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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orangedrinkandchips's picture

fucking VIDEO GAMES are really to blame for the never-ending violence in our Halo or other games like this are real!!

I see it in my kids and it's scary!

TraderTimm's picture

Obvious troll is obvious.

Please tell us again how fearful you are of violence as you watch your kids play Halo on the XBox 360 you bought them.

Fucking muppet.


Freddie's picture

I disagree.  I would said strong antidepressants given to kids is first but violent movies and video games which also condition the brain are not far behind.

The video game industry is Hollywood.  Hollywood is also TV.  Hollywood/TV want to disarm you and make you a serf.  

alien-IQ's picture

Add some antidepressants to the mix and you got yourself a really lethal cocktail.

What consistency can we find in these types of mass killings? Privileged white kids on medication.

Ballin D's picture

Its certainly not the parents' fault...

pods's picture

Some things in life have no explanation.  Humans natually try to find a reason in acts like this because we all want to know that things will be alright if we can just figure out a logical reason.

Some things just happen.  Some awful, terrible things.

And when these types of things happen, our false facade of security is smashed.  Humans, instead of realizing that we had up a facade, scurry around and try to rebuild the facade.

Hence we clamor for more feel good, emotionally based actions that will rebuild our little nest of security.

Then when it is too late we realize that some very smart people know human behavior, and in fact count on it to get their goals accomplished.



crusty curmudgeon's picture

Indeed.  And the individuals who are concerned more about self-improvement than "fixing" others can let this go.  The superior-intellect statists who know better can't deal with the notion that "some things just happen" -- they must fix it.

These same statists would never trust themselves with a gun so why should they trust everyone else, who they see as morally and intellectually inferior?

These are the underlying notions that motivate the gun grabbers.


MachoMan's picture

your trolling aside, I think the book has been closed on that chapter given the majority of mass killers never had any interaction with violent video games and the remainder didn't utilize them or value them as any priority in their lives...

F. Bastiat's picture

BTW, another one of Eric Holder's Fast & Furious AK-47s has been recovered at a Mexican mass murder scene, as reported today:

WTFx10's picture

Thats ok , as long as it was the Federal Government breaking the law no problems.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

More "collateral damage" no doubt.  Im sure Holder meant well. /s

DosZap's picture

Meanwhile; In the News!

Chavez, and Putin are immediately going to start for the FIRST time in History(outside the ComBlocs), the manufacturing of the real deals,FULLY Automatic AK47's.

New factories are slated/already being planned, and maybe even have broken ground, as I type, in Venzuela and Brazil.

How long before those reach HamErica?. A first in history........................

No REAL AK's went to Mexico from the USA,(Fast n Furious did that) they got semi auto clones, and if CONVERTED to Full Auto, the cartels did it there.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

AK47 = the gun that liberated the world.

SheepDog-One's picture

But...but...CNBC is proclaiming everyone is 'turning in' their guns and gold and buying stawks now.

-1Delta's picture

cars kill people too- lets ban them since they kill the most.


Those buying now are a bit late IMO.....


Things were cheap in 98, today not inasmuch

dwdollar's picture

Like I'd buy a rifle at Dick's Sporting Goods anyway... Big loss.

crusty curmudgeon's picture

"Noble gesture, to be sure, but all it is really doing is leading to even greater sales at all other gun retailer outlets."

You might call it a noble gesture but I'd call it moronic.  They will lose a lot of business because of this...and I'm not just talking about guns.

pods's picture

Growing up I used to shop at the original Dick's Sporting goods. That place rocked.  They had what you needed and would stock stuff based on what you told them.

As soon as they figured out that overpriced clothes had much higher margins than a Rapala it all went to shit.


aerojet's picture

I visited a Dick's while out Xmas shopping this past weekend--nothing but over-priced crap.  "Mall sporting goods."  Dick's is going to find out that the shooting community has a long memory.

brown_hornet's picture

Hope some of that increase is to school officials.

chet's picture

Bury them in your backyard with your canned goods!  Plenty of space left in the Y2K bunker.  Y2K didn't quite pan out, but I'm sure the next apocolypse will be for real.  Fucking morons.

