Gun Sales Soar In Aftermath Of Newtown Killings

Tyler Durden's picture

As so often happens when dealing with the fickle public, the aftermath of the news of the second worst school massacre in US history has led to precisely the opposite outcome to the one desired by the media and at least part of the general population. Because in the backlash for gun control at its tamest, and against weapon ownership of any kind at its most rabid, driven primarily by those who don't own weapons, everyone else decided to think one step ahead and preempt what may soon be yet another governmental subjugation of a constitutional amendment. The result? An absolute surge in weapon sales in the days following last Friday's tragedy.

The Guardian reports:

Karl Durkheimer is more coy than might be expected of a man with a pistol on his hip.


Durkheimer's gun shop looks to have enjoyed record sales of semi-automatics – "modern sporting rifles", as he calls them – and handguns at the weekend. But he doesn't want to talk specific numbers.


Nor is he terribly keen to speculate on the causes of the sudden demand. But he acknowledges that it probably has everything to do with a man killing two people with an assault rifle last week in a Portland shopping mall less than 10 minutes drive away, and Friday's massacre of 20 small children and seven adults on the other side of the country in Connecticut.


"Handgun sales are up substantially and modern sporting rifles are up astronomically," he said after a few days when his shop, Northwest Armory, was packed with buyers sizing up the most popular pistol in the US, the Glock, and the military-style AR-15 assault rifle, which also comes with a pink stock for women. "The people you see are twofold. There are first-time buyers who are in fear of what the future will bring. But most of what you saw is people hedging their bets that there might be a political policy put forward by the liberal side of the government."


Durkheimer means his shoppers fear that the shock of the Newtown, Connecticut, killings might cause the public and Congress to support a reinstatement of the ban on some of his most popular lines.


That's a picture replicated across the US from California to Louisiana, and even in Newtown where Robert Caselnova said his gun shop saw high demand for assault rifles in the days after the killings. The nationwide increase in sales was reflected in longer than usual delays for legally required background checks which in some cases took hours rather than minutes.


The surge in sales is not unusual. Following a mass killing at a Colorado cinema in July, applications to buy guns rose more than 40% in a week. The murder two years ago of six people during an assassination attempt against congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was badly wounded, prompted a 60% increase in gun sales in a single day in Arizona.

And while we have been following the slow and steady rise in gun sales, punctuated by two key events which have sent gun sales soaring, namely the Obama election and reelection, the pick up in sales seen last weekend is unprecedented. And to confirm fears that whether by way of the Second Amendment or not, various chains may halt gun sales, earlier today we got confirmation from Dick's Sporting Goods that they have suspended sales of rifles nationwide:

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS), the largest U.S. sporting-goods chain, has suspended sales of modern sporting rifles in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as the community mourns victims of the massacre.


Sales of all guns have been stopped at its store closest to the shooting, the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.


Dick’s is pulling the products after 26 people -- mostly children -- were killed during a Dec. 14 shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown. The chain, which has more than 500 stores in the U.S., sells guns and ammunition in stores and not online, according to its website.


“We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week,” the company said in the statement. Dick’s is removing the guns “out of respect for the victims and their families.”

Noble gesture, to be sure, but all it is really doing is leading to even greater sales at all other gun retailer outlets. And indeed, as fears that more and more companies may halt sales, the scramble to weaponize themselves, will keep Americans busy for days and weeks to come.

On the question of how gun owners see last Friday's tragedy, the Guardian had this to add:

The buyers regard the Newtown killings as a tragedy, but view any connection to their right to own weapons as a political ploy aimed at depriving them of their guns.


"It's terrible what happened. It's just plain evil," said Richard Merritt on the steps of the gun shop after browsing assault rifles with a thought to buying himself one for Christmas to supplement the handguns and hunting rifle he owns.


"But there's people trying to use that to say I'm responsible because I own a gun. Where's the connection? The only people making one are doing it for political ends because there's not one of these massacres would ever have been stopped by a law that takes my gun away. But now they're talking about doing that again, I think this may be the time to buy."


