Gun Ownership Exploding under Obama
The gun industry loves to put down President Obama and make you worry that he’s going to take away your guns. The National Rifle Association went ballistic, for example, when he made a comment in the Oct. 16 debate about supporting a ban on assault rifles, saying Obama was calling for “a gun ban” in general.
But reports are surfacing that the industry has actually done very well under his administration: The AP reported on Oct. 19 that gun owners have enjoyed a heyday over the last four years.
AP Reports Heyday
Facts according the AP research on gun ownership:
- Sales are on the rise, so much that some manufacturers cannot make weapons fast enough to keep pace with demand.
- Major gun company stock prices are up.
- The number of federally licensed, retail gun dealers is increasing for the first time in nearly 20 years.
- The U.S. gun lobby is bursting with cash and political clout, and Washington DC has expressed little interest in passing new gun laws.
“On the whole, it’s definitely true that firearms sales are increasing,” says David Burnett, who serves as director of public relations for Students for Conceal Carry and has done research for the NRA and Cato Institute. But he attributes the trend to “fears of what a second Obama administration would mean for gun rights.”
UN Small-Arms Treaty Defeated
The gun lobby has also had recent success in blocking a UN treaty that had gun owners up in arms. In July 2012, the U.S. gun lobby succeeded in rallying enough senators to effectively defeat the United States’ participation in a UN treaty that would regulate the international trade in small arms
“The United States has a history of compliance and agreement with UN treaties and contracts, and one of the UN’s core agenda items is banning small arms, ostensibly to preserve peace,” points out Burnett. “Most gun owners recognize that criminals won’t obey the laws, only the law-abiding, and thus such a treaty would only empower criminals.”
“Numerous government and private studies have demonstrated that small arms are used hundreds of thousands of times a year in self-defense, and gun owners such as myself oppose any agreements with a net effect of being less safe or less capable of protecting ourselves,” he explains.
According to the UN, however, the treaty would have kept guns out of criminals’ hands to begin with. “Small arms are cheap, light, and easy to handle, transport and conceal,” according to its site about the treaty. “Most present-day conflicts are fought mainly with small arms, which are broadly used in inter-State conflict. They are the weapons of choice in civil wars and for terrorism, organized crime and gang warfare.”
Holes in the System Are the Problem
Burnett admits it’s not a bad time to be a gun owner in this country. “The current trend in America is definitely weighing in favor of the private citizen’s right to keep and bear arms,” he observes.
As for the argument that gun control is necessary to stop the violent episodes we read about in the news, Burnett says laws forbid people with felonies, mental health and substance abuse problems, and “those with a past history of violence” from owning guns.
“Most mass shootings result from missing warning signs or holes in the reporting trail,” he says. “For example, the Aurora shooter was seeing a mental professional and evidently expressed violent thoughts. The Tucson shooter’s classmates were profoundly concerned about his behavior, but no one reported it. The Virginia Tech gunman wouldn’t have purchased a gun if the mental health reporting system had functioned correctly.”
“Our instinct is to correct the gun laws, but they aren’t the problem,” he concludes. “It’s reporting the conditions which prevent guns getting into the hands of the wrong people.”
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