Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gun sales soar after Arizona shooting

Yes, that's right, the Arizona shooting that left six dead, including a nine-year-old girl, has spurred gun sales across the country:

One-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumped 60 percent to 263 on Jan. 10 compared with 164 the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second-biggest increase of any state in the country, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data.

Handgun sales rose 65 percent to 395 in Ohio; 16 percent to 672 in California; 38 percent to 348 in Illinois; and 33 percent to 206 in New York, the FBI data show. Sales increased nationally about 5 percent, to 7,906 guns.

Federally tracked gun sales, which are drawn from sales in gun stores that require a federal background check, also jumped following the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, in which 32 people were killed.

"Whenever there is a huge event, especially when it's close to home, people do tend to run out and buy something to protect their family," said Don Gallardo, a manager at Arizona Shooter's World in Phoenix, who said that the number of people signing up for the store's concealed weapons class doubled over the weekend. Gallardo said he expects handgun sales to climb steadily throughout the week. 

Really? For self-protection? Then why did sales of the weapon Jared Lee Loughner (is alleged to have) used, the Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol, also increase dramatically following the shooting? Do people really need to protect themselves, and their families, with a gun that is designed to kill large numbers of people in short order? And why, in any event, would a targeted political shooting, an assassination attempt, compel so many people to arm themselves? It's not like violent crime was about to go up.

As another Arizona gun-store owner explained, "[w]hen something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff." Ah, so now we find ourselves in the vicious cycle. It was very much the anti-government, pro-gun right-wing political culture that provided the broader context for the shooting. And now, in direct response to the shooting, that culture, already a powder keg on the brink of explosion, feeds upon itself and expands, with more and more people acting on their anti-government, pro-gun fantasies and arming themselves against the "enemy."

Honestly, if the shooting wasn't all that surprising, should we really be surprised it if happens again and again, and perhaps to even worse degrees?

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  • This author is not very bright is he! I am sure most of the sales were people getting guns while they can! It is going to be just like when Michele bans Pepsi,,, people are going to buy all they can afford!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 PM  

  • "when Michele bans Pepsi,,,"

    I'm not sure if you're joking, but if not, don't forget to pick up some Thorazine on the way to the 7/11


    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:35 AM  

  • "a gun that is designed to kill large numbers of people in short order? "

    I have a hard time attributing criminal intent to an object, but I'm not comfortable with the focus on a madman's choice of weapons either. Perhaps it was on sale or the Beretta M92 was too big for his hand. . . Why does it matter?

    It's a favorite with police departments who, for the most part, I think, are more concerned with reliability and accuracy as well as light weight - and let's hope the cops are more concerned with defending life than with assassination.

    What would we be talking about if he had used a fertilizer bomb like Tim McVeigh, or rammed the crowd with a Hummer?

    A madman's choice is a madman's choice after all. Professional assassins, sane or otherwise, often choose the venerable .22 caliber revolver. Extended magazines don't really provide any advantage to him - big and clumsy and hard to hide, after all -- and you can get them for almost any auto pistol.

    I'd rather focus on why this guy got through the mandatory police background check, why there wasn't better security and why the US isn't doing anything to keep deranged people off the streets.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:08 AM  

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