Wednesday, 26 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Americans Buy Assault Weapons Because They Don't Trust Americans Who Own Assault Weapons

Monday, 04 February 2013 11:20 By Donald G. Schweitzer, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

We need your help to sustain grassroots, groundbreaking journalism. Make a tax-deductible contribution to Truthout now by clicking here.

"There are a lot of crazy bastards out there with Ar-15s. I'll be ready if they come after me."……..My Neighbor, Your Neighbor, and Your Neighbor's Neighbor

 The ongoing explosion in assault weapon purchases is fueled by a nation-wide "positive feedback" reaction. We are in a Republican engineered surreptitious Second Civil War. Three related factors are demonstrably responsible for the explosion in purchases of assault rifles, 1) hatred of the first black president, 2) fear that the Connecticut massacre of small children will allow Obama to ban future sales of assault weapons and ammunition, and 3) the fear of many law abiding citizens that assault weapons are the only thing that will be effective in protecting them against similar weapons held by their lunatic neighbors.

Why the Lady Next Door Needs an AR-15

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan 31 2013, Gayle Trotter, a lawyer and senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women's Forum, said women need AR-15s to level the playing field when confronted by physically stronger male attackers. A "young woman defending her babies in her home" when faced with "three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background" needs an AR-15..… the appearance of such a "scary-looking gun" deters violent male criminals during home invasions. "If we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting these types of women at a great disadvantage - more so than men because they don't have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle."

The Beginning of the Chain Reaction-Obama's Election

"People are in such fear of the black liberal president that Obama has literally become the poster child for gun sales." Larry Pratt, executive director of the firearms lobbying group Gun Owners of America, toldWorld News Daily. "Nobody is taking down the picture of the president from their gun-store walls, the one with the caption 'Salesman of the Year'.... It's the one government stimulus that has worked."

The increase in gun sales is not the only indication of the fear of a black liberal president. Hundreds of thousands of signatures have been gathered on secession petitions posted on the White House web site, with the highest amount of signatures coming from the former confederate states. The Fort-Worth Telegramstated that industry analyst Benchmark Co. reviewed the rise in the stock price of the gun manufacturers and advised its clients that "firearm sales have grown about 10% each year since Obama was first elected," and expects them to continue well into his second term.

On the day after the presidential election, stock prices for firearms makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. rose 10.8% and 6.4% respectively, noted the Los Angeles Times. Sales of assault weapons like AK-47s and AR-15s have doubled since 2008, when Obama stated that he would reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. During the 2012 campaign, Obama said "weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets."

Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, "there are some limitations that can be imposed." In a rare moment of sanity, Scalia also pointed out that weapons law existed at the time the Second Amendment was written and ratified by the Founding Fathers, supporting the constitutionality of gun control legislation.

Freedom Group saw a rosy outlook for assault rifles. "The market for such weapons grew 27 percent between 2007 and 2011," it wrote.

In February 2006, Smith & Wesson, unveiled its first-ever semi-automatic assault-style rifle. The company dubbed it the M&P15, (an AR-15 variant) for "military and police," but the gun was aimed at the retail market. Sales of the M&P15 and other military-style weapons played a crucial role in pulling the company out of a deep sales slump.

Sales surged after the election, with more than 100,000 M&P15 rifles built in 2010, up from 4,600 in 2006. According to federal firearms manufacturing data, Smith & Wesson's revenues broke records and its stock price quadrupled. The boom in assault weapons has more than offset dropping sales of traditional firearms caused by a declining national interest in hunting

The Surge After the Massacre

On Dec. 19 after President Barack Obama held a White House press conference announcing that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a team tasked with coming up with "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence, one customer ordered 32,000 rounds of ammunition from SelwayArmory.com, worth close to $18,000. The order had to be shipped from the company's Lolo, Mont., office to Kentucky on a freight truck. "I've done more sales in the week after the 19th than I have the whole year," says Zimmerman, who launched SelwayArmory.com in 2009. The story has repeated itself at gun shops across the country: High-capacity .223-caliber assault weapons, as well as the ammunition and magazines for them, are selling out.