Durkheimer is sick of gun owners being painted as the problem. Like many, he feels demonised and vilified for the crimes of a few because he enjoys hunting and shooting ranges. That puts him on the defensive when groups campaigning for tightened gun regulation might be better off trying to win him over with assurances that their calls to restrict the sale of assault rifles and magazines that hold large numbers of bullets won't end with the confiscation of handguns and hunting rifles.


"It's just another thing that will drive a wedge between us. Instead of the United States being a melting pot it's more polarised," he said.

Well, class warfare in the US is nothing new. And of course, what is most ironic, is that it is precisely the fear of forced, unilateral rejection, by either or all three branches of government, of the original constitution and its various amendments that has Americans scrambling into gun stores. And thus the closed loop nature of the problem: by threatening to take away America's guns, the government is only exacerbating a problem that is steeped in 200+ years of history and is engrained deep in American psychology.

What is the solution?

We don't know, but we do know that the government stepping in confident it can and will fix and regulate everything is precisely what will only make the problem far, far worse.

We do know that heart of the problem is far, far deeper than one or more tragic mass shootings can reveal. In fact the full extent of the problem begins to be unmasked courtesy of the chart we showed yesterday, and which was to be found, ironically enough, in the most recent Smith and Wesson investor presentation.

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mayhem_korner's picture



Well, if the division is along the lines of gun owners and non-owners, it should go rather smoothly,

Waterfallsparkles's picture

People feel like they have to protect themselves and their Family with all of the Crazies running around on Prescribed Drugs or even bath salts.

The Gooch's picture

Or soon to be defunct EBT cards.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

This is threat numero uno.  The "comrades" would like nothing better than to use "non-state actors" to "re-distribute the wealth".  This is why you bought those guns.  Ask a Korean grocer.

zilverreiger's picture

Don't let the maffia take away your rights!

I'd especially stock up on ammo and unregistered guns

Winston Churchill's picture

Directed EMP weapons seem to be the cure for drones.

Works on police cars, and armored vehicles.

For the price of two/three AK47's.

Every good man should have one.

kaiserhoff's picture

Thanks Winston.  As I say to my squeeze, you are useful as well as decorative.

Saving some cash for the post-Christmas sales.  Feeling the need for some night vision.  Anyone have recommendations?

Nage42's picture

Well, I don't know what your time is worth, but the 4-6 months to go from design idea to tested known-working-good prototype isn't exactly "cheap" going at my 1-manday oportunity cost.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying that for most of us, time is not "free."


Dr Benway's picture

So the solution to the gun problem is more guns. Kinda like how the solution to the debt problem is more debt.

F. Bastiat's picture

Today's liberals are about coercion, pure and simple.  Modern sporting rifles are one antidote to the primitive, coercive, counter-liberty impulses of today's liberals.

Top_Kill's picture

Dr Benway is correct. and since medical malpractice kills thousands each year it is only humane to ban all the Doctors. Right?

F. Bastiat's picture

I'd settle for banning all of today's liberals.

francis_sawyer's picture

the term 'banning' does not even exist outside of a legislative framework... It's a construct... Make laws to 'ban' this or 'ban' that... Only a liberal fucktard could even conceive of such a thing...

francis_sawyer's picture

In the marketplace in Cairo... Indiana Jones dodn't have to worry about whether there was a ban [in effect] on guns or swords...


Gazooks's picture

What?! All ideological naratives are propaganda. PeriodNothin' coercive about the business end of an AR, huh?


A 'sporting' rifle was quick work antidote to the now non-existent future liberties of twenty 6 & 7 year olds.


Besides, killing anything for fun is purely neurotic pasttime of frightened, impotent, homocentric psychos who don't or can't give a fuck about anybody else's liberty.


Primitive pathetically defined.

aerojet's picture

What you said doesn't make any sense--a tragic school bus accident could also have deprived those 20 of their future liberties.  I think that in life there is a certain amount of risk and that it has nothing at all to do with the things you are trying to draw lines between here.

Also, how do the shooting sports relate to killing for fun?  I don't think you're actually qualified to be running your mouth on a subject you clearly don't know much about. 

