The Cost of Guns and Ammo
- Posted by Jeff Carter
- on July 21st, 2012
He “was dressed all in black, he was wearing a ballistic helmet, a tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector and a groin protector and a gas mask, and black tactical gloves,” said Mr. Oates, the police chief.
Mr. Holmes had purchased two firearms at a Bass Pro Shop in Denver, the company said Friday.
Mr. Oates said Friday night that the suspect bought four guns over the past 60 days, and over the Internet bought 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle, 3,000 rounds for Glock handguns and about 300 shotgun rounds. The suspect also had a 100-round drum-style magazine for the assault rifle that would have allowed him to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute.
He had booby trapped his apartment as well. This isn’t a sane person. Although there are those that disagree.
Since he bought so much over the internet, I wondered about that. Here is a search result I received when I typed in, “buy an assault rifle”. 4.37M results. Clicking on a couple of the links reveals the prices. Most are in the $600-$800 range. Body armor, $300. Ballistic helmet, on sale for $200. Ammunition isn’t cheap, 100 rounds is $80. A Drum Magazine that can hold 100 rounds is $139.
The crazed person spent thousands of dollars to prepare. $2400 on ammo alone. I don’t get it, but then I am rational. Where was he getting his money? Student Loans? Hope not. When I was in college I was always scraping for money.
Banning all of this stuff won’t help the situation. There is obviously demand. Registering all this stuff probably won’t help either, because the criminals aren’t going to register anything. But, should you be able to buy over the internet? Mail order? Would this crazy have been able to stockpile ammo if he had to drive around Colorado and do it? Should there be a limit on how many bullets you can own? But at one time? Should there be a computerized tracking system to track how much you have bought?
Some of the nutjobs that have wreaked mass havoc in the last twenty years were able to buy a lot of their material and stockpile it. Timothy McVeigh comes to mind. They went to several sources. Not a lot different than prescription drug abusers that go to different doctors and pharmacists to stockpile drugs they are addicted to.
So if society is unable to stop the purchase of all this stuff, how can we create economic incentives so that we decrease demand for it? Truly, if you are going to buy a weapon for self defense, an assault weapon isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
I don’t know the answers to these questions. I am bringing them up so we confront the hard reality. Crazy people are going to crazy things and we can’t stop them. Personally, I would never own an assault weapon. The last gun I bought was an over and under shotgun. I went to a gun store in the suburbs of Chicago. When I was there, some gang bangers were in there and were admiring a MAC 10. They were trying to figure out how to turn it from semi-auto to automatic. It was a $600 gun.
The three kids I saw could have spent the money on vocational classes at a city college instead.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments. I don’t want to hear how we need concealed carry to stop this. That wouldn’t have worked in that theatre. No one would have shot through the smoke in a chaotic theatre at the gun man. How do we change economic incentives so the ability to arm yourself in this manner isn’t possible? Or at least is very cost prohibitive?
It’s impossible to calculate the cost to society of events like this happening. But, even though they are statistical outliers, they need to stop.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.
Jeffrey Carter is an angel investor and independent trader. He specializes in turning concepts into profits. He co-founded Hyde Park Angels one of the most active angel groups in the United States in April of 2007. He previously served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Directors. He has done market commentary for (More...)
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