Let me offer this prediction for 2016: We’ll see a banner year in gun sales. How do I know this? The nation’s best firearms salesman plans to launch an ad campaign that will produce both demand and defiance, and he’s going to start just as soon as possible, as the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin reports:
President Obama will press ahead with a set of executive actions on guns next week despite growing concerns in the United States over terrorism that have dampened some Americans’ enthusiasm for tighter firearms restrictions.
Well, that’s part of Barack Obama’s problem. The other part is that his public proposals for gun control in the wake of recent shootings have all been non-sequiturs. Obama wants to bring back the so-called “assault weapons” ban even though long-barrel firearms only account for a tiny fraction (~5%) of all homicides, and even though the two shootings that make this an issue took place in states where so-called “assault weapons” are already banned. Obama wants to use the no-fly list to deny constitutional rights, even though (a) there is no due process involved in these secret lists, and (b) not one of the shootings prompting this has had any relation to anyone on a no-fly list. In fact, one of the perps in the most recent shooting in San Bernardino was allowed to fly into the US, thanks to a lack of attention to detail while vetting her visa application … such as Tashfeen Malik’s publicly stated support for violent jihad.
But yes, the terror attack in San Bernardino changes the equation rather dramatically, especially given the government’s failure in allowing Malik to enter the US in July 2014. It has become pretty clear that in shootings like Fort Hood, Chattanooga, and San Bernardino that “assault weapons” bans and gun-free zones don’t prevent attacks — and that police, as hard as they work, aren’t bodyguards at all times for all people. Even some law-enforcement leaders are beginning to speak out about this, such as Washington DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier:
So what does Obama plan to do in 2016? Keep as many people disarmed as possible, of course, and perpetuate the idea of “gun-free zones.” Eilperin reports that the White House wants to tighten requirements for dealer licensing, a proposal that came up earlier but got scotched over “legal concerns.” Obama wants to bring it back now that White House attorneys think they have found a way around the legal problems that stopped them earlier. Note well that this is also a non-sequitur; none of the shootings that have drawn so much attention involved an “informal” dealer. These are just items on the progressive checklist, and have nothing to do with the crisis Obama cites as impetus for these unilateral actions.
If these were good ideas, Obama would bring them to Congress. Has he? Nope:
In reviewing its options, the administration has shut out congressional Republicans, who joined with some Democrats in helping block legislation to expand background checks after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“The administration has not communicated with us, and we have not been briefed,” Doug Andres, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in an email. “We will consider options once we have information, but what seems apparent is none of these ideas would have prevented the recent atrocities. Our focus should be on the consistent causes of these acts — mental illnesses and terrorism — rather than infringing on law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights.”
This brings us back to my prediction at the top of the post. As it happens, I have already done my part; I picked up a new Ruger LC-9S 9mm pistol, a gift from my wife, yesterday on New Years Day from a local gun shop in Robbinsdale. My father and I took it to their indoor range and fired a couple of boxes of ammunition through it. It’s a fun pistol to shoot, and very accurate even in my less-than-expert hands. But that’s not the entire basis of my prediction either. The store was much busier than one would expect on a holiday; in fact, it was much busier than even the store expected. It took quite a while to get a salesman to work with me, and even longer on hold for the federal final check on my record. The lanes were full up, with plenty of Twin Cities residents spending the day having some fun and honing their skills on the range.
If that’s what New Years Day was like at this store just outside of Minneapolis, it’s not hard to predict that 2016 will be a very robust year for firearms sales everywhere. People learned the lesson in 2015 that gun-free zones aren’t, and that the federal government is more interested in political correctness and the progressive agendas than they are in protecting Americans. The campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won’t be the only expressions of defiance, and perhaps another banner year in firearms sales to law-abiding citizens for their own self-defense might be the most productive of all.
The NRA should have a good year, too. They have a new web ad out this week lampooning Hillary Clinton’s recent gun-control “resolutions,” and they have a few of their own, too. That’s Michael Bloomberg’s face on the currency, by the way: