Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Great Gun-Run of 2008

What caused the Great Gun-Run of 'o8, anyway?

In the last several months, thousands of guns were purchased--the numbers were astounding, running 25+% above any other year. High on the list of top-sellers are AR-15 rifles, which is the civilian version of the M-16A2/M4 military rifle and carbine. At last report, barrels for these are back-ordered by 6 or more weeks.

Walk into a gun shop and order a 9mm pistol, and the sales clerk will tell you that it could be as much as 10 days to delivery--2 to 3 times as long as normal. That applies to .45 cal handguns, too.

Some say that Obama will make it very difficult to purchase a gun during his Presidency. While I believe that he will try to do so, he won't have an ultra-cooperative Congress on this issue; 'blue-dog' Democrats are not going to vote themselves out of office; thus voting-margins may be very narrow, indeed. Obama could use regulation, of course; but that, too, will encounter Congressional resistance. Pace the LeftoWackies, the NRA still has influence, and the 2nd Amendment is pretty clear about the 'right to keep and bear' arms. So while Obama has a very clear track record, replicating it in Washington will be difficult.

Others say that the NRA, JPFO, and GOA (the three largest gun-rights organizations) were 'putting out the word' about purchase of guns. Well, maybe; but I subscribe to a couple of gun rags and that's not altogether clear to me. Yes, gun rags promote gun purchases; but then, Motor Trend and Car & Driver promote car purchases. And they haven't done too well with that agenda in the last 12 months, have they?

There are only a couple of reasons to purchase guns: hunting, target-shooting, and self-defense. (There's also replacement, but guns are durable goods; they don't really wear out--and finding used weapons isn't so easy, either. So it's reasonable to state that the number-of-guns-owned in this country has increased significantly in the last year.)

Hunting isn't any bigger a sport than it was two or three years ago, at least, not in Wisconsin; I don't think any other States are reporting a huge uptick in hunting licenses, either. Target-shooting/recreational shooting may be increasing a bit; but the numbers aren't significant enough to move the market that hard.

That leaves self- and community-defense. While we read a lot about crime, Milwaukee's major crimes diminished in 2008 (to date); the FBI tables indicate that violent crime has diminished from '06 (although there was an increase every year from 2004-2006. Perhaps that increase, as well as the coverage of crime on TV and in the papers, has spurred the sales.

Could there be something else?


capper said...

You forgot the most obvious answer: paranoia.

Amy said...

It's only paranoia if you THINK they're out to get you, capper.

It's not paranoia when they really are.