How Bad is the Ammo Shortage?

It looks like it’s frustrating people who are in a rush to kill themselves. Bitter and I were following this story last night, of a guy in a standoff at our local Dick’s, who held up the counter with a handgun, stole a shotgun, some shotgun ammo, and headed into the bathroom. I told her:

“He’s probably suicidal. I’ll bet he offed himself in the bathroom. Moreover, how much do you want to bet he obtained the 9mm pistol to do the deed, and has been driving around looking for ammo. Frustrated he couldn’t find any, he ends up at Dick’s, who doesn’t have any 9mm ammo either, but they have shotgun shells. Out of options, he uses the empty pistol to hold up the Dick’s to get a shotgun, grabbed some shells from the shelves, and headed to the bathroom to kill himself.”

It’s looking like I was right. I could have saved the cops a lot of trouble. I was going to blog this last night, but Bitter talked me out of it, thinking it was a reaching conclusion. I said “I’ll bet you they find out he had no ammo for that pistol. If they find that, I’m posting it.” What makes this a real tragedy is that someone else is going to have to clean that mess up. To me, if someone wants to off themselves, that’s their business. But please, don’t do it somewhere that someone else gets stuck with the mess. That’s just inconsiderate.

20 thoughts on “How Bad is the Ammo Shortage?”

  1. I think the editors missed something. The original story says McCarty had at one point been committed to a mental institution, but that can’t be right because background checks make it impossible for mental patients to get firearms.

    1. That’s not quite right. One is not listed on NICS for most metal institution commitments, only for court-orded commitments of specific natures. In many cases people are committed by family or themselves, or they are committed under short-term review by the police (there are a variety of ways LE can do this – none of which get on the NICS). Further, even when a judge orders the type of mental commitment that qualified to get on NICS, the links between the court system and the NICS system is far from perfect and with most local courts seriously overwhelmed with “more serious things,” a lot of this stuff falls through cracks.

      1. Since it wasn’t as obvious as I’d hoped, that was meant as sarcasm. We’re being told background checks on a broader range of types of transfers will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

    2. No offense intended, but if a criminal can get a gun and doesn’t need a background check, what makes you think a mental case can’t get one. That’s the lamest statement I’ve ever read. Criminals can’t pass a background check, but they get guns everyday. MONEY TALKS!!!!!

  2. Is the guy’s name McCarty or McCarpy?

    I’d like to know if he was a prohibited person. If not for the committal, the prior standoff should have made him a felon I would think, though it didn’t say if he was armed.

    I expect his family will try and sue Dick’s.

  3. While I have no problem with people that want to off themselves, someone else is always going to have to clean up the mess. The polite thing to do is not splatter yourself all over the room.

  4. Right. Smother yourself in bacon grease and talk a walk through a national park in Alaska or something. At least then you provide a service to the wildlife.

  5. Check the UJS Portal. This same guy was involved in a 2002 stand off with the cops. He was 302’d in 2010 and is/was a prohibited person.

    1. Maybe. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for people who go out in a big, public way. I consider it to be selfish and self-centered. I put mass murder-sucide cases is a similar bucket.

    2. I have no sympathy for suicides. The pain and anguish they cause friends and family is terrible. There is help. My best friend killed himself 25 years ago. I’m still pissed off at the sob.

  6. After the 4 rules, remember the 5P’s. “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”. IOW, buy the ammo FIRST!

  7. I’m starting to dust off my tinfoil hat here. Someone said elsewhere the other day that most ammunition production in the US is done by companies that are quasi-government or are all owned by ATK and ATK might as well be a government ammo plant. Or something. I am also having a hard time buying that the shelves can be as bare as they are for as long as they have been, just because of people reacting to the election or the latest gun control push. People are hurting, but they have thousands of dollars to spend buying up every cartridge that can be made?

    1. People in the US are usually economically foolish. Ive see some take and max out a credit card on a riffle an ammo, thinking they wouldn’t need to pay it back because WWIII was coming. Seriously.

      Puts the buying power of those of us working with only the money we earn to a lower tier.

    2. My impression is that the initial ammo panic ate up most of the production reserves, and now with the shelves empty people who didn’t react in the initial panic are snapping up ammo as quickly as companies can produce it.

      It also means there are a small but substantial number of people out there with those reserves in their closets. They’re just sitting on it. Many of us who don’t stock up are buying more than usual when it’s available. It doesn’t take many gun owners snapping up 500 round crates instead of 50 round boxes to seriously distort the market.

      This will all correct eventually, but I don’t see it changing for at least a few more months.

  8. And then, without warning, the anti-gunners use tis to say that guns, gun shops, and gun classes should be banned because the suicidal use them to off themselves, since we all know, of course, that guns kill people.


    In the meanwhile, those of us with common sense merely shake our heads and say to ourselves, “What a maroon. A very, very dead maroon, at that. One less idiot to feed with our tax dollars.”

  9. In the comments of the ‘’ link, a commenter claiming to be the shooter’s brother [John (76942) – could very well be, but how can you check?] is responding to comments and providing more info about the shooter that the original story contains.
    From his comments, it reminds me of Clayton Cramer’s dilemma in providing care for his brother Ron.

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