Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a Different Country

"Hey look, it's that gun store all the other ones told me might have 'em....think we could stop by real fast and I'll run up and see if they get 'em? Not often we're in this part of town!"

"Sure, try see if they got 9mil while your up there. If they do, call me and I'll come up too."

I jumped out of the truck and bounded up the two flights of stairs excitedly to the second story tenement, in the heart of downtown Honolulu. I don't go downtown too often, so I was excited to finally get my chance, since I was fortuitously in this particular area, in-between jobs, and I just happened to spot all the signs advertising the one store I'd heard so much about from a multitude of store clerks and dealers from all over the island.

Opening the iron-barred glass door, I felt my pulse quicken as I surveyed the rows and rows of rifles and shotguns, racked and locked all along the walls of the small studio-sized gun dealership. For a few moments, I dared to hope....hope that I had FINALLY found what I had been looking all over the island for, for the past year and a half.

"Howzit brah, you guys get any .22 ammo for sale?"

The local, middle-aged *Hyphenated-Asian-American* store keep in a dress shirt, business slacks and holstered Glock strapped high and tight on his waist, shot me a sour grimace.

"Sorry braddah, I 'aint seen any of dat for a long time."

I knew it.

"No moah .22? Short, long, LR, or Mag?"

"Sorry...brah. It's a different country!"

"No kidding! I heard all da Fedrul Guvahment agencees when put massive ordahs with all da mainland ammo companees, and dey can barely keep up with doze ordahs, instead of givin' enuff to da stores so da regulah folks can buy."

"Yeah, like I said, it's a different country now. Used to be, we would get our whole storage room full of boxes and boxes of all da .22 rounds....and everything else, too."

"You guys no more 9mil, .357, or .44 either?"

"Sorry. We only get 30-06, 30-30, .270, 7mil and .38 special."

"Damn. Every oddah place I go or call, dey all tell me da same ting...dat you da only place on da island dat get any .22 or even you guys no moah?"

"Not in one lo-o-ong time."

"So what, when you tink you might get again?"

"You can always try fo check back later."

"You mean da next shipment?"

"No....da next Prezuhdent."
"Shit, I don't vote, but maybe I should re-registah for da next time, just so I can MAYBE get one chance fo buy some fricken' ammo for my guns!"

Of course, I was just bullshitting for the sake of conversation. I know voting for the Pachyderms in the next Presidential election really won't make a damn bit of difference for our current, almost decade-long ammo's a different country now. Most of us still pretend it's a Constitutional Republic, but in practice, we are all under the jackboot of Administrative Law and Democracy for all.

"Whatevah you do, jus' no vote for da... D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T."

 He soundlessly spelled out that last with his mouth and wincing facial expressions. Almost as if Big Braddah was listening in and stickin' his omnipresent nose into our kuleana. 

Can't blame him for being overly-cautious, but I was still somewhat momentarily taken aback.

99.999% of all the *Hyphenated-Asian-American* locals in Hawaii are staunch Union-shill, Liberal Dems, famous for voting a straight Donkey party line, en mass...for generations. I guess despite owning a gun store during the administration of a President who inspired more nationwide gun sales then any administration prior, didn't have a favorable influence on his political opinion regarding the party that has had almost total majority rule in the People's Republic of Hawai'i Nei since Statehood in 1959.

Of course, he's probably upset at how much profit off of the sales for ammunition that he's lost over the last several years, as the demand for ammo is now way higher than the meager supplies that ever get shipped out to our Nation's most remote, Southern State. Looks to me like the anti-Second amendment revolutionaries who have infiltrated our Government, have decided to give up on gun control and focus on ammo control instead.

"Tanks anyways. Aloha, brah!

I shot him a perfunctory shaka, As I dejectedly slouched out of the store, realizing my last hope for finding some ammo for several pieces in my arsenal from a legal O'ahu source, was nothing but a futile, nearly two year long snipe hunt. I heard him wish me luck to my back as I departed.

"You goin' need it, brah."

Fuck this Brave New World Order.

I hereby resolve to cling to my guns and my bible even more than before.

To the rest of the USA-INC., I would offer my sincerest apologies for being from the home state of the most anti-second amendment Presidental administration in my lifetime...

...but then I'm from Hawai'i, not Kenya.


Hank Brown said...

Lol...kinda. Took my terminal leave on Oahu and assumed it would be paradise. No disrespect but I doubt I'll ever go back. I'm enough of an oddball on the mainland. Could have got laid every night dudes.

Eric said...

If it's any consolation to you, I live in the 2nd most Asian-American state; which is currently vying for the #1 position as most anti-2nd Amendment. The morons here passed (though admittedly with the help of some egregious voter fraud) one of the worst gun control laws in the country last fall.

The whole Pacific Rim of USA-INC is totally screwed.

Anonymous said...

Can't get ammo by mail?

MarkyMark said...


What about gun shows? Can you get ammo there?

BTW, I know what you mean by this being a different country. I'm from the People's Republic of New Jersey, for cryin' out loud! Anyway, I've made plans to expat to Peru, and I will be gone by this time next year...


dalrock said...

Here in Tx the ammo shortage looks to be pretty much over. We still can't find .22*, all of the main handgun and rifle calibers are now available for reasonable prices. They even had 100 round Winchester White Box value packs of .45 ACP at the local Bass pro for $35 a box a few months back. I bought four or five boxes, and could have bought more. Walmart has pretty much every caliber now as well.

The interesting thing is Obama has inadvertently turned every gun owner in the nation into a prepper when it comes to ammo. Under O we have had two separate ammo shortages, so those who didn't learn from the first shortage learned from the second time around. Every gun owner I talk to mentions keeping a private stash now.

