Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Firearms sales and politics...

We recently had a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA and the POTUS almost immediately called for gun control despite the fact that the attackers and their supporters had broken many laws (aside from murder) concerning the firearms to use those firearms, laws that already existed and which they ignored. What good would it do to have more laws that they would ignore?

Meanwhile, it is estimated that Americans commit 3 felonies each and every day, mostly in complete ignorance, because we have criminalized so much behavior. Just how does that help anyone? Does it make us safer? Healthier?

Recently, the Governor of Virginia, in an apparent bid to repay favors given him in his run for the governorship, issued an executive order to "ban" firearms from state offices including rest stops. That this "ban" is unenforceable or that for the time being the only charge could be trespassing, matters not one bit. Only the law abiding will be affected. Then the Attorney General for Virginia unilaterally decided to negate concealed handgun permit reciprocity with 30 other states. In one act he abrogated the rights of citizens of those 30 states as well as Virginians who acquired their Concealed Handgun Permits with the understanding that there would be reciprocity. Again, this affects only law-abiding citizens who have passed background checks to purchase and again to carry concealed those firearms. Meanwhile, criminals are under no restraints. How does this actually help anyone other than the criminal?

The truth is that gun control is an act of political control. Control over one's personal security is the ultimate act of control. So what happened as a result of each of these acts?

Sales of firearms. After each act there was an increase in sales in excess of what we would expect given the holiday season. Sales weren't just to rednecks, they weren't just to hobbyists, they weren't just to activists, those sales were to men and women and couples (of all kinds) who had never owned a gun, have never before carried concealed (but were signing up in droves for the required classes), and who were absolutely opposed to these restrictions. It was reported that on "black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving, over 187,000 firearms were sold. Based on this year's trends 40%+ or about 75,000 of those firearms went to first time buyers. Based on what I've seen these new buyers are not the politically disconnected or inactive, these are voters.

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