Now That I Have Rushed Out And Purchased A Carbine, What Am I Going To Do With It?
Windham Weaponry Model WW40
I Still Have No Use For An "Assault Rifle", But I Have One
Last Monday, the State of New York announced it's newest gun legislation, a new gun control law that is said to be the most restrictive gun legislation to date. The following morning, I did what many people in my community did, they went to the nearest gun store to see what was available in the way of "assault" rifles, magazines, and ammunition. When I arrived, there were three vehicles in the parking lot. When I walked to the door four minutes later, the parking lot was full. I was the first person to the counter in the assault rifle section of the store and I think I was the first to openly admit that I was specifically there to make a last minute purchase of what ever decent assault style rifle they had in stock. I believe the other customers were attempting to mill around a bit to see who and what was being bought and to look like they were not rushing in at the last minute desperate to buy an assault rifle.
When the salesman came up to me I pointed to a specific rifle and asked to see it. I was handed an AR-15 style rifle and told that this was the last rifle of this type that they had in stock. It is understandable why this particular model was still in stock, this one came with no carrying handle (a familiar characteristic of an M-16 or AR-15 style rifle), sights or optics, but has the words "Sight Ready Carbine" or "SRC" included in the model description. Kind of funny after the fact that I chose to buy a carbine that I cannot use until I purchase a scope or a set of iron sights. As ironic as it seems, not only are assault rifles, magazines, and ammunition in short supply, accessories such as add-on iron sights, optics, and bi-pods that improve the effectiveness and functionality of these weapons are quickly becoming out of stock items as well, both in retail stores and on-line.
As I looked the rifle over, I made mention that I did not recognize the manufacturer of this weapon. I was told that this particular weapon was manufactured by the former Bushmaster company. The original owner bought the closed down factory and hired half of the old employees back to produce an improved line of AR-15 style carbines, with a mission to make the "best carbines in the business". While I wanted to believe his story, I did not, I thought he was just doing a sales pitch to get me to buy the "Last One". As I handed him the weapon and started tell him I would think about it, several of the other salesmen on the floor were pointing the salesman standing in front of me, saying that the weapon he was holding the last AR-15 style carbine in the store. I heard myself saying, " I think, I am going to...", and as I was about to say the word "think", four hands came out of nowhere followed by four voices asking to see the weapon. I ended up saying, "I think I am going to take it". Immediately after I told the salesman I was going to buy the weapon, he yelled out to the other salesman in the area that he was selling the last 5.56mm carbine.
After filling out the paperwork and getting the purchased approved by what ever entity performs a quick background check, I paid for my purchase and walked out of the store the proud owner of a .223/5.56mm carbine that I cannot use. There were no optics or aftermarket iron sights in stock in the store or any other store within a 150 mile radius. I was also suddenly aware of how many people were watching me as I left the store. After putting the rifle in the car, I sent a text to my wife about buying the gun and proudly informed her that we had purchased the "last one" in the store. She sent a return text asking the purchase price and commented on our rifle being the last one. An hour later, she called me and asked me how the new gun was. I surprised myself by telling her that I was excited about the gun while making the purchase, but now that I have it, it is not really that exciting. She was a bit confused and asked me to explain why I was not excited about buying such an expensive gun. After describing the weapon and sending her a picture of the rifle, she was not too excited about the new purchase either.
When my wife came home from work she went to the gun safe to have a look at our new gun. she took it out of the case, looked at it and asked me where the sights and carrying handle were. When I told her this model did not come with those particular accessories she asked me how the hell we are supposed to shoot it without sights. She felt it was rather odd that a weapon with a model description as being "sight ready" does not come with sights. With a slightly disappointed look on her face, she handed me the rifle telling me that she now understood why I was not all that excited about the new rifle. As she left he room, she asked me if the gun was a piece of junk since it came without sights. Luckily, as bare boned as it is, the weapon is a quality weapon, but when one makes a rash, fear driven impulse purchase, he or she stand the chance of buying a poorly made overpriced weapon. While my purchase was an overpriced fear driven impulse purchase, I did buy a quality firearm. To be perfectly honest, I purchased this weapon not because I need it or even want it, I bought it because I may not have the opportunity to do so in the future.
So now that I have this weapon, what am I going to do with it? My initial plan was to simply remove the bolt, lock the gun in the safe and wait to see what happens over the next few months with the proposed introduction of a new weapons ban. If a ban was to be enacted then my purchase may become a worthwhile investment, something I could make a profit on by selling it in the future. I would have to exercise some self control to resist the urge to fire the weapon, especially if I take the time to purchase optics or sights for this weapon, items I would need to purchase for the weapon either way. In fact I should purchase these accessories now rather than later. The problem is that some accessories such as bi-pods, folding sights, and optics are also in high demand. Some legislator may decide that a AR-15 style weapon with folding sights or a scope is concealable or military in nature and that certain accessories should be banned as well.
For several minutes I was kind of giddy, sort of like a child being allowed to do something they are not normally allowed to do. It was actually kind of exciting not only to be making the purchase, but getting the getting the "last one" made me feel kind of special, especially after the salesman wrote approved after performing the telephonic background check. But on the way home I lost that feeling. To make matters worse, one of the men standing in the parking lot who watched me load my purchase into the car was now following me. My excitement was replaced with paranoia and fear that I may have placed myself in danger simply by purchasing this weapon. I was immensely relieved when the vehicle following me turned onto a side road after a mile or so and headed in another direction.
I know I made an impulse purchase spurred by fear and massive speculation. When my wife and I make a large purchase, we plan it out. One or both of us research the product we are planning to purchase and compare it to similar products. We also shop for the best prices, and often wait to see how well a product sells a few months of being on the market or demand for a popular product has gone down. In this case, I did not research the product until after I made the purchase. Demand is high, but in this case we did not know if the supply of this product was going to be replenished. Weapons manufacturers are not producing more product until they know for sure if there is going to be a ban. They don't want to be stuck with inventory they cannot sell. As far as shopping around, I could not shop around because most retail gun dealers are sold out of assault rifles, specifically the AR-15 style carbines. The remaining assault style weapons are cheaply made weapons or weapons that serve no purpose at all other than being able to send bullets down range. Used guns are for sale, but the cost of these weapons are considerably higher than retail store prices and most have gone up due to the threat of a possible weapons ban.
I will close with this, when I made my purchase, there were only seven remaining weapons on the wall in the assault rifle section of the store. The remaining weapons were the following. One 9mm UZI with a collapsible stock and a 16 inch extended barrel. Two Turkish M&k rifles (a 9mm and a 5.56mm) which resembled H&K rifles, but were made of stamped metal. A Thompson .45 cal. replica with no stock, and a WWII Springfield and Enfield rifle. When I left the shop, the wall was bare. The remaining choices are the soviet bolt action rifles that have recently flooded the market, and a handful of Chinese SKS rifles with rust damage on all of the metal parts and green moldy stocks. These weapons are old and cheap, and are placed on open racks on the sales floor. People were buying these weapons as I was leaving, some of which I believe are not and will never be in any condition to be fired.