Have We Reached the Tipping Point?

As the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once observed, societies can keep people in check only up to a point. When more people than the cops can handle get cheesed off about something it can cause the dissolution of a large and well established police state (the U.S.S.R.), at least three revolutions (American, French, and Russian) and issue-based insurrections too numerous to count. Did anyone drive 55 mph when Jimmy Carter told us to? Did anyone pass up a drink during Prohibition? Did anyone foreswear the reefer because Nancy Reagan told us to just say no?

Now, we may be on the verge of a new era when firearms laws may be collapsing under the weight of consumer demand. In Maine, the state police are so buried under concealed-carry applications (and Maine is not a pain in the ass about this) that it can take 150 days to receive your permit. In Maryland, during the first four months of 2013, the state police had received more than 57,000 applications for guns--more than had come in during 2008 to 2011. The backlog currently stands at 26,547.

This is because we have been assured over and over by people whom we do not believe that no one wants to take our guns. These assurances are coming from the first American president to condemn his fellow citizens to death without charges or a trial, Congressmen who knew we were being spied on but chose to keep quiet until the story broke, and our endlessly amusing Vice President. Gun owners behold this bunch and say, "Are you s**tting me? I'm buying an AR today!"

Where will this all go? During World War II, when strict rationing was supposedly in place for things like tires, meat, gasoline, and coffee, there arose two classes of buyers. One stood in line, saved their coupons, and mostly did without, and the other bought on the black market, no coupons, no limits, no lines. We may see something like this among gun buyers. It will be fun to watch.

And: I would like to take this occasion to apologize to whoever at the NSA is reading my e-mails (I don't use the phone) for the dullness of my correspondence. I'd like to give you something racier and more seditious, but I'm old and tired, and the best I can manage is a week's worth of e-mails to Bill Heavey on how to install a red-dot sight on a Smith & Wesson Model 41.