*I suspect the reason .22 still isn't available is real preppers hoarding it as a form of SHTF currency, even if they don't own a gun.

dalrock said...

Of course, I was just bullshitting for the sake of conversation. I know voting for the Pachyderms in the next Presidential election really won't make a damn bit of difference for our current, almost decade-long ammo famine...

In Texas we had no trouble getting ammo until some time after O was elected. I don't know exactly when, but I bought a .45 shortly after he was elected and was stunned to see the shelves bare. The only ammo I could find was plinking ammo for $1 a round ($50 a box of 50).

Things slowly got better in the run up to O's reelection, and for maybe a year we could buy pretty much everything but .22. Then after he was reelected the shortage hit again. It has only been since the media started pondering the next presidential race that it became available again.

So for the mainland at least, the election cycle seems to have had everything to do with it. I strongly believe that if we have a Republican president we will have a period of ammo milk and honey. Whether this is due to relaxing the draconian regs, stopping excessive govt orders of ammo, or reducing fear, I think the problem will get better. However, this is a double edged sword because I also believe that a Republican president could be more dangerous than a democrat.

With Obama as president we didn't get more anti gun laws passed after Sandy Hook, because the Republicans in congress fought it. But with a Republican president, I don't know that it would have been the same. A weak Republican on guns could do us far more harm than an anti gun democrat like Obama.

Still, we have seen a massive shift in public opinion on guns in the past few years. More and more states are offering "shall issue" concealed carry, and there was a poll a while back showing that the majority of voters now believe that having a gun in the home makes it safer. In Texas you no longer need a permit to keep a loaded gun in your glove box so long as you aren't a gang member, felon, etc.

dalrock said...

With Obama as president we didn't get more anti gun laws passed after Sandy Hook, because the Republicans in congress fought it.

I should have added and the Democrats in Congress feared further alienating gun owners

boellemis said...

interesting post, it is very interesting to hear reports from societies that are diffrent from the one i live in,

Keoni Galt said...

@ Hank - Sounds like you stayed in out Concrete Jungle in Honolulu/Waikiki. Paradise it is not (though the beaches are still world class...).

@ Eric - No, hearing that is no consolation to me. :-)

@ Anon - Haven't really looked into it, but I do have some friends trying to find some .22 for me on the West Coast. The Ammo famine seems particularly aimed at .22 cal....

@ Dalrock - If you can't find .22 in Texas of all places, I'm about ready to just give up! Maybe you're right about whichever Party has a President will have some effect on the ammo is certainly undeniable that the moment Obama took office, gun sales exploded - while ammo almost immediately became scarce.

Keoni Galt said...

@ Mark - Haven't been to a gun show in years...we don't have them to often here. Good luck on the ex-pat plan to Peru!

dalrock said...

I haven't seen .22 ammo for probably four years. When the ammo shortage first hit I picked up a few value packs, because for a short period .22 was available when nothing else was. Then it changed, and as far as I can tell .22 is the hardest to find now. For a picture of this, see this page from an online ammo seller in Oklahoma. They have all sorts of 9mm, .45 ACP, 40 SW, etc. Here is their page for .22 long rifle. Click the button to show only items in stock and watch them all disappear.

Carnivore said...

While the prices aren't what they used to be, pretty much everything is available in suburban Chicago. There are limits on the number of boxes and haven't seen the mega-tubs of .22. Corrupt Illinois was the last state to allow concealed carry.

Tom White said...

Keoni, can you update my blog on your blogroll.

I have recently started posting again and Reflections of the Age can be found at its original site instead of the domain I let lapse.

dalrock said...

A bit more on the .22 shortage. Shortages don't exist unless something is preventing the market price from rising until the market clears. Usually that means government price controls, but in this case that doesn't apply. What I think is happening is retailers aren't willing to absorb the bad will that being perceived as price gouging would bring them. In the case of .22 LR, the market clearing price is so far beyond what shooters deem reasonable that this would mean much bad will. On top of that, the end retailer gets the heat but they aren't the part of the supply chain that raised prices. Walmart or your local gun store could stock .22 LR all day long, so long as they charged something like $20 per box of 50*. This is not much bigger than a box of tic tacs! When the ammo shortage first hit, I remember picking up some either 300 or 500 round bricks for something like $10-$15. I'm still shooting through a brick of $1,000 and some odds and ends I've had since I was in College 20 years ago (and I think parts of my .22 stash are from HS or earlier).

If a local gun store tried to sell me a tic tac sized box of .22 lr for $20, I'd laugh at them. Even if I bought a box or two, their profit would be minuscule. Gun owners have long memories, and any retailer seen as profiting because Obama caused a shortage (one way or another) would pay a price. So they wouldn't profit, but they would be perceived as gouging to take advantage of an anti gun administration. This is the worst of all worlds, and I think this is why .22 lr is still unavailable at local retail.

If retailers did raise prices high enough to let the market clear, eventually we would have seen some combination of lowered demand and higher supply until a more realistic clearing price was reached. But while that would solve our macro problem, the ill will isn't worth the risk from the retailer's perspective.

*See the prices at:

dalrock said...

Correction: "brick of $1,000" should be "brick of 1,000"

forest grump said...

have your gun store owner go to . even thoug you may not be able to order directly, if he has an FFL , he can. the prices are about .10 a round up. but he will need to mark it up , to make a little money on it.

this site is an agregator of the latest prices from a number of vendors.

Retrenched said...

Way OT but it looks like someone got Chuck Ross' old blog address and is using it to blog about casino games.

*** ******** said...

hmmm. food for thought, a friend of mine works at a gun store and he had told me this as well. conspiracy or not, the thought of the government stockpiling all the bullets reminds me of the Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock skit about how u can turn down gun violence by making bullets more expensive.

Mindstorm said...

Possibilities, possibilities....