Club Officer: ‘Uncertain Times for Gun Owners’November 14th, 2008 by josh farley
Around the country, a flurry of stories is being written by the media talking of “Fears” of a “Democrat Crackdown” that is leading to a “Gun Sales Boom,” according to one article by the Associated Press.
Here’s the data the AP relied upon:
“Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were more than 108,000 more background checks for gun purchases than in October 2007, a 15 percent increase. And the
y were up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26, according to the FBI.”
We have, of course, devoted a special report to the rise this year in concealed pistol licenses (up 43 percent) in the state, and some local gun owners do attribute a rise with the political upshot of the Democrats, whose last president, Bill Clinton, signed a gun ban into law.
There’s a highly critical article of the media’s reporting on this topic in Slate, however. But we’ll get to that later. First, I wanted to find out locally if there’s any trends developing, so I emailed Marcus Carter, executive officer at the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club. Here’s what he said about the possible uptick:
“There is a VERY rapid upswing in folks inquiring and obtaining firearms. Most certainly feel it is a “get it while you can” time in our country. I have also seen folks selling off parts of their collection they feel will be made illegal once the new administration and congress take control. Uncertain times for gun owners in general.”
But Jack Shafer, editor of Slate, believes the press is “spooking” its readers with fears of a gun buildup. You can read it for yourself, but here’s the nutshell version. Shafer says the press never makes a big deal out of gun decreases, despite the fact 34.5 percent of American families owned a gun in 2006, a number that has fallen from 54 percent in 1977. He also reports that guns reside in the hands of the few, not that many: 48 percent of gun owners own four guns or more.
All good points. But here’s the thing I think Carter, and other gun owners, point to when choosing to purchase the heat. It comes at the end of Shafer’s article:
“The Chicago Tribune reports that as “an Illinois state legislator [Obama] voted to support a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and tighter restrictions on all firearms. He has said in the past that he opposes allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons.”
The AP reports that as a U.S. senator, “Obama voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuits.”
According to the Anchorage Daily News, “the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Obama and called his win Tuesday ‘a major victory.’ “