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Opening Arguments

Gun crazy

A couple of weeks ago, we had a story about guns "flying off the shelves" because of the mere possibility  Barack Obama might be elected president. Now that he's actually been elected, it's beginning to look like gun sales nationwide are so huge that they could even save the economy!

"Gun sales doubled Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week, and we've sold out of a lot of the guns we normally have in stock," said Jim King, sporting goods manager at Thatcher's Ace Hardware in Baker City, which still retains a tinge of its Wild West boomtown origins.

People are afraid of losing their Second Amendment gun rights, King said, although that would involve a lengthy and improbable attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution.

He said much of the buying frenzy involves assault rifles, which, King said, Obama's Web site says he wants to ban.

As with so many issues, it's difficult to say exactly where Obama stands on guns. He's said he supports the 2nd Amendment, but he is for "reasonable" control, and he apparently believed D.C.'s total handgun ban was reasonable. There are some indications he is hostile to "concealed carry" laws. I suspect he is more anti-guns than I would like, but even if he wants to change the status quo, it will be a long and complicated process. I had enough of guns in the Army, so I've never been an owner. But I reintroduced myself to them at my brother's home firing range, and I've been thinking about buying one or two. I do not feel compelled to run out and get them today, however.

I'm a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but I wonder who all these frenzied buyers are. Presumably, most people who want guns have them, and those who don't don't. Are these all fence-sitters who have been pushed into buying because of Obama's election?  Are they just making a statement, or are they really scared? This smacks a little bit of "prepare for the civil unrest that's coming" by loading the trunk with survivalist gear. Kinda scary, really.


Larry Morris
Wed, 11/12/2008 - 12:46pm

It really does make you wonder. I already have (and have had for quite a while) lots of firepower in the house and don't feel the need to run right out and get some more. I got a call from an acquaintance last evening who wanted to know what an AR-15 was and was it a good buy for home defense. I tried to tell her, yes, but only if you planned on defending your home from invaders that were a couple of hundred yards away, her best bet was to look at a low cost shotgun. Easy to use and will work at the distance her home invaders are likely to be, ... no idea where she got the idea about the AR-15, ...

tim zank
Wed, 11/12/2008 - 12:58pm

I would bet a lot of buyers are "fence-sitters" truly scared they won't be able to get a gun after "The One" is anointed. Folks seem to always "jump the gun" (pun intended) when confronted with a possible lack of something, the best example being toilet paper & milk when the snow starts falling.

Bob G.
Wed, 11/12/2008 - 1:25pm

There 'ya go, Larry...my plan exactly.
(the shotgun that is)

And don't fret, Tim...there WILL be plenty of "those" folks driving around like mad this winter.

Seems a lot of people STILL haven't heard of PREPAREDNESS (in ANY form)...!
(imagine that)

(wasn't me that gave that person the AR-15 info...and you all KNOW trhat.)

Wed, 11/12/2008 - 1:59pm


I'm surprised that they unloaded it after the Y2K event.