We were driving past the new location of East Coast Gun Sales a few weeks ago, and I told my wife I had been planning to check out the new store. They had been advertising their move to a larger location, with added facilities like a gun range, for over a year. I was thinking it would be interesting to fire off a few rounds with different caliber weapons and see what it felt like. "They went out of business," she said. She didn't know why.
According to the Altoona Mirror, back in 2007, East Coast's owner James Faith, and Michael Kurty, a police officer and firearms instructor, had been demonstrating a rebuilt mini-Gatling gun during a social event at a sportsmen's club. I'm not sure if this was before or after the chicken Kiev. The Gatling had an electrically-powered magazine, which soon jammed. So Faith unplugged the magazine, while Kurty, the firearms instructor, helpfully stood right in the path of the barrel. Because with no electricity, how could a weapon filled with bullets—which contain gunpowder—possibly fire?
As Faith attempted to clear the jammed magazine—rotating it the wrong way—a round in the chamber did fire, hitting the experienced weapons user in the head. Kurty died. His wife, who had been nearby, sued. East Coast closed, but may be reopening under another name.
I was reminded of this by a Daily Caller article, What’s Going On With Gun Sales?
Sales are up across just about every category, based on anecdotal conversations with firearms and industry contacts. ... Defensive handguns are particularly strong, defensive shotguns are up, semi-automatic rifles are back up and .22s are extremely strong as well. ...
Plants here and overseas are working full out. It is a question of capacity. Domestic companies are adding shifts, cross training workers, reorganizing how the machines in a plant are organized (the last four gun plants I have been on the floor of were in the process of trying to increase efficiency by moving tooling around) and, in some cases, buying new machines. ...
Sturm, Ruger & Co., recently reported that it is suspending taking orders until May. It is not that Ruger is shutting down ... but the company cannot keep up with orders. So instead of extending the backorders to ridiculous numbers, the company said enough. Once production is closer to being caught up, the company will take orders again.
The author credits a variety of reasons, "The looming contest between Barack Obama and the Republican nominee, anxiety over the country’s economic uncertainty, manufacturers actually offering guns people want to buy, new cartridge/gun combinations ..., and, yes, even the unlikely and seemingly ridiculous belief in a zombie apocalypse, all contribute to the spike in interest in firearms." But in the comments section, Joe W offers one the author left out:
Got mine just in time for the New Black Panther's war on me starting tomorrow. I got a beautiful "Howa" 30.06 bolt action rifle and a lovely Ruger .357 Magnum "Blackhawk" revolver for the "close encounters". I got stocked up on ammo, and I'm more than prepared to engage. This has been brewing for some time, now, and Barack Obama has turned the heat up on the fire. I don't anticipate too difficult a time here in Texas. At least not in my neck of the woods. We had little trouble winning the "Cowboys & Indians" game ... dispatching the bruthas ought to be pretty easy. Indians were smarter, braver, and did not kill each other over drugs.
I was led to the Daily Caller by Bob Cesca because of this story, The end of my white guilt, which I think partially explains the previous story:
My white guilt died on Good Friday, April 6, 2012. That was the day my bike got stolen. ... I called the cops and filed a report. ... When I got home I vented to my friends. I told them I was going to scour those neighborhoods until I found the bike. In reply, a liberal friend gave me a lecture about profiling and told me to just forget about the bike. “That person needs our prayers and help,” she said. “They haven’t had the advantages we have.”
That’s when I lost it. I had been carefully educated by liberal parents that we are all, black and white, the same. My favorite movie growing up was “In the Heat of the Night.” Yet that often meant not treating everyone the same. It meant treating blacks with a mixture of patronizing condescension and obsequious genuflecting to their Absolute Moral Authority gained from centuries of suffering. It meant not treating everyone the same.
It meant leaving valuable things like a bike in a vulnerable position in a black part of town because you didn’t want to admit that the crime is worse in poor black neighborhoods.
I had a bike that was stolen around 1988. It was a cheap department store trail bike, but I had replaced the steel wheels with alloy after a car hit me where the Mt Vernon Trail crosses the Arlington Memorial Bridge. She was merging in and looking back for traffic and she t-boned me in the crosswalk. I pulled up my legs and rolled onto the hood, but the bike went down. She wasn't black, or I might have lost my white guilt right there. As it was I simply lost my women-driving-cars guilt. I can laugh at women driver jokes all day long.
My girlfriend thought I was crazy, but I replaced the wheels and kept riding that bike to work, later locking it to a lally column in the basement of a building in Olde Towne. There was a jewelry store on the first floor, and the firm where I worked had the upper floors. I went in one morning past two kids sitting on the stoop. That evening, the bike was gone. My lock was smashed and a heavy old brass door closer was lying nearby. The young woman in the jewelry store had heard some sort of pounding in the basement, but didn't think anything of it. The kids weren't black, or I might have lost my white guilt right there. As it was I simply lost my kids-sitting-on-stoops guilt. And I stopped relying on cable locks.
A few years before that, I lost my wallet in DC. I got a phone call from a man who had found the wallet. I went to his house. He refused a reward. He was a retired black policeman, so there was no opportunity to lose my white guilt there. Jeez, it may have actually increased.
But I live in a city that is at least two-thirds black, and I ride the light rail surrounded by working class black folk, so I'm sure that someday soon something will happen to relieve me of all this white guilt.