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Reflections on 53 Revolutions: Navigating the Highs and Lows of America’s 2A Journey

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The sun

Hello again, everyone. Let me be the first to say thank you for reading my articles. It is an honor. May is my birthday month. I’m in the “old guy” class, about to complete 53 revolutions around the sun. I look at the current situation that the world, our country, and our state are in, and I fear those good times we had in the past will never come back. A lot of you older 2A supporters can say this.

Some can go back to the 40s, 50s, and 60s. My journey started on May 8th, 1971, in the ’70s. Yeah, things were rough with the end of the war, the end of muscle cars, and President Carter. We did have cool music going, some big cool cars still, a lot more freedom in both the country and the state with a lot of things including 2A. It wasn’t the greatest though. Money was tight for my parents, burning old newspapers for heat in a potbelly stove to help with the price of heating, gas lines, and more. These were not the greatest of times, but still had some great stuff. Heck, this is when Star Wars came out!

Then we go to the ’80s: President Reagan! (Yeah, not the strongest 2A guy but neither is Trump. Don’t even get me started with Bush, but this is another story for a possible upcoming article.) Things improved a LOT! We had great music, money was being made, big hair, short miniskirts, high heels, flats, loud colors, Miami Vice, Dirt Bikes were starting to improve vastly, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, the M16-A1 was updated to the A2, F4 Phantoms still wandered our sky’s as F-14’s, movies were coming out that were worth watching most of the time, scented erasers, Members Only jackets, Trapper Keepers, concert shirts and hair headbands, mullets, Ocean Pacific clothing. We had malls that were hopping, Space Port Arcades, Space Invaders, Pac Man and a need for lots of quarters. There were downs as well but overall, it was vastly better than the ’70s, especially the Carter years. In this state, we had 2A freedom to a point, but the import ban hurt. Especially if you dreamed of owning a real forged receiver AK or even a stamped one. Wolverines! Regardless, it was still okay in NJ. Southern Jersey was still mostly undeveloped, traffic was a lot less, taxes were a lot less, lots of open areas and woods to enjoy, far fewer people. Muscle cars were around, and drag racing was starting to come to life with lots of improvements. Let’s not forget a couple more Star Wars movies! Okay, one good and one meh. Beastie Boys.

When we got to the ’90s, things were still fun, and some things were improving. The Humpty Dance! Cool rock groups and music. Sadly, we took a major hit with the 1994-gun ban. Damage to our security and our economy will be rearing its ugly head soon. Clinton was a joke. The moderate/RINO republicans became more pronounced, and their damage began its ugly march. We were still cranking out good music, had great fun, things were cheaper, ranges were still not clique-controlled overruled messes for the most part. Fudds were starting to become a more pronounced and problematic thing that grew into a real problem for us. We may or may not have noticed, but dark clouds loomed ahead for us. Boy, over the next few decades did we ever find out. Even the beginning of the Star Wars movies began its decline. Square-body Chevy’s were still around for most of the ’90s in good shape and reasonably priced!

The 2000’s were a roller coaster. Bush/Gore and the hanging chads. Then for most of us who were around, 9-11. I was working as a firefighter at that time and was also an instructor. We all know and remember. For those who were not born or too young to remember, ask any of us. We all have a story to tell no matter where we were or what we were doing. Still, the economy took a hit, but we sprang back. Defiant, unified, proud to be an American. We pulled together. People loved firefighters, EMS, Police, the military. 2004 arrived and the 1994 federal “assault weapon” ban sunset! At least in freedom states. Sadly, this is where it really became obvious for most of us in the New Jersey 2A world, we were most certainly in the wrong state. We at least thought we were on top of it and fighting back against the evil who attacked us, and we were. It did not take long for the left to see this as a threat. Their fear that the prosperity and unity that was happening is what brought on the beginning of our divide.

It did not take long for the left to start creating the divide. Sadly, the moderate/RINO bunch helped them along and hurt us as they did. Things were put into motion. Nothing good at all. Freedom started to vanish, and corruption began to flourish. Music was good, movies were hit or miss, drag racing was on the rise, fashions were okay, and the shooting sports really took off. M4 type platforms were popular, available sights and optics improved greatly, ammo was plentiful and still reasonably-priced. Piston ARs were starting to come on, AKs were finally becoming a bigger thing, and 308 platforms were gaining again. Different and really cool calibers began to pop up more often which led to the development of a lot of things we enjoy today. Sadly, today, they are way less plentiful and hugely more expensive. Ask me how I know. Things were so-so but ok overall. Except the Star Wars movies. They sucked. The election of Obama was a major blow. Things went to poopy quick. The damage to this country will never truly be corrected or able to be measured. Sadly, we are feeling it more and more every day.

2010 until present I will lump in to one spot. Ammo prices were and, still are, through the roof. We all knew we were being played by those in power. Our military was doing the best they could, but with POTUS and his ilk making our troops walk around without a round in the chamber, doing show of force fly overs and warning bombs instead of hitting the enemy, we pretty much knew how this was going to turn out. The Obama administration closed our only lead smelter which hurt ammo big time. Stupid and damaging cash for clunkers, hybrid vehicles. Do not even get me started on the economy. It is a time overall I would rather forget. Sadly, the damage done we will continue to suffer.

