Sunday, January 4, 2009

Guns In America--A Current Report

As I have been discussing throughout this blog series, with the economic situation deteriorating steadily, I surmised that things might begin to get a little chaotic from a social standpoint. One indicator I proposed was the rise in gun sales in the United States, and presumably elsewhere, where they may be legal. So I have a very good, astute, observant friend who as a hobby monitors personal and business security developments, this includes attending gun shows which include personal defense weapons ...he lives in Texas and these shows are apparently quite popular there and to my surprise across the country. So I asked him to be my "reporter on the scene" and let me know what is happening at these shows. His first report follows my comments, but let me say that I do not encourage firearms ownership, but I don't condemn it either. If responsible, properly-accredited, law-abiding citizens want to legally exercise their Second Amendment right, that is just fine with me. So here's the narrative:

More cannon fodder ….

There was a Gun Show in Dallas today … this by itself is not an unusual event, there are about 16 such events in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex a year, however, the fact that there was a constant fast moving 35 minute long line to get in was. We are talking about a constant line of 250+ people. More than 4 thousand people were in within 2 hours of opening. In contrast, I have never waited in line for more than a 5 minutes to get in for this particular show. The folks were going in buying and leaving, there was usually little “window shopping” or “browsing” . It was a demand driven environment. The sellers were getting the asking price, also unusual. Some tables were are already depleted of ammo by noon. Hand guns and para-military semi-automatic weapons were being purchased at an unusual pace.

Perhaps even more interesting, the people weren’t the normal gun show diehards. There were a lot of Joe and Sally averages. The buzz in the line was “Obama was going to come down on the ammunition and guns” and they felt that they had buy a weapon or stock up with ammunition and reloading supplies. Unspoken but obvious from the people purchasing guns inside they were getting something for self defense. The purchase of the firearms were expedited with a phone-call “check-out” (instant background check) for those who didn’t have a Concealed Handgun License. No two or three day waiting to pick up the firearms. Bunches of people who had obviously never fired a gun walked out with an under $300 hand gun and ammunition.

Here is some similar coverage from a show in Tennessee Dec 26th the video says it all. The Dallas show had even more activity.

By the numbers

A few statistics about gun sales in the United States since Barack Obama was elected president in November:

During election week the number of background checks for gun purchases was up 49 percent, compared with the same week in 2007, the FBI reported.

There were 15 percent more gun background checks for October of this year, compared with October of 2007.

Statistics on national instant criminal background checks show that 374,510 people purchased a handgun or long gun during the first week in November, compared to 251,804 during the same week last year. This is a 48.7% increase! That month the FBI completed more than 1.5 million background checks in November, a 41.6 percent increase over November 2007.

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