It’s obviously too early to predict the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, because we can’t even predict its course reliably.  A few things, however, seem certain.

  • As has happened in other times of disaster, more people became gun owners.  Virtually all reports on the rush to the gun shops indicate that a huge number of those customers are first-time buyers.  In waiting period jurisdictions, many are shocked to find they can’t get a gun to protect themselves and their families right now. They’ll remember that when the next Bloomberg tells them only an idiot would want a gun in the house. Some commentary from pro-2A stalwart Dave Workman, here.
  • I am increasingly convinced that “panic buying” is the wrong term for the emptying of current gun shop inventory.  Panic means blind, unreasoning fear.  When the government and most of the experts tell us things are going to get worse instead of better…when the media reminds us daily that hordes of people will soon run out of money and food and become desperate…when the jails are being emptied for the health of the prisoners…when the emergency services including the police announce that they’re already overburdened and having to quarantine some of their own personnel…well, that ain’t blind, unreasoning fear.  That’s what the law calls reasonable fear.
  • The Great Depression is often mentioned on the news to give us an idea what we might expect in the current fast-breaking crisis.  My parents lived through that, and described hoboes coming to people’s doors asking for handouts.  In this day and age, it’s gonna get worse than a polite knock on the door and request for a sandwich.  To get an idea of what it’s like to experience a home invasion, read my article in the current American Handgunner magazine, here.
  • Finally, if you’re short of high performance home defense ammo, my friend Cameron Hopkins still has some in stock at Super Vel.


  1. You are correct. I pray prudent actions will prevail, BUT,,, I don’t always get what I pray for. So, PREPARE NOW. Reading the operations manual of your new gun during a life and death encounter is cumbersome. Buy training ammo and carry ammo and TRAIN !!!

    • These “New/first time “ buyers well understandable but are the same people who need to be re-taught how to drive after a snow storm.
      Bless their hearts for attempting to accomplish however they are so far behind on the training /education curve it won’t answer their fears.
      Everybody laughs and points out the “strange prepping individual(s)” but not likely going forward.
      Be safe, be kind, be prudent in your decisions and be helpful…..but also have situational awareness in these troubling times.
      Unfortunately this is another 9-11 moment that will change the trajectory of individual lives and the nation in general.
      Those responsible for allowing China to position themselves the way they did need to held accountable, individuals and corporate leaders; your $$$ and where you decide to spend and on what will and can change it all.
      It has to start on never allowing manufacturing of the materials currently in demand to ever be jeopardized again.
      The next event will be even more devastating and there will be more like this.

  2. I have been armed for years. I keep enough ammunition for both range time and self defense. I am trained to use both. What frightens me are those with no firearms experience whatsoever carrying weapons capable of lethal impact. Anyone who has skills should seek out those who do not and train them in basic gun handling safety and the law. The lives and freedom you save could be your own and theirs.

    • ” What frightens me are those with no firearms experience whatsoever carrying weapons capable of lethal impact. Anyone who has skills should seek out those who do not and train them in basic gun handling safety and the law. The lives and freedom you save could be your own and theirs.”

      Exactly. Buying a piano does not make you a musician.

      • No but you will certainly start to makes notes. We need to develop new weapons that are not classified as firearms. Eliminate powder propellants entirely. Which is what is being done now. New weapons and new munitions. Ships straight to you home.
        Munitions costs a few cents each and safe, non toxic.

    • My father grew up a backwoods country boy and served in the armed forces, therefore my knowledge and experience regarding weapons, firearms in particular, started at a very early age. I have for many years believed that at the time of purchase for any firearm, a safety course should be required for 1st-time buyers. Then I realized there are many like me, who would not require such a thing. So I then thought that certain questions should be asked (kind of like a quiz), to determine if the buyer should be required to take a safety course. Anyone have any thoughts about that idea?
      So, I fully agree with Mr. Turgidson’s suggestion about the skilled seeking out the unskilled to train them in basic gun handling safety.

      • I have long been convinced that anyone buying their first time gun is trembling in their boots at the reality they now have the power to kill under their control. Much ike new first time drivers have a good sense that that two tonnes of moving metal, plasic, nd glass, can kill. There is a real and valid fear of the new reality just entered.

        Thus I have a strong objection to any blanket one size fits all laws mandating certain closely defined training as a precondition of purchasing that gun. Ignorance is easily cured, and anyone desiring to cure it has many options. Gun stores often hold basic intro clinics, local ranges as well, books and solid videos abound, friends and family and neighbours, fellow church members, nd I’ve not heard of anyone getting their first handgun who simply stuffed some bullets into the mag at the gravel pit and taught themselves….. who did not figure things out well enough to be safe. Even tiny kids know which end the little round thing comes out of, and that that end is not the one you want to look into.