Gazooks's picture

A tragic school bus accident didn't kill those children. A psychopath with an AR did. A weapon obtained ostensible to family protection.


Kids lives are at risk by pretending that unlimited retail access to military assault rifles has anything to do with preserving liberty. Doesn't preserve anything but a false sense of security. Besides, not a legitimate hunting weapon for game.


Killing for fun is evidenced every hunting season by the stacks of discarded, rotting deer carcasses at every rural dumpster in my county. It's not hunt for food, it's thrill of the kill by big little boys that don't have a conscious or developed sense of masculine idendity. They think that somehow makes them men. It just exposes them as weak, sad and pathetic conformists to a culture preoccupied with mindlessly superficial existence.


I wasn't replying to your post in any case, and you have no fucking idea of who I am or how qualified my opinion. 

Abaco's picture

It is pretty apparent you can'tget basic facts correct. No military assault rifle was used in the killings.

Gazooks's picture

Yeah, ...apparent


oh, wait!


...authorities have established that Adam Lanza shot open an entrance into Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School. He fired multiple magazines -- each one with 30 bullets -- from a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to kill six adults and 20 children from two classrooms. Each victim was shot multiple times before Lanza used a handgun to kill himself.

Lednbrass's picture

You have made it crystal clear that you do not know what constitutes an assault rifle- the Bushmaster most certainly is not. You are a stupid person with no understanding of weapons who latched on to a phrase thrown about by idiots who also do not know anything about weapons and repeat it like a parrot.

Go back to watching movies where everyone has them, they are quite rare in civilian hands in the real world.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Today's liberals are about coercion, pure and simple."

So were yesterdays.

darteaus's picture

If we disarm the police it will immediatly take 100,000 handguns off the street.

Less guns makes us safer, right?

Translational Lift's picture

Yep.....A couple months ago NYC cops shot 9 bystanders trying to get a perp.  You were right and didn't know it!

Freddie's picture

Fewer family pets will be shot.  Anymore the cops just shoot people's dogs because they can get away with it.  I am not talking pitbulls either.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Remind me again - what exactly is the "problem"?  Do you know or is that just a cliche you heard on duh teevee?

A Lunatic's picture

There is no gun problem, There is a misallocation of force problem.

kaiserhoff's picture

Gun control:  Hitting what you intend to shoot.

SheepDog-One's picture

Arm all teachers and principals Dr Benway, damn straight! Disarm the govt. 'Drone Control' legislation is the only thing that Clowngress should have their busy little fingers into.

DanDaley's picture

No, the solution is the removal of all leftist/statist/progressive/socialist/communist schmucks from all areas of life.

alien-IQ's picture

You sound like a candidate for a starring role in a tragic lead story on the evening news. And no doubt it will lead back to posts like that and conclude "we should have seen it coming".

And let me take a wild guess here: You've got a shit-load of guns and ammo, right?

DanDaley's picture

No, punkie, not a fascist. It's the progressives who are the "smily-faced fascists" that George Carlin talked about when he described how this country would be lost to people like Bloomberg, etc., who do everything for "your own good" because you are supposedly too stupid to think for yourself.


Just because normal Americans have severe disagreements with the left does not mean that we are nursing our grievances into obsessions, as an historian once said in reference to President McKinley's assassin, the leftist/anarchist Leon Czolgosz.


By the way, why is it so many assassins, or would-be assassins come out of the left -from John Wilkes Booth, to Czolgosz, to Lee Harvey Oswald, "Squeaky" Fromme, etc.? Just wondering.


aerojet's picture

I was walking in to work this morning thinking about how awful progressives are--the teetotalers of the last century were so wrong on alcohol and these current folks don't every learn a thing from history.  Thousands and thousands of people died because of alcohol prohibition.  Their future liberties were cut short because a few vocal idiots got a bad constitutional amendment passed.  Progressive is a dirty word to me--it represents everything I have come to dislike about the United States and its population of empty-headed, easy answers people. 

BullsNBeers's picture

Umm... Yeah. It is.

