Friday, 29 January 2021 11:42

COLUMN: A case of supply and demand

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COLUMN: A case of supply and demand J.A. Bolton

The year 2020 brought a much higher anxiety level than most people ever expected. Sure, there was the presidential election drama, social unrest in our country, and of course, the pandemic that all of us just wish would be over.

During these troubling times, people are more apt to turn to religion, alcohol, drugs or guns for their protection or emotional wellbeing.

This past year, panic-buying on things like masks, toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, guns and ammo seemed to be the rule. Why, you were lucky to find any of the above on the shelf.

Gun shops and big-box stores have never seen such a spike in sales of guns and ammunition. First-time buyers of guns were up 40% while the number of firearms permits soared. Gun sales to women was at an all-time high.

Just as people hoarded toilet paper this past year, they did the same for guns and ammo. All this panic buying caused a big shortage to the manufacturer’s supply chain. Why, gun manufacturers received so many orders that they just couldn’t keep up with the demand, plus the pandemic affected their workforce. 

When people buy more guns, it also means that more ammo must be produced and sold, and before long, we have a shortage. We all know when the demand is high, it seems to bring the prices up along with it.

An old friend of mine said that back during World War II, ammunition, like shotgun shells, was hard to come by. Seems a guy he knew had an old shotgun for sale and a case of shells went with it. My friend said he didn’t need the gun but bought it anyway just to get the shells.

The gun and ammo manufacturers know that things will settle back down. The “hangover period” will stall sales and there will be a surplus of guns and ammo on the market, but until then, you can expect shortages.

So, the question arises, why do we need all these guns and ammo? 

In America, old habits are hard to break. The Second Amendment protects our right to bear arms. Most folks in our country have always had a love for firearms for their protection and enjoyment. It just seems to be in our blood. Seems one woman buying her first gun last year said it was to keep her family safe. “It definitely makes me feel better knowing that I have a firearm with me just in case something happens,” she said.

Before the pandemic, shooting sports were at an all-time high. Yessir, there were shooting ranges, both public and private, all over this great country, both inside and outside. The sport of hunting is still a favorite pastime for many sportsmen.

Why, some people even have their own reloading equipment and reload their own ammo. It’s a nice hobby but first requires some equipment, like primers, powder, shot and other components. It’s just the idea that you can save a little money, plus you can reload the ammo as you like.

One of my favorite hobbies is to go shoot several rounds of skeet or trap with friends at the John Lentz shooting range. The range is run by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and is located beside Millstone 4-H Camp in northeastern Richmond County. The newly refurbished range offers skeet and trap for just $3 a round, but they don’t accept cash. You will need ammo, safety glasses and ear protection. Also, there are covered pistol, rifle and several archery ranges on site. Personnel are on site and are very helpful with any questions you might have.

Other than owning a gun from the sporting aspect, many people just want one for their own protection. The Holy Bible tells us that in “end times,” men will become even more wicked and think more of themselves than of their fellow man. In these times, as in times past, there will be a great concern for lawlessness, looting, and any other evil that mankind can come up with in his heart. So, owning a gun might not be such a bad idea for some.

Today, if you buy a long gun for sport or protection and get it from a licensed gun dealer, it’s got to be registered with the federal government. This is not to say that all our guns are registered. A lot of old guns didn’t even require a serial number stamped on the gun and were never required to be registered. To purchase a pistol, you will have to have a permit signed by your local sheriff’s department. Owning a gun carries a lot of responsibility. It should be kept in a safe place away from children. The owner should know how to safely operate his or her weapon and always be safety minded.

To wind this column down, my theory is that until the Lord returns, we just might need some type of self-protection for ourselves and our family. That is, if it’s available on the shelf.

J.A. Bolton is author of “Just Passing Time,” co-author of “Just Passing Time Together,” and just released his new book, “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories,” all of which can be purchased on Amazon. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..