The Problems with Panic Buying makes some interesting points. Here is a snippet “I’m 41 years old and I got my first rifle at 9. Since that time I’ve bought, sold and traded hundreds of firearms. I’ve shot hundreds of thousands of rounds, I’ve taught the craft for almost two decades now and have a very good understanding of what an AVERAGE SHOOTER is capable of. Trust me folks… You are not as talented as you think you are.”
I think it is worth noting that we need to separate the hardware and software issues involved in self defense shooting. The hardware issue is that you have weapons, magazines, ammunition and ancillary equipment to employ to defend yourself. The software issue is that you are capable of using the darn stuff!
Along the hardware lines I don’t like panic buying. There are a few reasons for this. First trying to time anything is problematic. You might well be wrong and either have a false alarm or even worse be too late. Secondly most people do not have the resources to go out and buy all the gun stuff they want in a week or two, this stuff is expensive. While technically possible buying an AR-15 or 2, a couple Glock/XD/M&P’s, maybe a bolt gun and a shotgun as well as mags, case upon case of .223, 9mm/.40 S&W /.45 acp ball ammo, 9mm/.40 S&W /.45 defensive rounds, .308, 12 gauge buckshot and whatnot to keep them going all at once isn’t a viable option for most folks.
The last issue I have with panic buying is that it sort of goes against the whole proper planning prevents piss poor performance thing. The writing is on the wall. A significant percentage of our country does not feel the same way about the Second Amendment and military pattern weapons as rednecks, survivalists and hard core shooters do. We had an ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ for a decade and lots of folks want it back. Maybe these folks will be successful in seeking a ban and maybe not but we won’t be able to say we didn’t see the potential for it to happen.
However this ban has been rescinded for coming up on a decade. I am more inclined to buy with a moderate sense of urgency than to completely freak out every 2-4 years depending on who is running for what. When these elections come around (lame ducks are dangerous) I do not need to completely freak out because I’ve been making purchases as finances allow over time. That being said it is not a bad idea to look at your situation and maybe shift a few priorities higher. PMAG’s or sweet new AR-15′s might be entirely unavailable or more expensive next year while a nice rucksack or a CB radio almost surely will be.
So along the hardware lines panic buying is not a good plan. The panic buying crowd fails to acknowledge the importance of training and is almost entirely hardware focused. This is just stupid. Obviously on the software side panic buying is not a viable strategy. Unless you are a soldier, a SWAT cop or happen to be shooting competitive 3 gun/ IDPA/ High Power with a relative or friend’s kit you are not building the skills to use the equipment. With those relatively rare exceptions aside most people are not proactive enough to seek out serious training opportunities for guns they do not yet own. Training takes time and costs money. While planning to panic buy a couple guns and a bunch of ammo is a bad plan it is a better plan then hoping to be able to get time off work and attend quality firearms training right before you need it.
Put time, money and effort into building your skills NOW before you need them. It is good wholesome fun but more importantly you do not know when these skills will be needed. It is possible (though haphazard and expensive) to deal with serious equipment shortcomings down the road. You could look for grandfathered items or fill shortages on the black market. However a shady contact and some cash can get you a piece but will not turn you into a serious shooter. A Daniels Defense carbine will not turn you into a shooter any more than a Corvette will turn you into a race car driver. Remember that it is the person behind the gun that really matters.
Coming briefly back to hardware taking a balanced long term approach is really the way to go. Be dispassionate and get guns that suit your needs, not your sense of style or ego. In other words buy a Ruger .44 magnum or a Desert Eagle .50 because you have huge hands and live in rural Montana/ Alaska where open carry is common and there are bears all over the place not because you thing they are cool.
Ergonomics mean what is right for me might not be right for you but there are definitely good choices and less good choices. Most folks would be well suited with a universal service pistol like a Glock/XD/S&W MP and a rifle like an AK/AR/FN-FAL/HK-G3 variant. Just something to think about.
Taking a long term approach is important because doing it all at once simply isn’t affordable for all but the highest budgets. However if you pick up a holster here, a couple mags there and some ammo now and again it is much more doable.
Anyway those are my thoughts on that.