He deserves it. Thanks to him, the industry’s recession-proof.

“It’s credit where credit is due,” says Shepherd, “Mr. Obama has consistently voted against individual rights to firearms, appointed a re-tread Clinton administration full of gun banners, and made it plain to anti-gun groups that despite what he might say to the contrary, he’s on their side.” That history, along with the unquestioned support of anti-gun organizations, Shepherd says, has spooked consumers into a buying frenzy for firearms that could be outlawed in another Assault Weapons Ban…

Sales are so good that on Tuesday, January 6, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a notice to all federal firearms licensees that “an unprecedented increase in demand for ATF Form 4473” had run supplies low enough that dealers were temporarily given permission to photocopy the form until supplies caught up with demand…

In fact, Shepherd says, gun and ammunition sales are at such frantic levels that they have surpassed the panic-buying of Y2K or anything during the Clinton years when the first Assault Weapons Ban was passed.

Some of this must be driven by media hysteria about the economy; I’ve read enough stories myself about Depression, ruin, and catastrophe to wonder if I shouldn’t be preparing for the Mad-Max-ification of New York City. But there is a Hopenchange factor here: Reports of soaring sales started trickling in literally the day after the election and broke big into the mainstream media by mid-November. How strange that people wouldn’t take The One’s assurances about gun ownership at face value.

Coincidentally, WaPo files a dispatch this morning from deep in the heart of Bitterclingersville. You want anecdotal evidence? You got it:

But he says Obama lost his support when he made his infamous remarks at a private fundraiser in San Francisco about small-town Americans who feel marginalized and “cling to guns or religion.”…

Not long after Obama’s comments, Loewer received mailers from the National Rifle Association saying that Obama planned to ban hunting, restrict gun laws and close 90 percent of gun shops. Several nonpartisan fact-checking groups discredited the claims, but the gun dealers Loewer talked to said the NRA had it right.

“When Obama got elected, I went out and bought a rifle and pistol shells for every weapon I own,” he says. “I bought $400 worth of ammo.”

Not that Loewer feared Armageddon or a race war; he was stocking up in case the warnings from the NRA and the gun dealers came true.

Follow the link and see for yourself which photo they chose to illustrate the story with. Exit question: I can’t shake the feeling that they think there’s an ulterior reason for rural voters’ wariness about Obama. Anyone else getting that vibe?