What’s A Girl To Do…In New Jersey

My friend ScotShot who has penned an editorial or two on this blog, sent me this from one of his instructors, Heidi Bergmann-Schoch. He had read a note in NSSF data that pointed out the number of new women gun owners since the outbreak of COVID-19. He reached out to Heidi for her opinion on it as she, in addition to being an instructor, is a coordinator of one of The Well-Armed Woman chapters in New Jersey.

Here is what she had to say. I am posting it with her permission.

I have looked through the newsletters I receive from TWAW and have not found anything that relates specifically to these topics. But I can give you my take on it.

Women have historically had a difficult time being taken seriously when researching and actually acquiring firearms. It’s been a “man’s world” and us little ladies shouldn’t be worrying our little heads about such things. But we have to….our town or development may be the next one in line to have a “peaceful” demonstration that evolves into violence as night falls. We all hear it, “call the police, it’s their job” except they are overwhelmed and will NOT be coming right over to check the group at your front door. They can’t. They’re already tied up with the dozens of calls before yours. So what do we, as responsible, independent women, do to fix the problem and be safer? We get training. We buy guns.

Except we can’t. At least not in an expeditious manner.

Though the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution says we have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves, New Jersey has us jump through more hoops then a pack of Jack Russells at a Dog and Pony show in order to do it. And that’s during “normal” times. Now it is nearly impossible to acquire a gun in a timely manner and impossible to receive training and get practice time as the indoor ranges are closed and the outdoor ranges severely restricted.

The 2nd Amendment Daily News says America added 2 million first time gun owners in 5 months. 800,000 of those were women. Sales are up 80% over May of last year. The percentages hold through New Jersey. So by limiting access to training is the Government of New Jersey setting us up for a greater fall? Just waiting for the first inappropriate discharge of a firearm from a brand new firearm owner? Makes you wonder…

And then there are the others murmurs about restricting ammunition sales. Right now you may find some calibers in somewhat short supply. Everyone who can wants to be ready to defend themselves. Currently it’s a volume problem but looking at the future and the murmurs in quiet corners, it could very well be more then that in the future with the NJ Government abolishing the ability to acquire ammo on line. It hasn’t happened yet, but we know the current regime is rabidly against personal firearms ownership and stay up at night figuring out how to further deprive us of personal protection.

So what’s a girl to do?

Numerous women’s gun organizations have come into being over the last 5 to 10 years, all with the goal of supplying women with the resources to become better shooters and better defenders of themselves and their loved ones. And while the emphasis is on firearms, particularly handguns, other means of protection are also covered. Most local chapters of these organizations meet once a month and have an educational segment as well as range time. Topics are diverse; one meeting may be on proper shooting stance and the next on situational awareness.  All subjects have the goal of better preparing the women to be responsible for themselves and confident in their actions.

Since shooting is a perishable skill, groups like The Well Armed Woman strongly encourage their members that attend a meeting to follow up by going out on the range after the classroom portion is over. They even track who has completed range time and counsel those who do not practice to do so, at least with the group. For some, this is the new “bowling night”, socializing with friends who have similar likes and attitudes with the added benefit of education. Many of these women have no other outlet or social circle to discuss and enjoy this hobby/lifestyle. Guns are feared by many and there are those out there that feel women with guns are an aberration. Instead of ostracism, in these groups they find welcome and acceptance.

The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters continually support women and their quest to protect themselves. Once a year on June 6th, they hold a reminder that women who choose to can be, and are, proactive in protecting themselves. Using the hash tags #IAmEmpowered, #IAmPrepared and #IRefuseToBeAVictim these guiding principles of #NOTMe and #NeverAgain  support women’s ability to keep safety in their own hands and not rely on anyone else.

Except this year in New Jersey, they could not. Covid-19 came along and government shut down our society and ranges. And now, even as commercial sports are opened up to the multitudes, ranges are still closed. The thousands of new guns owners, women and men, go home with their proud acquisition unable to even fire it for the first time.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…

This is a short guest post from ScotShot. In it, he theorizes about the true origins of the shortage of a consumer product with which we are all familiar.

It was a dark and stormy night on K street sometime in early January. Adam Longneck had been pestering Lady P about some virus that was going to turn Orange Man Bad into Orange Man Gone, but no-one was paying attention to him since he blew out the impeachment. Nonetheless, Lady P was desperate. So she had grudgingly agreed to let some failing interns do what they could to come up with ideas that would turn a pending infection from China into a national panic.

