Friday, January 14, 2011

Asking a Rude Question

So do gun sales spike after major public shootings (as most recently documented in this Politico article) because gun owners are frightened that new laws will make it more difficult to buy guns in the future, as the conventional wisdom has it?

Or is it that there's a subset of people that sees a creepy loner kill a whole bunch of people and get himself on the news, and those people think, "Hm, might want to get me some of that action," so they run out to get some appropriate guns for similar (possibly fantasized, potentially real) rampages?

I'd like to see more detailed statistics on these spikes: are the numbers of purely hunting guns (mostly rifles and shotguns) going up strongly, or is it all those sexy high-rate-of-fire handguns?


Leo Petr said...

Not that I would care to defend it, but there's also the self-defence delusion. "If a creepy loner goes on a shooting rampage near me when I have a loaded gun on my person, I will successfully kill them with my gun without killing anyone else or myself."

Nick said...

Yeah, what Leo said.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I think the population of post-shooting buyers is split between people worried about the laws and people who fit Leo's bill in some way or another (I'm thinking part delusion and part "I need to be able to defend myself, because the world is losing its bloody mind"). I don't know how that would split, though. I wouldn't be 50/50, I imagine.

Harry Connolly said...

Considering that the weapons people are buying are the ones the shooter used (and not one they themselves might prefer) I assume that the sales run is mostly because gun owners are afraid the government is going to ban the shooter's weapons.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I (both extremely liberal) are seriously thinking we need to buy guns.

Not to kill others, but to defend ourselves if the idiots in the tea party decide to use "second amendment" solutions. We know the right is armed, and while neither of us love guns, we're both capable shots (and he's damn good). We're just beginning to think that liberals may need to be able to respond if things keep getting worse.

And this fact distresses and terrifies us. WTF happened to our country?

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