March Soapbox- Corona Virus

Who knew?  A month ago, I’d never heard of it.  One of those curious, foreign calamities that had a news value but otherwise appeared to present very little threat to “us”.  Boy, has that changed, and who knows what the endgame is.

Here’s a small patch of silver lining: the existence/threat of this virus has (at least temporarily) squelched the growing crisis in Hong Kong regarding human rights.  It appeared inevitable that the Chinese government would ultimately launch a Tianamen-style crushing military response.  That threat (temporarily) no longer exists, but no thoughtful individual imagines that the underlying issues that led to the rioting are anything but momentarily dormant – the conclusion of that story has not yet been told.

The first signs of an economic impact – the almost unprecedented, precipitous decline of the stock market – have become blindingly apparent and they resonate across the entirety of the economy (reality check: the DJIA average now stands at roughly what was a record high as little as five months ago).  While fear has exaggerated the decline, there are clearly real supply chain disruptions that make tariffs look like a speed bump.  Ask Apple how this will impact their business.  The ripples are beginning to circle the globe.

For example, next week’s IWA exposition, the international equivalent of SHOT annually held in Germany, has been “postponed”.  The liklihood of the NRA Convention being conducted in Nashville in about six weeks?  I doubt it.  The prospects for the Olympic games being contested in August in Tokyo?  I doubt this “thing” is going to be fixed in time to assure the safety to the potential attendees.

We’re just getting a taste of the impact of this virus here at home and while it’s far too early to imagine the possible outcomes, I’m not reassured about our ability to combat the contagion.  It’s my increasingly cynical nature to fear the worst when my government echos Franklin Roosevelt (“The only thing we have to fear …”).  My imagination runs wild.

History has shown the impact that the threat of social unrest has on the firearms market.  I’d very gladly forgo the likely increase in business for a solution to, or even mere mitigation of,  the problem.

BTW, Bernie vs. Biden?  (Biden at a town hall 02/20: “Gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you, period”.  Oh please … bite me).  A titanic struggle between Lilliputians.  A war of wits between unarmed opponents.  The Democrats will deserve the outcome of the nomination/election process that appears increasingly likely.

So, that’s my story.  Happy March!

February Soapbox – NSSF Real Solutions

It’s nice to be back.  I missed you guys and girls.

I’ve just returned from SHOT, a little the worse for the wear, but I was happy to reconnect with so many old friends and industry associates.  Our response to the inquiries “What’s new?” was a relatively modest one.  You’ll have seen or will see some additional barrel lengths, specifically the 4” Ranger II (California: you’re welcome).  We’re also looking at offering some additional colored finishes (bronze and dark blue were shown at the show) as well as a faux case-hardened look (not my personal favorite, I’ll admit, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder).  You can probably expect to see these offered as TALO special editions.  Otherwise, I answered the question with “Same old low prices, same old high quality and same old good customer service”.

I wanted to briefly redraw your attention to the state of the firearms industry and last year’s stunningly abrupt reversal in the anti-gun rhetoric spewed by Joe Biden, echoed by several others of his fellow candidates, where he shifted his sights away from the NRA and refocused them, instead, on the universe of firearms manufacturers who he characterized as “the enemy” of public safety https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/450807-biden-enemy-is-gun-manufacturers-not-the-nra.  I use that as counterpoint to a campaign designed and supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation called “Real Solutions” https://www.nssfrealsolutions.org/ which illustrates the policies and programs created and championed by the industry which actually have a demonstrable, positive impact on public safety.  This is joined by a companion program recently launched called “Gun Owners Care” https://gunownerscare.org/, an effort intended to deflect the broad-brushed criticisms that gun owners like you and me are inherently bad people because of our enjoyment of firearms and the rights and traditions they embody.

We are not the enemy and I’m tired of the slander routinely heaped upon us.  How about you?