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Gun Rush

November 16th, 2008

You’ve probably heard of the surge in gun sales after Obama got elected. This usually happens after a Democrat is elected president, but it strikes me as unusually short-sight and dim-witted.

For one thing, Obama’s stands on gun control are pretty moderate (not too different from John McCain’s, in fact), and a recent Supreme Court decision has upheld gun ownership rights; the idea that gun bans are imminent is weak at best.

However, far more significantly, any new gun laws that come about would be foreseeable pretty far in advance, especially any laws that outlawed various types of guns–the NRA and the Republican Party would both see to it that everyone knew what was happening well before it got to a vote. Obama won’t even take office for another two months, and the new Democratic gains in Congress similarly won’t take effect until then.

So the rush of gun buyers–in some places, up as much as 60%–is panic-buying by people who, to be quite frank, are not too smart. It seems to speak to their paranoia–that they seem to think that Obama and/or the Democrats will stealthily craft gun bans overnight and will send jack-booted thugs to round them and their weapons up the next morning. I would not be surprised if many of these people bury their guns in their backyards or otherwise try to hide them somehow.

Alternately, one could consider this opportunistic buying–people who had their eyes on such guns anyway, and this simply gave them an excuse to go out and make the expenditure. I doubt, however, that this explains all or even most of it, especially given the nature of the rhetoric out there, and how gullibly many hard-core right-wingers bought into so much of what the McCain campaign fed them.

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  1. Jon
    November 21st, 2008 at 11:15 | #1

    Actually, it is a near certainty that an ‘assault weapons’ ban will pass during Obama’s term. The rush is on the guns (and accessories) that people expect to see put out of production. No one is really sure how long the rush will last… most of the suppliers are heavily back-ordered already. A secondary rush is starting on handguns, I suspect driven by people who walk into the store with money to buy an ‘assault weapon’ and find that there are none, bot oooh, look at all the pretty pistols! Truthfully, the 60% number sounds pretty low… maybe that’s all the stock available will supply. Unless it takes unexpectedly long for that b*@#% McCarthy to get her next bill passed, I expect the rush to last right up till it takes effect.

    We may actually see a few years worth of sales in a handfull of months… driven by a ban on sales. Weird stuff.

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