It was after bed-time and the chilled Ketel One had run out ages ago. The button downs were unfastened and there wasn’t a Windsor knot to be seen. Karen was poking the eyes of the bunny on her sweater with a ballpoint and Tyler was using lip-balm for the tenth time that hour he rubbed his chin and was temporarily distracted by the lack of growth since that morning. Not that it was worrying him.

… “OK, OK, these are great ideas, but Lady P needs something to get it going. We need, we need a trigger..” “What do we HAVE, people?”

There was silence, then a Karen-in-the-Korner raised her hand. Tyler sighs. “OK, what?” KK says, “Toilet paper.. “ A hush settles in the room and then high fives all round.. The Android gets tapped.. “mm-hmm.. yup.. it’s us.. you can tell her we got it … tell her to call the people at http://protestjobs.com/

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Has Given Us Two Very Successful Experiments In Social Control – One Global, One National

The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.

More to the point of this editorial, “ScotShot” has a PhD in immunology from the University of Strathclyde and served for a few years as the Director of Research at a university center on biodefense.

It seems like an interminable time since the first recognized case of COVID-19 hit places in Europe (Northern Italy) and the USA. At the time of writing it’s been five months. There are many timelines out there that you can find, and the question of whether it actually came earlier is real. However, there’s a great interactive published by the New York Times that is well worth a look:


In these five months, the United States and other Western countries have been transformed by this event. Your present correspondent, who writes from the aggressively confinement-orientated New Jersey, has been struck by how much and for how long we have allowed this to modify our behavior and change our lives.

I’m not going to discuss the various successes and errors nor whether the Orange Man did well or poorly. I also am not going to discuss whether it was correct or wrong for Western governments to fall over themselves to follow the apocalyptic modeling of a certain Dr F from Imperial College, London after it became clear that it was only older people who were generally at significant risk. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We always, as they say, fight with the tools of the previous war, and this was fought with the tools built during the emergence of HIV. No foul, Drs F’n’B.

Let’s talk, Gentle Reader, about two Great Experiments.

EXPERIMENT ONE – “OK, we didn’t plan a biowarfare attack, but…”

Take another look at the NYT interactive linked above and remember that while this was taking place, China had essentially shut down, or was in the process of shutting down, internal travel. The Chinese Authorities very likely knew about how contagious this new virus was and the morbidity/mortality it carried. While we can’t know exactly what they were thinking, it’s interesting to speculate that some bright spark may have come up with the idea of letting a bunch of very likely infected people leave the epicenter of the outbreak to a whole bunch of countries just to see what would happen. That is, just to see how Europe, Australia, the USA would react at the levels of their governments and their citizens. I’d say that they are happy beyond their wildest dreams right now.

The whole Western economy disrupted, (multi?)-generational debt accrued, lockdown frustration amplifying civil unrest here in the USA (and whether the murder of Mr F was a deliberate trigger-act is for others to discuss). Oh, they learned a lot about us. Importantly, they learned that certain parts of our manufacturing capabilities were so dependent upon them that countries would order protective materials only to find that they were, for example, defective upon shipping or would buy back their own previously charitably-given supplies . They also learned that the political process here is so fractured that parties would use the pandemic to further their venal political ends. This brings us to…

EXPERIMENT TWO – “Wow, I never thought they’d do this…”

It is perhaps surprising (but only in retrospect) that only one or two countries, e.g., Sweden, didn’t follow the others in the mass-lemmingization of the West into the economic and social chaos of the pandemic lockdown. The UK, well England to be more precise, did make an attempt, but it was half-hearted at best and they basically caved at the first sign of trouble. Scotland, with its more socialist political environment, went for it whole-heartedly and are this week rejoicing that the affectionately-known “wee Nichola” has allowed them to once again go out and socialize but “at a distance.. over your garden fence, and not going into your neighbors’ homes..”. This is remarkably like it is in more blue-hued States here in the United States: NJ, NY, WA, OR, CA…. As we now begin to emerge armed with actual data about the effects of the pandemic and the entrepreneurial economy re-emerges in the red states, we see the true political agendas laid bare on the beach like little blue puddles as the tide of pandemic caution recedes.

