Obama is stimulating gun sales


Staff member
If gun owners are like wooly worms -- they instinctively fatten up ahead of a harsh winter -- then the Second Amendment is in for a rough spell.

Since Barack Obama's election in November, gun and ammunition sales have soared, as have requests for concealed carry permits, on fears that the new president will clamp down on gun rights.

Business has been so brisk that one California store hung a poster of Obama with the words, "Salesman of the Year."

"Our sales are up 15 to 20 percent since October," says Roger Little, owner of Shooter's Service in Livonia. "It's not the 40 percent other stores are reporting, but it's good business."

Little says his shoppers are snapping up the so-called assault rifles -- semi-automatics made to look like a machine gun -- and pistols.

"We saw the same thing happen after Bill Clinton was elected," Little says. "Whenever a liberal Democrat is in office, it gets people in a panic about their guns."

What are gun lovers so worried about? On the campaign trail, both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden promised to keep their hands off our guns.

But Obama's record apparently speaks louder than campaign promises.

"Gun owners don't trust his campaign rhetoric," says Rachel Parsons, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. "They don't see him as a protector of the Second Amendment."

Specifically, the concern is that Obama will restore the misnamed assault weapons ban, which targets guns for how they look rather than what they actually do. There's also fear that he'll revive a proposal he made while an Illinois legislator to place a 500 percent tax on guns and ammunition.

When that report hit the Internet, some stores saw customers loading so many shells and bullets into shopping carts that they collapsed under the weight.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard credits both the Obama effect and a rise in crime for the sudden interest in guns.

"People are anxious," he says. "We've seen a real jump in the number of concealed carry permits issued."

In January, Oakland issued 1,003 CCW permits, up from 437 a year ago.

The Obama camp continues to reassure that he has no interest in messing with gun owners.

But he also questioned while campaigning why anyone would need a semi-automatic weapon, displaying an ignorance of guns and how they're used.

Semi-automatics aren't machine guns. They fire a bullet or shell each time the trigger is pulled, but they don't "spray" lead. Semi-automatic shotguns, for example, are a favorite of bird hunters, and they're no more deadly than an old-fashioned double barrel.

But politicians aren't rational when it comes to making gun laws. They still think they can limit gun violence by restricting gun rights, despite the thousands of statutes already on federal, state and local books that prove them wrong.

Those wooly worms stacking their shopping carts with boxes of shells and pulling permits for new pistols may be giving us fair warning of what's to come.

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