinois. I guess fat boy wants the dough it brings in…for now. ILL has sliden into junk bond status as we await the death of America. You still think the Chinamen didn’t “officially” release this purge er plauge? Have you heard a peep about Hong Kong?!? Keep your powder dry.

  6. It would be nice if the government stops bribing people with legalized gay sex and legalized recreational marijuana. In exchange for losing your 1st and 2nd amendment civil rights.
    In California sing songs and playing musical instruments is now banned. Download and See page number 8 of the California, Mendocino county, government document.

    • Oh don’t worry soon the Republicans will kill off the Post Office which happens to be the only Department in the Constitution Governement is authorized to create. Republicans will continue to destroy the economy faster then the Democrats ever could in their wildest dreams. Not to mention rack up trillions in debt there is no way we can repay, but hey, they got rich and we got screwed.

      But keep voting for them and enjoy the slavery. Its truly sad that you have a party that either worships nothing but money and another one that worships nothing but degenerates.

      • I find it refreshing I get under your anti civil rights, gun grabbing skin.

        But don’t worry. You can still get written permission from the city government of San Francisco to have sex in public.

  7. In New York, of all places, my LGS is open and my clerk is processing pistol permit amendments by mail.

  8. 19th century utopianism, then early 20th century Progressivism, then the various forms of fascism (socialism, National Socialism, Communism) – root, branch and tree all collectivist/statist reactions to the American Experiment. If we manage to hold on to the scraps of our democratic republic for the next decade I’ll be surprised.

    • Amazing, everything you said in the first half of that was wrong.

      On the second part, our Republic will survive just fine. It will lean to far this way and then swing back too far that way but it will roll along sloppily long after all here are dead.

      Well, in full disclosure, not if we embrace such quackery as the Mises Institute and their school of Ancient Austrian Anarchy “THIS IS SPARTA!” Economics …..

      But otherwise, this American Republic will muddle along for generations to come.

      • I believe we are going to swing to the right for the near future. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

        It’s just as well. The excesses of the left have really scarred this nation. Even saw a brief resurgence of the brown shirts in the guise of the antifa.

        I would love a centrist .gov. But if given a hard choice I’d rather see it to the right than the left.

  9. In this view, keep an eye on Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York. Legislation was just passed that expanded Cuomo’s powers to declare an emergency and even suspend state and local laws in their entirety, with zero oversight from lawmakers. Keep in mind that the New York SAFE act back in 2013 was his brain child.

    • “Legislation” infers passage by a legislative body. “Order” infers passage from an executive office. Just want to be sure about what you’re saying, as many people today are conflating the two, just as everyone seems to be intermixing the terms “quarantine” and “lockdown”.

      Please clarify, and provide links. Thx.

  10. The history of the democrat party is despicable. The party should be held liable for slavery, segregation, lynching, Jim Crow, the KKK, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities. All occurred not just in the south like democrat history white-washers want everyone to believe, atrocities occurred in the east, west and north.
    During the past 3 years the democrat party has stooped to the lowest levels to overthrow a duly elected POTUS. Tactics are nothing new. It is right out of their democrat Jim Crow ancestor’s playbook. Mirrors Blacks being slandered and libeled to prevent them from running for office or removed by force.You have to be one dumb, duped politically inept history illiterate to vote for any democrat. .

  11. I believe that FDR, while governor of N.Y. screwed the pooch regarding his veto of the repeal of New York’s infamous Sullivan Law. Anyone should feel free to correct me should I be wrong. He also signed the 1934 act, another legislative foul ball into law.

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