Assault rifles are sold out across the country. Rounds of .223 bullets, like those used in the AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle used in Newtown, are scarce. Stores are struggling to restock their shelves. Gun and ammunition makers are telling retailers they will have to wait months to get more. Store owners who have been in the business for years say they have never seen demand like this before.

Franklin Armory, a firearm maker in Morgan Hill, Calif., is telling dealers that it will take six months to fulfill their orders. The company plans to hire more workers and buy more machines to catch up, says Franklin Armory's President Jay Jacobson.

"Assault rifles were selling like crazy," says Kotis, who is president and CEO of Kotis Holdings, a real estate development company based in Greensboro. "People are stockpiling."

"AR-15s are sold out and back ordered over a year," says Orlando, 18, a student at the University of Texas.

No organization publicly releases gun sales data. The only way to measure demand is by the number of background checks that are conducted when someone wants to buy a firearm. Those numbers are released by the Federal Reserve Bureau every month. Data for December are not out yet. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that it did 16.8 million firearm background checks as of the end of November, up more than 2 percent from a year ago.

Many firearm dealers and manufacturers say that Obama's comments since the Newtown school shooting are driving demand.

As the last child killed in the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. was laid to rest, gun enthusiasts across the country waited in long lines and thronged gun show booths in what many openly described as a rush to buy assault weapons out of fear that they could soon be outlawed. Reuters reporters went to gun shows in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas to confirm the trend that is also backed up by local news reports. There was such a rush to get inside a Texas gun show the Saturday morning following the massacre, that the Fort Worth Star Telegram says it prompted "comparisons to eager 'Black Friday shoppers.'"  

The price of assault weapons has soared since the Newtown massacre, but that hasn't dented demand in the slightest. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a gun shop owner said she has sold more than 100 assault weapons since Dec. 14. "I'm sold out," she told Reuters. In a gun show outside San Antonio, Texas, the most popular item was ammunition for the AR-15, the very model used by the Newtown shooter, reports theSan Antonio Express-News. That was hardly an isolated instance.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that hundreds waited in line to enter a gun show in Marietta, Georgia, where AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and its ammunition were popular purchases. "Early attendees left the show wheeling cases of ammunition," reports the paper. A local CBS affiliate notes that the AK-47 and AR-15 are in particularly high demand at a York County, Penn. gun show this year "because many gun collectors say they're afraid they'll soon be outlawed."

Reuters reports that one buyer at a Kansas City gun show paid $925 for an AR-15, when that same model would have cost around $400 a year ago. Still, it seems the buyer got a relative bargain since most of the models "were selling for $1,500 or more."

In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said the Saturday after the shooting "was the biggest day we've seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that."

In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Sales were through the roof on Saturday," said Eaton. "People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines."

"….we reach the conclusion that there are somewhere around 3,750,000 AR-15-type rifles in the United States today….. And keep in mind, the AR-15 is just one of the many assault weapons on the market. It is estimated that more than 800,000 Ruger Mini-14 rifles - the rifle that Anders Behring Breivik used in the Oslo summer camp shootings last year - had been produced since 1974. There are other types, too. This is only the tip of the gunberg."

Conclusion

World War II was the last time the United States was united. We are now a "House Divided". We have devolved to a nation devoid of shame, honor, and trust. Mitch McConnell, the poster boy for the Republican undercover Civil War II put it in a nutshell - the Republicans oppose and will continue to oppose, anything and everything Obama and the Democrats want to accomplish, including anything the Republicans themselves had proposed in the past. In the past four years ample evidence has accumulated showing that all the congressional Republicans and their media supporters march to this tune in a lockstep that would put the Nazi Wehrmacht to shame.

Republican lawmakers complaining about the intrusiveness of the federal government have introduced 10th Amendment resolutions (reasserting that those powers not granted to the federal government remain with the states) in about three dozen states, some of which are threatening secession.

