Friday, January 15, 2016
The Market Speaks
On the day of the terror attacks by Muslims in San Bernadino, I went with Julie R. on a shopping trip to a nearby gun store -- a trip we'd been planning anyway, and given the events of the day and the propensity of the dictator-wannabe in the Whitehouse to issue decrees, we supposed the time was auspicious. What we encountered was quite interesting. The small (but well stocked) store was surprisingly crowded, more than the usual number of patrons, for sure... and almost all of the customers were women, ranging from middle age to one whom I guessed was in her mid 70's, although Julie thought I was underestimating her age by 15 years. Most of them were purchasing handguns and asking about shooting classes, although one walked out with a lovely new blackpowder hunting rifle. In addition to me, I believe there were only two male customers (one of them accompanying the gal who bought the rifle) and at least half a dozen women in addition to Julie.
Evidence suggests that in the U.S. firearm sales are easily at record highs. Already record level rates of buying jumped with the San Bernadino terror attacks. And according to the FBI, December 2015 set a record of 3.3 million NICS checks (National Instant Criminal Check System, background checks for purchases of new firearms) and over 23 million checks for the year. Compare that to the 8.5 million checks of 2000, or the 12.7 million in 2008 at the end of Bush 43's tenure. Firearm sales have effectively doubled under Obama.
Of course, NICS checks probably underestimate sales. Those of us who are concealed carry permit holders are not subject to NICS checks (in obtaining a permit one goes through a more rigorous check than the NICS). The number of such permit holders has more than tripled since 2000, with most of the increase coming since Obama was elected to his first term.
Yes, the market is speaking.
Photo: Glock 26, arguably the finest small defensive weapon in the world. That's not what we were buying, though.