Across America, guns are still flying off the shelves, with sales numbers continually smashing previous records set over the last decade as Americans load up on firearms of all varieties in never-before-seen quantities. From Colorado and Connecticut to Ohio, Virginia, and Alabama — and everywhere in between — gun sales are exploding. Indeed, government data show 2013 was the best year for domestic sales in U.S. history after beating the previous high set the year before. Restrictions on gun rights, meanwhile, are overwhelmingly getting less draconian at the state level.
According to analysts, the primary cause for the unprecedented surge in purchases has been — somewhat ironically, perhaps — the unconstitutional gun-control machinations and decrees coming from the Obama administration and its allies. More than a few firearms dealers and commentators have even started referring to Obama, who has been seeking to restrict the gun rights of Americans, as the “best gun salesman in history.”
In terms of the numbers, 2013 was another record year, government data from the FBI’s controversial “background check” system showed. According to news reports, over 21 million applications were processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) last year. Because one background check can be used to purchase multiple firearms, the number of guns sold might even be higher. In 2012, there were just under 20 million.
Overall, nationwide gun sales, as measured by NICS data, were up eight percent over 2012’s record-setting figures. Every year for the last 11 years has seen an increase in gun purchases. However, analysts say the “shameless” post-Newtown mega-push for new infringements on gun rights by the Obama administration and its increasingly discredited allies in the establishment media played a key role in the dramatic surge witnessed in late 2012 and into 2013.
Indeed, all 10 of the top gun-sales weeks occurred since Obama announced his schemes to further restrict the human-rights protections in the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. Eight of the top 10 weeks were in 2013, with the other two in December of 2012, according to numbers cited in the Washington Times. Since Obama has been in the White House, background checks have soared by 66 percent. Gun-manufacturer stock prices have been surging, too.
“Last year was a record setting year for gun and ammunition sales due to the threat of anti-gun legislation at both the state and federal level,” General Counsel Lawrence Keane, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the Times. “Demand is settling back down from the peaks of 2013, but the valley floor is much higher than before because of the significant number of new firearms owners — many of them young, urban and female — who elected to exercise their Second Amendment rights for the first time.”
Despite the full-blown attack on the Second Amendment by Obama and his allies in the press, state governments have overwhelmingly been loosening firearms restrictions. At the federal level, the administration’s scheme to assault gun rights via unconstitutional legislation went down in flames, too, with the proposal failing to get through even the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Of course, radical Democrat politicians in a few states — Colorado, New York, and Connecticut, for example — have managed to impose a number of draconian new violations against the gun rights of citizens, costing some of the politicians their political careers. On balance, however, the right to keep and bear arms has secured far more new legal protections than violations in America over the last year.
In fact, a recent analysis by the New York Times found that of the 109 new gun laws enacted at the state level since Obama’s push began, 70 actually loosened restrictions — almost double the number of laws that tightened restrictions. Some states, such as Kansas, have even nullified unconstitutional federal restrictions, sending disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder into an outburst of rage.
Justice Department boss Holder, who was caught on video calling for a taxpayer-funded program to “brainwash” Americans to reject gun rights, and who is currently in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents on the administration’s “Fast and Furious” scheme to arm Mexican drug cartels, responded to Kansas with a bizarre but threatening letter. State officials were not amused.
The administration also issued new unconstitutional decrees aimed at usurping legislative power and restricting gun rights this week. Pro-Second Amendment groups, however, are already gearing up to fight the lawless “executive actions,” hoping to have lawmakers put the White House back in its place. The trends, though, are clear.
State-level data on gun sales also tell a fascinating story about the administration’s spectacular failure when it comes to infringing on the Second Amendment. Alabama led the gun-buying binge, according to news reports; the number of background checks performed smashed even recently set new records in the last two months of 2013. In Maryland, meanwhile, sales surged some 70 percent between 2012 and 2013. Purchases in Utah, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, and more all spiked more than 25 percent over records set the year before. Only two states did not beat new records set in 2012.
The reason is simple. “We saw California and Colorado reacting — all of these reactions got gun owners' attention here in Virginia,” explained Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun rights Virginia Citizens Defense League. “Anytime you threaten to ban guns, to make more restrictions, all you're going to do is make sure there are far more guns out there than if you just kept your mouth shut. The other side hasn't learned this.”
Still, gun owners and pro-Second Amendment groups celebrated the phenomenal growth in the number of firearms in private hands. “2013 was the best year for firearm sales (commercial, domestic) in history — period!” noted Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association in New Hampshire. “That’s true for New Hampshire to Hawaii. Ruger alone sold well over one million guns this year.”
Analysts say the establishment media, which promptly latched on to Obama’s push for more unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, has been left looking foolish and impotent. “Not only is this a major setback for Democrats, but also for a mainstream media that went all in on this campaign,” observed Breitbart columnist John Nolte, calling the surge in pro-gun rights laws a “Media Super Fail.”
“The media's demagoguery, dishonesty, and partisanship have now handed the American gun culture a rolling parade of victories for a full year — victories that would have otherwise not have been possible or even fought for,” Nolte added. “Ten years ago, the media was entirely too dominant and powerful to ever lose a battle they poured everything they had into. Those days are over.”
Violent crime, meanwhile, has been plummeting. According to a report released last year by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the number of gun homicides has plummeted almost 40 percent since 1993 — from more than 18,000 to 11,000 in 2011 — even as Americans purchased tens or even hundreds of millions of new guns. Adjusting the data to account for per-capita gun homicide rates, researchers found that the numbers have fallen 50 percent.
Of course, states with stronger protections for gun rights fared much better than jurisdictions with more draconian infringements. A new study published this month in the academic journal Applied Economics Letters, for example, found that increased numbers of people carrying concealed weapons was tied to lower murder levels. Restrictions on carrying “may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level,” the abstract concluded.
Also ironic is that the Obama administration’s scheming has coincided with a dramatic shift in public sentiment. Polls now show that fewer Americans favor gun control than the number of people who support keeping laws the same or abolishing existing infringements. State and local officials, meanwhile, including lawmakers and lawmen, have been standing up at unprecedented rates, vowing to protect citizens in their jurisdictions from unconstitutional assaults on their rights. Support for civil disobedience to protect gun rights is surging, too — even among Democrats.
Obama and his fellow anti-gun rights fanatics were hoping to exploit the deaths of children to assault the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution, critics say. Instead, the campaign had the exact opposite effect: Existing restrictions were mostly loosened, public opinion shifted further in favor of gun rights, and record numbers of firearms ended up in the hands of law-abiding Americans. The irony, of course, has Second Amendment supporters smiling, but analysts warn that Obama and his cohorts are far from finished.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at
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