For a couple of years I knew it was coming, but I had hoped to stick it out at least another year. Working conditions at what had been my nice, comfortable, well paying, low stress job, were continuing to deteriorate in the bad economy. After witnessing wave after wave of "workforce reductions", my name eventually made the list in February 2012.
Fortunately I had stayed friends with the owner of a small company I had worked for earlier.
Previous to February I had been preparation minded, though my priorities were a little skewed. If I had $500 to spend, what would I get? Something fun, perhaps? Some new amateur radio gear? Camping equipment? Shooting accessories? These all might have practical uses in a disaster. Then there are the more mundane items, bulk food, alternative power sources, water barrels, silver bullion for barter. Not much fun can be had out in the desert with any of these. But ask yourself, if the ground suddenly shakes violently (the Salt Lake metro area is overdue), if the events of Black Tuesday, 29 October 1929, were to repeat themselves, if utilities went down for an extended period, if a run on the stores cleared out the shelves, what items would become the most important?
In the last year, catching up on what I should have been accumulating all along in essential practical preps has become the priority for my (now significantly reduced) income, over fun (but practical) items, such as guns.
Then came the Sandy Hook massacre, and the reaction to it in Washington, DC. Like everyone, this event impacted me emotionally. You wouldn't be a human being if it didn't. These were small children, for God's sake.
The National Rifle Association proposes a policemen on every campus. The last thing we need is to bring TSA-style security theater to the neighborhood elementary school. Nor do we need more "school resource officers" initiating criminal charges for matters that used to be resolved between parents and the principal.
I would like to see the mental health system that Ronald Reagan dismantled put back together. Just what money did we save? The system today leaves alone the mentally ill who do not seek treatment on their own, then it punishes irrational destructive acts the same as malicious crimes. This is true insanity (doing the same thing, yet expecting better results). Jails do not help them, so they come back over and over again, after they have hurt someone again.
In 48 states, a teacher would be breaking the law by keeping a locked box in a drawer, quickly opened by pressing a combination, to retrieve a pistol. A madman on a rampage, on course, could care less about the law. Fortunately for the children of Utah, we are not one of those states. Few teachers want to be armed, yet one is all it would take to bring a shooting spree to a quick end, just as an armed volunteer security guard did in a Colorado church, a few years ago.
The left proposes a broad sweeping gun ban (link). Barack Obama waits impatiently for it's arrival on his desk. Firearmageddon is a term coined my youtube user Nutnfancy (link). If you're not already familiar, click that link and get familiar, excellent stuff, if you care anything at all about disaster preparation and the safe and effective handling of firearms and knives. As I write this, panic buying is in full swing.
A few months ago, I handed a Springfield M1A I was examining back to the sales rep at the Lehi Cabelas. $1800? Not this year. Today I'd be lucky to find one for $2,500, if not $3k!
Like any responsible gun owner, I see the one hour safety lecture that came with my first purchase of a pistol, and the four hour safety lecture it took to get a Utah permit to carry concealed, as merely a start to my ongoing proficiency training. An AR-15 with a holographic site (zero magnification) has served me well for instruction involving close range immediate action drills or a day long walk in the desert. I'm not about to lug around the weight of a full sized M1A all day, along with a battle load of .308 ammo, and sufficient drinking water to stay hydrated in that climate. I do, however, see the shortcomings in my abilities to shoot a reasonable group at distances in excess of 100 yards. I waited a little too long, an event happened, my world changed, let that be a lesson to me. Any prepper knows 20 years too early beats a day too late. Hopefully some good tactical classes involving significant distances will be offered this year, and my Russian SKS, with that cheap illuminated 2 - 6 X scope (that I've never gotten around to sighting in), will suffice. Any prepper knows when you are too late, you make do with what you have.
I expect the Republicans in Congress to cave. The internet is filled with the shrill voices of Americans, their constituents, demanding "something be done about the guns". Now doubt their offices are flooded with calls and emails. Sen. Feinstein has loaded up that bill, asking for the moon. She will offer to cross a few items off the list, they will compromise, and something will pass, just as compromise got the now expired 1993 Clinton AWB enacted into law.
For now, the job market remains dismal, the housing bubble that was the most significant causing factor of the 2008 stock plunge, and nearly triggered the Second Great Depression, is only the first of several economic "bubbles" just waiting to burst, SHTF is getting closer and closer...but it ain't here yet! The gun shelves are empty, the ammo rack as well, but there's still plenty of preps I will need freely available. May my wisdom in prioritizing these purchases be a little better in 2013.