An “Obama bounce”… in gun sales?

posted at 12:31 pm on September 9, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

What with all of the Keynesian-ish methods with which President Obama has tried and spectacularly failed to stimulate the economy and to provide boosts to various politically-favored economic sectors, I have to confess that it’s just the tiniest bit gratifying that one of the few industries coming through the economic downturn with superbly flying colors is probably the one industry that many hardcore liberals would like to see shut down altogether. In 2008, gun sales surged after President Obama’s election, part of the explanation for which was that people feared a progressive gun-control crackdown. It was quite the healthy bounce for the world of firearms, except that the bounce hasn’t let up — at all.

Although nothing too drastic has come out of the current administration in terms of gun regulations (alas, but for that dastardly NRA and their horrid lobbying money preventing us from having a real conversation about firearms in this country, oh the humanity!), it seems that the prospect of a second Obama term (in which he’ll no longer be thinking about reelection and will hence have more, cough cough, “flexibility”) isn’t doing anything to quell the boom.  CNBC reports that the gun industry has seen sustained high sales during Obama’s tenure, and is still going more than strong as we wend our way towards November:

Smith & Wesson stock Friday was zooming, thanks to a stellar earnings report. The firearms maker also boosted its outlook for the rest of the year. Because of the strong business, its backlog of orders more than doubled from the same quarter last year, the company is concentrating on boosting production and building inventory.

“We are underserving the market at this moment, we all know that, and that’s a great opportunity going forward for us,” CEO James Debney said in a conference call with analysts.

And another gun maker, Sturm, Ruger & Co., also hit a milestone of sorts in terms of meeting consumer demand. It produced its one-millionth gun of the year…well ahead of last year’s pace.

“It took us nearly all of 2011 to build one million firearms, but in 2012 we accomplished it on August 15th,” said Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer in a statement. …

“I should put Obama’s picture on the wall up there,” said one New Jersey gun salesman, asking not to be identified. “I’d name him salesman of the month!”

Besides the possible cultural explanation that gun ownership is simply becoming more acceptable (bipartisanship, huzzah!) and that shooting sports are becoming more popular, there’s also the theory that the terrible economy itself is fueling people’s fears of extreme-survival scenarios, and they’re taking precautions. Either way, because of President Obama directly or because of the awful economy he’s fomented, the liberals’ hero has been a catalyst for gun sales like no other. I do so hope the irony isn’t lost on them.

The Democratic National Committee’s platform at their convention last week was pretty iffy as to their gun-related agenda, but most definitely left the door open for further gun-control measures — here’s what they had to say, for your interpretation:

Firearms. We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole—so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.


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