The title, to anyone who has read Tolkien, will be immediately recognizable: King Theoden makes an aside to Gandalf and Aragorn about the loss of the Orthanc Palantir, and how Saruman, once wise and powerful, has lost his powers as a result of his evil actions. On that note, Glenn Reynolds has shared this letter from a reader that is very instructive:
I was in Birmingham, AL this afternoon and went to two of the biggest gun stores around. Both were packed with shoppers but not with merchandise. At Hoover Tactical (a terrific shop and range – http://hoovertacticalfirearms.com) I picked up a lightly used Ruger “assault” rifle that had just come in on consignment earlier today; another shopper tried to buy it out from under me! They had one other similar weapon in the store (a no-name knock off), also used. Since there were no other AR type rifles to be had, hand guns were flying off the shelves. I bought two, several others sold to multiple people while I was waiting on my background check, and there were more people looking at remaining handgun stock.
The tired looking woman behind the counter (with a really nice looking pistol on her hip) said people had been 4 deep at the counter earlier this year. The folks said they call manufacturers daily and are lucky to get 1 or 2 “assault rifles” at random intervals and many “don’t even get behind the counter” before they are bought. Ammo for the rifles is impossible to find but the store had just gotten in a big shipment of .45 caliber – $99 for 250. It was flying out the door as well.
The other store put me on a 3 page list of people who wanted to know when more rifles would come in.
There’s no question that America is better armed than it was two months ago, all thanks to President Obama! Assuming the Republicans in the House don’t prove spineless (a major assumption), the net effect of the Obama gun control initiatives will be to a massive increase in guns owned by private citizens, record profits for gun stores and manufacturers, and a very alert citizenry. This second term may yet work out better than expected!
Naturally, please don’t use my name on this if you quote this……