Saturday, December 29, 2012

Timing is Everything (Especially when it comes to buying "assault" rifles lately)

Generally speaking, whenever I have the slightest bit of spare money in my pocket, combined with general boredom, usually has the makings of a trip to the local gun shops and pawn shops. Most of the time I just do a little window shopping but occasionally something will catch my eye that I just can't say no to. December 14th was one of those days.

I went to work on December 14th, as usual, and also had an appointment with my chiropractor (pure bliss for my lower back). I overheard the receptionists at the chiropractors office sharing some water cooler talk about some sort of shooting that had happened recently. I wasn't really paying particular attention to their conversation, I just caught bits and pieces, my ear catching the keywords; crazy people, shooter, children, school shooting. I continued on with my day, unaware of the tragedy in Newtown, CT. that was just beginning to break on the major news networks. I finished my day at work, not having checked the news and still ignorant of the events.

I began my window / possible gun shopping trip immediately after I got off work, my first stop was a local pawn shop called Old Sarge's which I can only assume must have been founded or owned by a retired army Sergeant(?). I've dropped in there occasionally just to see if they have anything that might catch my eye, it's always hit and miss at the pawn shops, but on this particular day, I spotted a decent looking M1 carbine. Meanwhile, playing in the background, the breaking news of the Newtown, CT. school shooting. Of course, the salesman, myself and another shopper began to talk about the ramifications of such a tragic, gun-related massacre, but we had no idea of it's soon-to-be-felt impact on the firearms market, specifically the price spike on "assault" type rifles such as AR15's, AK47's and Mini-14's. The severity of the Newtown school shooting had yet to hit me, I hadn't yet absorbed the specifics of what had just transpired, later in the day and over the next several days, I felt sick, disgusted by such a senseless slaughter of innocent children. But at that particular time, I still wasn't aware of the magnitude of the event.

The M1 ended up being a post-war Ivar johnson. I've been wanting to add an M1 carbine and an M1 Garand to my collection and it was looking like today was the day that I would finally acquire my first M1 carbine. We shook hands for the carbine at $749 to put it on layaway and headed over to the cash register. The salesman wrote up my ticket, I gave him a deposit of $200. While he was running my debit card through the machine, the glare of a shiny, stainless steel Ruger Mini-14 caught the corner of my eye. It was not displayed on the wall like all the other firearms, it was just leaning up against the wall behind the cash register. My guess was that it was back there because someone had purchased it or put it on layaway, but I made my inquiry anyway.

"Excuse me sir" I asked "I'm guessing that the Ruger Mini-14 isn't available?"

The salesman turned and replied "Actually, it hasn't been sold."

"Can I have a look at it?" I continued.

And oh my, was this ever a gorgeous Mini-14. I hadn't ever seen a stainless steel Mini-14 in person and boy, is it ever a "looker". This one also had a 40 round stainless steel magazine which made the overall presentation even more impressive. I knew right away that I wanted it.

I wasn't really all that hot for that particular M1 carbine, so the decision was easy. I simply asked the salesman if he would mind that I just switch out my purchase and transfer my down payment from the M1 carbine, to the Mini-14. The Mini-14 was priced fairly at $699, I didn't even bother to haggle over the price, I just took it. As we all have witnessed, prices of Mini-14's has sky-rocketed since that aweful day, December 14th. A quick scan at shows that similar Mini-14's are currently going for around $1000.

With my reassignment to Korea imminent, I decided to sell my music, DJ and music studio equipment, resulting in my pockets dangerously over-flowing with cash. This influx of cash enabled me to pick-up my stainless steel Ruger Mini-14 today. The salesman couldn't help but comment about how much more money he could have sold the Mini-14 for.

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