Fifteen days late, a dollar short
I note some of the reactions of the Blogosphere in regard to the possibility of Al-Qa'eda commandos entering the US and corpsing up citizens by small arms fire.

"I can tell you the first time any such incident occurs anywhere in America, I'm carrying from then on, legal or not."
(Comment on Rand Simberg's Transterrestrial Musings.)

It's about damned time somebody said it. But: If one hundredth of the United States adult population eligible to own firearms contemplate doing what you are, then the entire available US stock of suitable firearms will be depleted before you get yours. Update: the commenter I quoted above is not one of those deathbed-converts picking up his rifle for the first time. Visit him at Safety Valve.

If you can visualize today a plausible circumstance where you'll want and need a firearm for your own safety, then the time to go get it is not when that circumstance ratchets from "plausible" to "certain."

The time is today.

And if you live in a particular jurisdiction that includes a substantial fraction of America's ocean ports, airports, and vulnerable/excitable population, you will not take immediate delivery of your firearm. California makes you wait fifteen days. The time for you Californians was fifteen days ago.

"Owning a gun makes you an armed man no more than owning a piano makes you a pianist."
Getting your firearm is only the first hurdle. Whether you've owned other guns in the past, you haven't practiced with this one. Forget about how the cops feel (they don't like this one bit), even I might not appreciate you packing in public a piece you have never fired. An afternoon at the quarry won't suffice.

Note that people who are skilled at arms retrain periodically, by going to privately-operated schools that admit private citizens and graduate them as armed men and women. Those seats will be scarce---during normal times, the waiting lists are like trying to get a kid into swimming lessons in the Denver suburbs. But the school itself, which gets you to a basic level of competence, takes about a week (Gunsite is linked on the left).

(And one must deal with the downside, and there is one, of the many concealed-carry laws enacted in so many states recently: one of the legislative tradeoffs often made to make permits possible was the upgrading of carrying without permit from a misdemeanor to a felony.)

All this talk of ordinary men and women studying arms leads me to another post.

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