Don’t wear a mask… everyone wear a mask… you don’t need a test… everyone needs to be tested… two weeks to flatten the curve… could be six months till we get a vaccine… back to normal…. emerge into the New Normal…

The “New Normal?” What is this New Normal that Democrat Governors are talking about? I’d say that they too have had a very successful experiment going in enhanced social control over their citizens. Well, I guess when you force small business owners to close down while letting corporate giants (naming no names) stay open, you are garroting your opposing political base. Who really cares whether people wear masks properly so long as they cover their faces somehow and you get the bonus of a bunch of Karens hounding those who do not, live-streamed on Facebook. You issued an Executive Order and people rushed to squeeze through the Overton Window just so that they could get out of the house.

What can we conclude…

So, what can we conclude, Gentle Reader, about the outcome of these two experiments? To date, they have been very successful and those who conducted them have learned a lot about their experimental subjects. Personally, I think it’s more important to think about what we, those very subjects, have learned about the experimenters and our fellow subjects.

As the lockdown is eased in red states and not blue, we see a picture emerging that is disturbingly similar to the cover of Kurt Schlichter’s book, “People’s Republic”. Blue State Governors working with the DNC to maintain control and build a New Normal up through the Election, and they do not care that they are now in plain sight. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope that there will be a move away from China as the source of inexpensive essentials and towards more domestic manufacturing, too. Too many of us are like the bunnies in Watership Down… “Look! Free Carrots!” and never mind where Fred went.

So I leave you with a question. Will those of us who believe in self-reliance and paying our own way simply become a thing of the past, turned to dust and blown away on the breeze, or we once again turn and say that we are ‘we’, “WE, the People”?

New Gun Owners In Some States, But Not Others

The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.

All of us gun owners across the country have been watching, and shaking our heads with a sort of wizened “told you so”, at the stories of people suddenly rushing to buy guns and ammunition, thanks to this new virus from China.

We’ve reserved particular attention, and rightly so, for our more liberal brothers and sisters who previously eschewed firearms ownership. In most states, the worst they’ve had to deal with is a long line, or perhaps a government mandated waiting period. Oh and yup, the mental butt hurt that comes from realizing that their favorite 2A loophole (the internet, gunshows, the gun-fairy..) doesn’t exist. You’d think they’d be pleased, except now they’re learning the hard way.

Of course, in some States, it’s even more difficult, which makes the residents of those States more at the mercy of their Government. Let’s consider what the situation is in New Jersey, which vies with California to have the most restrictive death-grip on the 2nd Amendment Rights of  its Citizens.

In New Jersey, if you want to buy a firearm for the first time, you need to apply for and obtain a “Firearms Purchaser Identification Card”, the FPID card. Getting one is tedious but straightforward, but usually takes around three months. So, right there, people who want to buy their first firearm in NJ as a result of this viral crisis are, as they say, S.O.L. So, no lines of frustrated gun-newbs in NJ.

“BUT!”, you say, “at least existing gun owners can get a handgun, all those over-under-only hunters and skeeters, can still protect themselves, right?” Sadly, no; to buy a handgun, FPID holders must first get a “Permit to Purchase a Pistol.” Getting one (or two, or as many as you want), is tedious but straightforward and yes you guessed it, usually takes around three months. So, no handgun for you, Elmer; you’d best resort to the Biden Protocol. Oh, you can only get one handgun a month, so too bad if something dramatic happens and you need more, like now.

Photo from Gov. Phil Murphy’s Facebook page

Nevertheless, law-abiding FPID card owners flooded their local FFLs and consequently flooded the NICS system. Enter villain number two, the NJ State NICS System. NJ is one of the states that gets between its gun-buyers and the Federal NICS system. Soon, the NJ NICS had a backlog of over 1,000 applications and then quickly announced that it was swamped and was unlikely to be able to process these in anything other than geological time. Then, the Governor closed the NJ NICS system, after not protecting gun stores and training facilities as essential, mandating their closure. Now, that’s no guns for anyone.

On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy.

All of this of course, against a background of a governmental supermajority that supports even greater restrictions on 2A rights, firearm types and features, ammunition registrations and so on.

Hopefully, our new brothers and sisters in most states are getting what they want, and feel secure. Hopefully, they will go forward from this viral crisis and obtain proper training on the safe and efficient handling and use of their chosen firearms and hopefully, that will be happening all across our great country. It’s won’t be happening in New Jersey though. In New Jersey, the State Government will use this crisis to increase its grip on the lives of the people who live here, and their dependency on the government spoon.