September Soapbox- Feeling Down But Not Out

I’m writing this morning suffering “mild depression”.  This feeling is caused by several influences.  Where to start?  Let’s try COVID-19. (Or maybe it’s the miserable state of my golf game).

It’s my observation that the myriad of outcomes of this event have been, without any exception I can identify, worse than initially forecasted.  However long you may have thought (or still think) that its impact will last – it has been/will be longer.  However many people you may think will be effected, and to what degree will be the effect – it is more and worse.  However soon you may think a “cure” will become available, it will take longer, it may (or may not) be safe and effective, and it might trickle down to you and me by next summer although, as I’ve illustrated in a couple examples, the smart money sez the likely outcomes will be worse than we imagine even now.

Peripheral to the disease, my already limited confidence in the power of The State has become shattered, due in no small part to the lack of leadership of so many involved in the process and the gross politicization of the information and advice that’s being offered to us in our times of greatest need.  People and agencies in who we should have the greatest respect and confidence too often have been shown to be lacking.  In too many instances, neither the science nor the data are legitimate or trustworthy.

Where I initially thought the devastation to he economy would be swift and catastrophic, I now believe it will be slow and catastrophic.  Many businesses are simply hemorrhaging cash and employees, teetering towards an almost certain collapse.  Unemployment continues to grow and the social safety net continues to unravel.  The hospitality industry is reeling, transportation is on its knees (I expect the failure of at least one legacy carrier), the face of retail is now reflected on your computer screen and commercial real estate is no longer the bedrock that it appeared to be just a couple of years ago, for example.  The buoyancy of the stock market continues to astonish me.  I still can’t imagine what will be the longterm effects of the government’s profligate (but perhaps necessary) spending but I feel certain that there will be some, and they won’t be pretty.  The only thing saving the government from making more bad decisions is its seeming inability to make any decisions at all.

But we can fix that, because we’re facing elections!  WhooHoo.  They can’t come – and go – soon enough.

I can’t recall feeling less hopeful about the prospects of “life” after an election than I do now.  Regardless of the outcome (and how long do you think it will take for that to be determined, and then acknowledged?), I feel certain that the residual acrimony and hostility in our social fabric will reach new heights of toxicity.  It’s crippling and causes many of us to lose hope, and whether that hopelessness stems from your economic circumstances (no job, no prospects), your social circumstances (Black, Hispanic) or from wherever else you may suffer mental anguish, with no faith in the future, decisions and behaviors become compromised, civility and responsibility are jettisoned, and circumstances deteriorate further still.

Please don’t mistake my less-than-positive outlook with whining.  Notwithstanding all of the feeling of doom and gloom that I’m spouting, don’t think for a moment that I don’t recognize that I’m one of the most fortunate people on the face of this earth, for which I express my thanks and gratitude every day.  Admittedly, I’ve enjoyed more opportunities than many.  I have reasonably good health, particularly considering the wanton negligence I’ve shown in attempting to maintain it.  I have a family which I adore and which loves me back.  I have a successful small business that’s been built not by me but by a host of people who’ve I’ve entrusted with its management and who have repaid me in spades with their dedication and hard work.  I feel safe and valued, a feeling I wish everyone enjoyed, and I commit that my individual behavior will be consistent with that goal.

On the business front, please accept my apologies for the delays that many of you are suffering in an attempt to purchase NAA goods.  The times are, indeed, unprecedented and business is particularly brisk.  We commit that every gun which leaves our factory will reflect the quality of “Convenient, Reliable, Effective” firearms you’ve come to expect from us. Thank you for your confidence and your business. – Sandy

PS: While I invite you to leave comments in the space provided below, please instead address them directly to me at if you want to be assured of a timely, personal response.

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October Soapbox- Carl Prokop 10/29/1949 – 09/08/2020