When Florida passed it's CC permit laws ( I think it was 1987) the media was howling that it was going to be a blood bath.

What happened? Well here's what the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reporting:

Take a look at those numbers. Murder down over 25%. Overall violent crime down more than 50%.


Freddie's picture

The word was Dodge City.  Governor Bob Martinez (R) caught endless hell for it too.  He signed the bill.  He is probably the last decent Gov in FL.  I am glad I left that place.  It will not be a nice place when the SHTF. 

WTFx10's picture

Dr. there is no GUN problem. Tell me how many Law abiding people create a problem. Its a Mental retard problem, which I lump u into that group,

mayhem_korner's picture

So the solution to the gun problem is more guns.


Your premise is faulty.  There is no gun problem.  The person who showed up at the school was a deranged murderer (mom was dead at that point) who was toting firearms illegally (they were not registered to him).

So let me rephrase your rhetorical question: so the problem to lawbreakers illegally accessing firearms is to impose more laws.

Thanks for playing.

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ... a fully loaded automatic uzi ... 

Thisson's picture

Too much recoil.  Can you exchange for PDW with grip?

DanDaley's picture

Obama to Holder: "Gi' me 5, bra!"

pupton's picture

This is the exact irrational, emotional outcry/response Obama/Holder were hoping to get from their Operation Fast and Furious murders.  THIS KIND OF MURDER AND SUFFERING IF WHAT OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS WANT!

WTFx10's picture



How many Bankers went to jail again? How many people have they killed?

Who wants to disarm the slaves ?

darteaus's picture

Because every mass shooting proves your government can not protect you from those intent on murder.

If pilots on 9/11 were armed, the cockpit intrusions would not have occurred.

If the principal at Newton responded with a gun would the outcome have been worse?

Citizens know that you can only respond during a security crisis if ready, willing and able to use deadly force.

Serfs line up and wait.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Indeed.  As the old saying goes, "when seconds count, police are minutes away."  No indictment against police, BTW.  THey simply cant be everywhere at once...and moreover, you would not want them to be...everywhere. 

Things that go bump's picture

Safety has no basis in reality. Even walking out your front door is not without risk.  Even in your own bed you are never really safe, just ask Elizabeth Smart.  We are safe in the way a fish swimming in a school of fish is safe - statistically, which works for each of us until it doesn't.  

I've read that Adam Lanza was schizophrenic.  A certain, probably statistically predictable number of such persons with this diagnosis are going to become delusional and violent and do terrible, senseless things. Schizophrenics and people with bipolar disorder tend to frequently go off their medications and decompensate. I have noticed that very little information on the shooter in this instance is forthcoming, only vague references that he might have had Asperger's.  I believe that the dialog is being managed towards firmer gun control rather than where it belongs, in the care and treatment of the mentally ill among us, probably because the state no longer cares to pay for this service and has refused to do so since the 70s, when mental hospitals were systematically closed and the residents put out into the streets.  Take away guns and other methods will be used to commit mayhem.  Such things as this school shooting were almost unheard of until the middle of the 1970s.  A check on Wikipedia shows 1 in 1910 in which 1 person was killed and then nothing until the 1970s.  A big difference between now and 40 years ago, when such things as this school shooting were almost unheard of, is that people such as Adam Lanza were housed in state institutions for their safety and the safety of the public.    

A Lunatic's picture

They sure as a hell aren't buying them to turn in later..................

MachoMan's picture

I thought about this...  but, I think it may be too rosy of a prediction.  If the government may take, but is required to pay us fair market value for the items it takes, then would people not accept to turn in their firearms for hysteria level prices?  I think we'd probably get a lot of takers...

Of course, the flip side, is that should you contest the government's valuation of your firearms, you could end up with 300,000,000 lawsuits...  and a right to a jury trial on each no less...  (who tend to value things consierably higher than the government is typically willing to pay).

A Lunatic's picture

That would be a great place to start.

krispkritter's picture

I'd rather use the gun to shoot a lawyer and a banker and then turn it in for free...(have to retrieve my others from the pond).