        Whenever states mandate such things, its always so far over the top its ridiculous, and always also sets up a money-spigot for certain ones who are right there to fill the void created by the new training mandates. Ohio did this when they finally “allowed” folks to get their Mother May I Carads. mandating twelve hours training (rather dear, when one has just spent their entire year’s “mad money” on the gun and three boxes of ammo, and some excuse of a carry rig, not to mention the Card itself) After a few years, they reduced that to eight, almost hit five… myownstate nearly crammed a new training requirement to get or renew a Mother May I Card.. some of us been carrying for decades woould then need to take a new class every five years.. never mind that some of us are TEACHING others. They had not specified the contents of the course, nor who would/could teach it.Nor the cost (five jours was a likel guess, $300 plus the likely ante to join the game. The ONE good thing the Corona PanicDemic did was scare our lawmakers into ending the Session on the prescribed date no extension, when that and other nasty antigun bills were still slithering their way through the party machines. None passed into law. Our sick guvnr was fairly panting at the prosect of signing them into law.

        Now, with all the new buyers suddenly realising how ridiculous it is to actually BUY a gun, and that they themselves had voted for those stupid laws, it may be over for those ridicous laws. We have abut one in seven residents of handgun owning age who have Mther May I Cards… and growing RAPIDLY.

      • Tionico: Hear hear!

        When you start saying that training should be mandated, you are saying that someone (the State) gets to decide what and how much training is to be required, and they can make it as easy or as difficult as they want.

        For example: Illinois, when the courts slapped them down and said that they have to offer shall-issue CCW licenses, decided that 16 hours of training was the threshold, which usually costs several hundred dollars separate from the gun, ammo, and carry accessories. Classes are also hard to find and hard to get into, because at the time not many “approved” trainers existed in the state. Thus, CCW licenses were very expensive to qualify for and very expensive to get.

        A much better idea is to strongly encourage training, but not mandate it. Gun shops could hand first-time buyers a pamphlet spelling out Cooper’s Four Rules or NRA’s Three Rules, and the consequences (real-life, legal, and criminal) of not following them.

        It’s the same with “safe storage” laws. A one-size-fits-all solution will, in fact, NOT fit a lot of people, but will make gun ownership more expensive for everyone. It’s much better to strongly encourage a safe storage solution for people who desire or benefit from it (homes with children and teens, for example), but not mandate it for people who don’t.

        All in all, when the State is given the power to mandate administrative behaviors, they are also given the power to punish non-compliance with administrative regulations. We already have plenty of criminal codes against behaviors that harm other people; we really don’t need more codes against behaviors that don’t harm anyone, but create work for pencil-pushing bureaucrats.

        Encourage and empower. Don’t require.

  3. I think a longer term result will be that politicians will exercise their newly found knowledge of just how far they can go in denying Constitutionally protected natural rights — how much of an “emergency” it takes to “justify” it, and just how many and which rights they can deny. We are going to pay for this for a very long time.

  4. What’s truly scary is our legislatures introducing this bill which was drafted 1/30/2020. The bill
    H.R. 5717 labeled Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act. It is an all out ban on AR’s and will require all Americans to get a federal firearms license to purchase guns and ammo. As our liberal friends have said ” never let a crisis go to waste”. Please stay vigilent my friends

    • Develop weapons that far exceed any legislatures’ reach in any definition. The gun industry should have done this years ago. Do they really care?

  5. Virtually all reports on the rush to the gun shops indicate that a huge number of those customers are first-time buyers.

    The problem this time is that all of us NRA instructors out here can’t ramp up our “this is the end the bullet comes out of” Basic Pistol classes.

  6. While pistols are convenient for carry outside the home, nothing beats a long gun for defense of home. Both shotguns and rifles are much more powerful than common defensive pistols and are much better at immediately stopping a threat, even when there are multiple attackers. But as Scott said, train and practice so you know where the rounds will hit, and consider which ammo is best for your particular circumstances. And iif your choice is a shotgun, pattern your gun so you know what your choice of ammo does at various distances. If time and funds allow, take a course from a reputable instructor that knows shotguns and how to apply them in the home defense role (as opposed to a more general tactical or law enforcement role). Some instructors that come to mind are Mas, Tom Givens, Tim Chandler, Rob Haught and Ashton Ray. Most if not all are offering classes this year.

  7. Folks that are board. HR 5717 is a possibility of a rider on the relief package that Congress is working on. In short, all folks will need a federal firearms license to but guns and ammo.

    • Don is right! Excerpt from the Bill:

      TITLE I—Firearm licensing

      SEC. 101. License to own firearms and ammunition.

      (a) In general.—Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

      Ҥ 932. License to own firearms and ammunition

      “(a) In general.—Except otherwise provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any individual who is not licensed under this section to knowingly purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition.