Trump gets elected. He wasn’t my first choice but he was ok. I give him a 60% approval rate in my book. To compare, Obama was a minus 1000. Trump appointed a few good judges for the 2nd Amendment. A few bad ones too. Trump completely screwed us with his bump stock ban which opened up the door to a lot of crap we are dealing with today. Trump did well with the economy, energy, border, foreign policy. Overall, not too bad but disappointing on a few levels. The Summer of Love was a huge sign of things to come.

We were tested and we were cornered. One kid sent panic throughout the left’s violent movement. Good and good he was vindicated and cleared. Cities burned, people killed and injured, federal buildings attacked, the list goes on and on. Covid. The election infection. It damaged this country, our kids, us more than we will ever be able to calculate. Masks, lies, cover ups, questionable vaccines, and those of us who said no to all of it and did not comply. Trust me, we were put on some kind of list with all the others we are on for doing that. January 6th. A bunch of left-wing media propaganda that blew it way out of proportion. From the beginning we obviously saw what was really happening. The only fatality was an unarmed woman on our side shot by the government. Biden comes along and opens borders. Biden and his administration corrupted, and continue to corrupt, our entire government worse than it already was. Biden continues to destroy our standing in the world, our energy, our military, rule of law, prices to live day-to-day. Long story short, I have never seen things decline on such a massive scale. I also have never seen so many people buy the state-run media’s and permanent Washington’s bs.

Present day is a true poop show. Open borders. States defying SCOTUS and the Constitution outright with no fear of any consequences. Crime stunningly out of control. Illegals and criminals with more rights than US citizens in the blue states for sure. Catch and release with both illegals and criminals. Home prices through the roof, interest rates on the rise, gas prices on the rise, shortages will soon show their ugly heads in food and fuel. For us, one of the biggest shortages will be ammo and reloading components. Firearms are flourishing in free states. Cool stuff is out there from old stuff built from kits, retro stuff, new stuff, new calibers, better quality in most cases. More than half of the United State has some form of Constitutional carry. Our country is divided. There really is no common ground anymore. It is a sad time. I would list way more things we can worry about and that have happened. Both good and bad. I do not want to make this anymore concerning that it already is. If you are reading this, you know everything, and I am preaching to the choir.

In NJ, we have concealed carry. That is a plus! Limited concealed carry. Hopefully these restrictions will be defeated. Maybe in the next oh three to 500 years the way things move. Funny how they can violate your rights and the Constitution in a split second, but it takes a gazillion years fight it not to mention we pay for both sides of the lawsuit. The stupid hollow-point ammo restrictions are still in place. I guess the geniuses in Trenton do not know about over-penetration. Otherwise, hollow-point ammo would be allowed to be carried by more than criminals and law enforcement. Mag bans are still in place as are the certain type of spooky, according to the left, firearm bans. Again, the criminals and the government do not follow any of these restrictions. They carry and use what they want. Criminals and government both seem to be growing in numbers at an alarming rate. Yet here we are. The law-abiding taxpayers being treated as if we are the problem. The media carries that message, the Democrats love it, and the moderate RINO’s do nothing OR they screw us further. Hell, even some in our own community screw us. Fudds do amazing damage. Real Fudds, not just those of us who like 1911’s, piston-operated guns and 45. We get mislabeled when it is a lot of us doing the 2A fight. Not to mention all the firearm owners who do not vote.

Over all these years, you would think that murder bans, drunk driving bans, breaking and entering bans, strong arm robbery bans, illegal drug bans, illegal entry into the US bans, fraud bans, assault bans, reckless driving bans, or even removing tags from mattresses bans would show they do not work. Criminals and crazies do not pay attention to these bans, or shall we say laws. YET, state government expects the “Gun Free Zone” to work. Drugs are everywhere. Crime is out of control. Mattress tags are tossed every day. We see good people regulated and restricted, and the looney left and government celebrate it as if they did something to stop crime. Strange they never go after criminals. They release them. They don’t ban illegal drugs. They legalize them.

My point? Well, my point is, over the years a lot of us have seen the good years. We were VERY lucky to have had the chance to experience them. Sadly, I do not believe they will ever come back. The powers that be know they’ve won on that level. I hope those who are not bored or angry reading to this point see that we’ve had highs and lows, and we need to change the tide and stand for our freedoms, rights, history, and tradition. The lows are more serious and in far greater numbers than the highs as time passes, all the way to the present day.

So, for my birthday, I hope some read this, get inspired to join the fight. IF you do, and more get involved, the future can have good years ahead. The new generation might even see them on their phone when they happen and look up. Crazy thought, I know. That would make this 1911, 45ACP, piston operation, AK, AR, M1A, Sig 716 piston, metal frame, hammer-fire liking old guy feel like I did something right in these 53 years. I also hope some of the things I mentioned brought back some good memories for us old guys. Be safe. Have fun.

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