Two things happened after the most recent widely publicized US mass shootings/domestic terrorism acts: i) Obama once again made a concerted effort to push for gun-control, and ii) gun sales soared to record highs for November most likely in response to i). As we reported in September, citing the FT, "gun sales this year could surpass the record set in 2013, when gun purchases surged after the December 2012 Sandy Hook murders." And given that Black Friday background checks broke all previous records, it appears we are well on our way.
... the calls for tighter gun laws lead to an increase in weapons sales. “Once the public hears the president on the news say we need more gun controls, it tends to drive sales,” said Mr Hyatt, who owns one of the largest gun retailers in the US. “People think, if I don’t get a gun now, it might be difficult to get one in the future. The store is crowded.”
"We don’t want our business to be based on tragedy but we have to deal with what we have no control over,” Mr Hyatt said. “And after these shootings and then the calls for tougher gun laws, we see a buying rush.”
This is not surprising: as Wired noted back in 2013, sharp spikes in gun sales usually following mass shootings for several reasons.
The desire to protect one's self In many cases, gun shootings followed by 24/7 media coverage prompt citizens to arm themselves, according to testimonies. In Aurora, for instance, Jake Meyers of Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo told The Post shoppers cited self-protection when checking out new weapons. "A lot of it is people saying, 'I didn't think I needed a gun, but now I do,' " Meyers said. "When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing — 'Hey, I go to the movies.'"
The fear of stricter gun laws Another logical factor is that gun owners' or soon-to-be-gun owners' sense a tide of gun control regulations following a massacre and seek to purchase guns ahead of fast-moving laws. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, spoke to this following a 60 percent uptick in gun sales in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings in 2011. "Some Americans fear tougher gun control laws in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack so they want to stock up now," he told Politico. “What it shows is maybe gun owners in Arizona and these other states feel that there’s going to be some change in the law, which is what I hope our elected officials” trying to enact. Obviously, that fear has been unfounded. Since coming into office, Obama has been virtually silent on the issue of gun control, despite the protestations of liberals.
The feeling of uncertainty It's important to remember, spikes in guns sales don't just coincide with shooting sprees. They also coincide with violent events of any kind, as Fredrick Kunkle at The Washington Post reported. "People also rushed to buy guns after the 1992 riots in Los Angeles and the breakdown of order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina." That has led some industry experts and law enforcement officials to point to a general feeling of uncertainty as a driver of gun buying habits. "People often buy firearms during periods of uncertainty," Gary Kleck, a researcher at Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, told the paper.
Which brings us to today when in the latest FBI background check data - a proxy for total gun sales in the United States as most gun purchases require a background check - we find that, as expected, Obama's latest threat to implement stricter gun controls backfried once more, and the month of November saw a record number of background checks.
Gun rights activists have pointed to Democrats’ calls for new gun control measures as one reason why gun sales have increased. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, that Australian style mandatory gun buybacks should be considered in the United States, and that she would implement new gun control through executive action.
“Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the best gun salespeople on the planet. The more they scream for new gun control laws the more guns walk off the shelves at gun stores,” said Alan Gottlieb, the head of the Second Amendment Foundation. “To quote the lyrics of Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.’”
The biggest irony, however, as we reported previously, is that "homicide rates have been cut in half over past 20 years as new gun ownership soared."
So thanks Obama: courtesy of your inept approach to resolving every social issue not to mention your naive, recurring attempts to uproot the Second Amendment, you are making the US safer one teleprompted, faux-emotional speech at a time. Granted, everyone knows that was not your intention, but the public will take whatever it can.
So what changed? Why did Americans suddenly start getting more interested in guns inj and around the end of 2008?