The media’s focus on gun control in the wake of the tragic Newtown, CT and Webster, NY shootings is not very likely to lead to the passage of new gun control legislation. The issue of bearing arms has been adjudicated repeatedly, and the Supreme Court has found that Americans do have that right. Little noticed, a federal appeals court on December 11 ruled that the state of Illinois must allow ordinary individuals to carry concealed firearms. That ruling follows in the wake of Heller, in which the District of Columbia’s handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional.
Drudge is redlining a fright line — Senate To Go For Handguns. The link goes to Sen. Diane Feinstein’s push to renew the “assault weapons” ban. That ban deals mainly with the cosmetic appearance of firearms. Actual automatic assault weapons have been banned from private ownership since 1934. The Senate, under Democrat control, can and probably will go for gun legislation. The House, under Republican control, is unlikely to take up that cause. The tense fiscal cliff talks will not drive Republicans into Democrat arms on anything, especially a core issue like the Second Amendment. Whatever legislation might pass at the state level will run into court precedent that has recently upheld the right to self defense with firearms. More than 30 states now have concealed carry laws on the books, and most states remain in Republican control after the November elections.
But while the media and the Democrats hysterically demonize law-abiding gun owners and push gun control legislation, they’re actually selling an awful lot of guns. Wal-Mart reportedly sold out of AR-15 rifles shortly before Christmas. A friend of mine works in the gun sales industry, and told me Wednesday that magazines for the AR-15 rifle ordinarily sell for about $20. Thanks to all the attention, demand is spiking and now they’re selling for $75. Prices for the magazines continue to surge on ebay. The ATF’s National Instant Background Check system, which sifts criminal gun buyers from law-abiding buyers purchasing guns at licensed dealers, gets overwhelmed and backlogged nearly every day. Calls frequently cannot get through because demand is exceeding the system’s capacity.
A few days before Christmas, I visited a few gun stores in my area just to see how things are. All of them were very busy in the middle of the daytime. The owner of one reported that he had had over 200 phone calls specifically for AR-15 rifles that day alone. A customer told a story about a man he had seen in another gun store that morning. The store had a single AR-15 on the shelf. A customer asked to see it, and he and his girlfriend discussed buying it at the ticket price. While they were making up their minds, another customer came along and offered the store owner more than the ticket price for the rifle. That triggered a bidding war right there in the store. That AR-15 went home with one of those two buyers that day.
According to the media and the ant-gun left, America was “awash” in guns before the recent shootings. Their attention to firearm ownership, coupled with their avoidance of other relevant issues like the failure to keep criminals behind bars, amounts to a national advertising campaign, selling gun after gun after gun.