A recent lengthy article in the Washington Post declared there are “more guns than people in the United States,” as if that were a bad thing, but anybody attending the monthly Washington Arms Collectors’ gun show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds in Washington State over the weekend might have said it’s a good start.
Evergreen State gun owners are in the crosshairs of a Seattle-based gun prohibition group pushing a new gun control initiative, and a fair number of faces at the weekend gun show were young, and judging from the stamps on their hands, they weren’t WAC members. But that’s what gun control does; it drives people to gun shops, and gun shows. Non-WAC members are not allowed to purchase firearms, but they can certainly look, and join the organization if they desire. Background checks are required for all firearm transfers, including private sales, and that applies to gun shows in Washington.
Recently-elected WAC President Bill Burris chatted with a reporter about Initiative 1639, for which paid signature gatherers are feverishly gathering signatures to meet a July 6 deadline to get the measure on the November ballot. Long story short, he doesn’t think the initiative will prevent violent crimes, and he is a good judge of that. Burris is a retired Pierce County sheriff’s detective, and he is opposed to the measure. As if there were not already enough complaints and concerns regarding the sweeping initiative, a Friday story on Seattle’ KIRO – the local CBS affiliate – reported allegations of misleading tactics used by unidentified signature gatherers in Snohomish County.
What happened over the weekend in Puyallup is a small example of what the Washington Post said happened under the Obama administration regarding guns.
According to the WaPo:
“The Obama years were a boom time for America’s gun manufacturers, which doubled their annual output between 2009 and 2013, fueled in part by fears of a federal crackdown on gun ownership that never materialized. “In the United States alone civilians acquired at least 122 million new or imported firearms during the period 2006–17,” the Small Arms Survey found.”
Tell an American consumer they might not be able to get something tomorrow, they’ll go get it today. Tell Americans they may not be able to purchase a firearm after November, they’ll go out and buy one now. Many in the firearms industry quietly observe that Barack Obama was American’s best gun salesman during his years in office, and in that sarcastic vein, Hillary Clinton took over right up to election day in 2016.
Call it the law of unintended consequences. Anti-gunners push to eliminate gun ownership, and gun ownership goes up. Many of those new gun buyers were first-timers who had never before owned a firearm. Of that group, many were (and remain) women and minorities.
The story said there are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States. Now do some math. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, there were 11,004 slayings committed with firearms in 2016. The previous year, 9,778 homicides were committed with firearms. The number of guns involved in murders is a fraction of the total number of guns in private hands.
According to the Washington Post article, Americans made up four percent of the world population but owned about 46 percent of the “entire global stock of 857 million civilian firearms.” During the Obama years, American gun manufacturers doubled their annual output “fueled in part by fears of a federal crackdown on gun ownership that never materialized.” During that period, the story added, “civilians acquired at least 122 million new or imported firearms.”
Perhaps the moral of this story is that the gun prohibition lobby should think things through a bit. If they really want to slow down gun sales, maybe they ought to just be quiet, close up shop and devote their energies and bankrolls to some other endeavor.