      “(b) Eligibility.—An individual shall be eligible to receive a license under this section if the individual—

      “(1) has attained 21 years of age; and

      “(2) has completed training in firearms safety, including—

      “(A) a written test, to demonstrate knowledge of applicable firearms laws;

      “(B) hands-on testing, including firing testing, to demonstrate safe use of a firearm;

      “(C) as part of the process for applying for such a license—

      “(i) has submitted to a background investigation and criminal history check of the individual, including a background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to ensure the individual is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under subsection (g) or (n) of section 922; and

      “(ii) has submitted a photograph of the individual;

      “(D) has not been determined by a court, in accordance with subsection (c)(5), to be unsuitable to be issued a Federal firearm owner’s license; and

      “(E) is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, Tribal, or local law from possessing a firearm.

      “(c) Establishment of Federal Firearm Owner’s license.—

      “(1) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General shall issue a Federal firearm owner’s license to any individual who is eligible under subsection (b).

      “(2) ISSUANCE OF LICENSE OR NOTICE OF DENIAL.—Not later than 40 days after the date on which an individual submits an application for a Federal firearm owner’s license under this section, the Attorney General shall—

      “(A) determine whether the individual is eligible to possess a license under this section; and

      “(B) based on the determination under subparagraph (A)—

      “(i) issue a Federal firearm owner’s license to the individual; or

      “(ii) provide written notice to the individual of—

      “(I) the determination that the individual is ineligible to possess such a license based on the requirements described in subsection (b), which shall include an explanation for the determination; or

      “(II) a petition filed under paragraph (5).

      • Yes, indeed. It is the Standard Operating Procedure of the American Left:

        “Never let a crisis go to waste. By exploiting it, the Left can accomplish goals that would normally be beyond reach.”

        Normally, passage of an unconstitutional bill, like HR 5717, would be “beyond reach”.

        However, if they can exploit the current pandemic crisis, which they helped create with their panic-stricken Media coverage, and attach HR 5717 onto “Emergency Response Legislation”, then they might hope to “slip it in” without it much being noticed.

        More evidence that the Left is “milking” this crisis to the MAX!

  8. In the mid 1930s we lived on a farm house next to the L&N railroad. Mother never answered the door when a hobo knocked an the door was always locked. One day after a knock the hobo tried to kick in the door. Door was too stout for him so he went to a window to try entry. Looking in side he saw mother aiming a rifle at him so he took off down the tracks. He stopped to look back a saw the rifle and it’s aimer on the porch aiming at him and he took off at a hard run.
    Your years after we moved and had our own farm we went to town on Sat as was the custom for most farmers. Just about ever time we were away someone broke into the house an stole whatever food they could find., we had nothing else worth stealing.Just to be safe Father would search the house with gun ready before he would let us go inside.
    Advice, learn from the past, I have!

  9. It seems that Super Vel does not ship to NY- just tried to order. What a great state I live in.

    The State just shut down most operations. All NY residents are now getting a taste of tyranny- not just gun owners.

  10. > female

    It seems to be the new thing for the getaway driver to be the girlfriend of one of the bangers. And several cases made the news where they brought infants to four year olds along on their break-ins.

  11. Our Governor here in PA has threatened to suspend concealed carry and transportation of firearms.

  12. The Coker family incident story should be required reading for quite a few people, pro and anti gun alike. Thanks for sharing a sobering tale of life…

  13. There is a saying sometimes employed by hen-pecked husbands. It is: “If Mama is not happy, then nobody is happy.”

    The same is true of the nanny-left. Has anyone else noticed the chaos that has reigned since the 2016 Election?

    Prior to 2016, things were mostly calm. That was because Executive Power was in their messiah’s hands. President Obama was in-charge and the Left felt mostly in control.

    While it is impossible for the Left to ever be 100% happy; they are relatively happy when they feel that they are in control. Then the 2016 Election happened and they lost control. The Left and their media minions became deeply unhappy and, every since, they have concentrated on making everyone else as miserable as themselves.

    “If Mama is not happy, then nobody is happy.”

    It has been one solid string of crises ever since. Russian interference in the 2016 election, rampant racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. , End-of-the-World climate change, Ukraine Hearings, Impeachment, and now a pandemic and stock-market crash.

    “If Mama is not happy, then nobody is happy.”

    What we have seen over the last four years is the constant use of the tools that the Left uses to obtain and hold onto power. These are:

    1) Create and then exploit chaos when out-of-power.
    2) The use of FEAR to control and manipulate the People.
    3) The widespread and constant use of indoctrination and propaganda to manipulate the People.
    4) The use of taxpayer money to enrich themselves, their friends, and to buy votes to expand their power.