You're all going to die of old age with a fucking arsenal and thousands of bullets in the basement, and your kids and grandkids are going to clear out the house thinking "grandpa was a fucking nutball."

dwdollar's picture

Just because I have a tornado shelter doesn't mean I want my house to be blown away. Fucking moron.

Flakmeister's picture

Naw... it'll likely be some autistic kid that'll do you in when you least expect it...

WTFx10's picture

Regulate the Mentals

Maybe if healthcare actually did something for all the money we throw at the insurance companies we wouldn't have to penelize LAW ABIDING serfs. How many Bankers have gone to Jail again?

3000 + died on 9/11 maybe we should outlaw jets that carry more than 25 people?

Flakmeister's picture

Wow, seems pretty Statist to sure you want to go that way? Are you willing to pay the taxes for it?

I would say that more than a few here might not pass a social competancy test...

And I would further add that you are very lucky to not know anyone close that might fail the criteria or you are living in denial...

The Shootist's picture

Go back to the abyss from whence you came Flak.

Flakmeister's picture

Hey, it wasn't me that called for locking up the "socially undesirables"....

WTFx10's picture

Oh wait I did type "Jail the Bankers". Is that who you were typing/referencing about?

Flakmeister's picture

You did type "Regulate the Mentals"...

Or did your ADD cause that to slip your mind...

SheepDog-One's picture

Wow Chet you are a straight up retard.

chet's picture

Actually, I'm one of the few intelligent people left here.  Not sure why I bother to post any more.  After 5 years, ZH is nothing but hallucinating shut-ins and birthers.

crusty curmudgeon's picture

Unfortunately, you can demand neither respect nor intelligence.  Saying something won't make it so.

francis_sawyer's picture

Then fucking GET LOST... You're messing up the gene pool...

Bay of Pigs's picture

I've been here awhile. He's always been a fucktard.

vato poco's picture

Long experience teaches us that people who publicly and loudly proclaim their intelligence, modesty, loyalty, or honesty invariably turn out to be the exact opposite of what they claim to be.

WTFx10's picture

Financial Phd's come to mind.

pods's picture

Well in my defense, it is tough to be modest when you are as awesome as I am!


Flakmeister's picture

There are still a few rational beings left...

Hey, I have a two guns and I am not worried about the librul conspiracy to take them away... Those days are long gone...

I think that the idea of "a colored guy" makes a few of them apoplectic, not to mention some of them crazy-glued the AM dial on Rush's show...

Freddie's picture

Limbaugh is a wimp like you.  The rest of the faux conservative talkers are light weights.  The only one who is even close to getting it is Beck, Santelli, Jim Rogers, Kyle Bush or James Grant.

Limbaugh talks about teh Steelers and Apple's newest stupid gadget.  He is soft like you.

Toolshed's picture

Yes, the saying goes:

Why allow people to wonder if you are an idiot when you can open your mouth and dispell all doubt.

And now we know. Thanks Chet.

chet's picture

I'm sorry, it's only been 4 years of predicting an end that never comes.

gwar5's picture

Adam Lanza was intelligent, too. Since you're still posting, you're not him. Good to know.


francis_sawyer's picture

What about the "other" two shooters involved?...

Bicycle Repairman's picture


No.  Not really.

francis_sawyer's picture

Just sayin'... Shit ~ it's taking even longer for peeps to catch on [in Newtown] than it did in Aurora... I guess it's becuz of the kids [& the fact that they learned their lesson & the alleged PERP is dead]... How convenient...


Hey ~ I bet all the dead kids have full fledged FACEBOOK pages erected... 7... 8 year olds... Happens all the time...

Freddie's picture

Hey Chet - Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.  That split would be the crack by your arsehole.  Idiot.

El Oregonian's picture



Flakmeister's picture

That's a hell of a slippery slope you came up with there...