    How happy the Leftists are Today! They have shared their own internal misery with the ENTIRE WORLD! Under the GUISE of RESPONDING to this latest CRISIS, they can fully exercise their inner totalitarian. They have shut down businesses across the land, especially ones that they hate such as gun shops and shooting ranges. They have ordered people to huddle in their homes and cower in FEAR. People EVERYWHERE are AFRAID. How GOOD that must FEEL to the LEFTISTS who are still in POWER and ISSUING those ORDERS because, above all else, a Leftist WANTS to be FEARED and OBEYED!

    The ancient prophet Micah defined freedom as:

    Micah 4:4 – “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid…”

    Without the weapon of FEAR, the Left would be nothing. How long will the American People continue to allow them the unrestricted use of that weapon?

    I tell you that, if the American People truly loved Freedom, there would not be a single leftist (whether Democrat or Republican) still in office after the upcoming 2020 Elections. Indeed, they would not only make the Mama of the Nanny Left unhappy, they would put Mama in her grave and end her misery once and for all!

  14. Hi Mas,

    I live in Beverly which is a very nice, well-integrated neighborhood on the south side of Chicago – a neighborhood that is usually one of the safest, if not the safest neighborhood in Chicago in terms of crime per capita (perhaps the fact that a sizable portion of our neighbors are CPD officers has something to do with that). That said, Beverly is not far from some less-than-stellar neighborhoods. At a time like this, this is concerning.

    Fortunately, in no small part because I’ve read the wise words you and others have written over the years, we are well prepared. We have enough food (including dog food for our 3 large dogs that combined total nearly 300 lbs.) and essential supplies to go for at least 2 if not 3 months without a trip to the store. And it would take a super computer to estimate how much ammo I’ve stocked up for the armory I have at my disposal, including an AR-15 that while violating both city and county ordinances, is now loaded and next to my bed at night. When I heard Dr. Suzanna Hupp testify before Congress that choosing to obey the law and leaving her gun in her glove compartment (leaving her defenseless and unable to save both her parents’ lives during the Luby’s Cafe mass shooting) was “the stupidest decision of [her] life” I made a vow to myself to NEVER allow a bad law to prevent me from being able to defend my family with the best equipment available. My Kimber TLE/RL II with Surefire X-300 weapon light has now been relegated to being my back up weapon.

    We hope and pray for the best. We are prepared for the worst.

    Stay safe! Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and always remember: keeping six feet between you and others is much better than keeping six feet between you and the grass roots. 😀

    Best wishes,


    • and take your vitamins. Prepare your own immune system to fend off the critterw WHEN they invade (as they most assuredly will, sooner or later). Plenty of good information out there on how much of what will do the trick. Go and find out. Your future ability to maintain more than a fathom’s distance ABOVE the daisies.

  15. Mas, I have read, been entertained by and learned from your writings for 35 years now. If every American read “The Ayoob Files” I am convinced violent crime would be drastically reduced simply because citizens would have the knowledge to either prevent or defeat it. Your calling is an anointed one.

  16. Just remember guys, if we ever get to the point that the food runs out in stores the government will have the army go door to door searching houses for those of you who have stored large amounts of food to provide for yourself in such times. The food will be confiscated and distributed to the troops first and the population second.

    Many preppers have been preparing for something like this since Y2K. Food is neatly organized on shelves in their basements or shelters. Guns and ammo is no exception here. If that day comes it won’t be a starving hobo, neighbor, or friend politely knocking at the door. It will be an armed agent of the government, along with friends, lawfully taking your hard work and foresight away from you.

    Smart squirrels have many caches. Be a smart squirrel.

  17. Different “what if” scenarios are going through my head. Here’s a particularly scary one. I read that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran all have the capacity to shut down our electrical grid via the Internet at any time. Hopefully our government has not been so stupid as to leave our grid that vulnerable. But the point is, if an enemy wants to harm the USA now would be a good time to try.

    • I would think that most such enemies are currently occupied near full-time keeping their own heads above water as they vigourously flail their legs treading water. There is little time or energy remaining to come after us now. Still, no excuse to become complacent, but I don’t fear foreign aggression just now.

  18. There’s an old saying about “Scratch a liberal, find a fascist.” NY Gov Cuomo was on the news earlier demanding that the President essentially centralize production directives and produce stuff. Commissar Cuomo does have an certain ring to it.

    About the grid: haven’t you ever heard the saying “Don’t believe everything you hear/read”? One product of the WOT has been significant upgrades in electrical grid security, including computer security. This specifically includes stand alone control systems.

  19. Your perspective on reasonable fear is what I quote in classes I teach multiple times each week. Or what I used to say before this. Thanks again for your thoughtful perspective.

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