In this divided national environment, with an already existing 4,000,000 assault weapons in the hands of Americans, who are the Americans buying assault rifles now and why?

Part of the answer can be obtained from the October 26 2011 article "Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993" by Lydia Saad

"Princeton, NJ -- Forty-seven percent of American adults (55% Republicans-40% Democrats) currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property. The new result comes from Gallup's Oct. 6-9 2011Crime poll, which also finds public support for personal gun rights at a high-water mark. Given this, the latest increase in self-reported gun ownership could reflect a change in Americans' comfort with publicly stating that they have a gun as much as it reflects a real uptick in gun ownership."

Republicans have, until recently, owned almost twice as many guns as Democrats. Call the upsurge in gun ownership by Democrats what you will, positive feedback, self-defense, self-propagation, chain reaction, vicious cycle, the rapid increase in the number of new gun holders and the ongoing frenzy of assault weapon purchases is clearly a self-perpetuating response to the loss in trust of Americans for each other.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Donald G. Schweitzer

Donald G. Schweitzer has a PhD in Physical Chemistry, is a retired tenured Senior Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Chief Advisor to AEC, NRC, DOE, State Dept., the IAEA, and the US Air Force, on all forms of carbon and graphite chemistry, on nuclear and chemical safety, licensing, accident analyses, chemical and nuclear waste isolation and development of advanced fuels and advanced nuclear reactors.


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Americans Buy Assault Weapons Because They Don't Trust Americans Who Own Assault Weapons

Monday, 04 February 2013 11:20 By Donald G. Schweitzer, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

We need your help to sustain grassroots, groundbreaking journalism. Make a tax-deductible contribution to Truthout now by clicking here.

"There are a lot of crazy bastards out there with Ar-15s. I'll be ready if they come after me."……..My Neighbor, Your Neighbor, and Your Neighbor's Neighbor

 The ongoing explosion in assault weapon purchases is fueled by a nation-wide "positive feedback" reaction. We are in a Republican engineered surreptitious Second Civil War. Three related factors are demonstrably responsible for the explosion in purchases of assault rifles, 1) hatred of the first black president, 2) fear that the Connecticut massacre of small children will allow Obama to ban future sales of assault weapons and ammunition, and 3) the fear of many law abiding citizens that assault weapons are the only thing that will be effective in protecting them against similar weapons held by their lunatic neighbors.

Why the Lady Next Door Needs an AR-15

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan 31 2013, Gayle Trotter, a lawyer and senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women's Forum, said women need AR-15s to level the playing field when confronted by physically stronger male attackers. A "young woman defending her babies in her home" when faced with "three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background" needs an AR-15..… the appearance of such a "scary-looking gun" deters violent male criminals during home invasions. "If we ban these types of assault weapons, you are putting these types of women at a great disadvantage - more so than men because they don't have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand struggle."

The Beginning of the Chain Reaction-Obama's Election

"People are in such fear of the black liberal president that Obama has literally become the poster child for gun sales." Larry Pratt, executive director of the firearms lobbying group Gun Owners of America, toldWorld News Daily. "Nobody is taking down the picture of the president from their gun-store walls, the one with the caption 'Salesman of the Year'.... It's the one government stimulus that has worked."

The increase in gun sales is not the only indication of the fear of a black liberal president. Hundreds of thousands of signatures have been gathered on secession petitions posted on the White House web site, with the highest amount of signatures coming from the former confederate states. The Fort-Worth Telegramstated that industry analyst Benchmark Co. reviewed the rise in the stock price of the gun manufacturers and advised its clients that "firearm sales have grown about 10% each year since Obama was first elected," and expects them to continue well into his second term.

On the day after the presidential election, stock prices for firearms makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. rose 10.8% and 6.4% respectively, noted the Los Angeles Times. Sales of assault weapons like AK-47s and AR-15s have doubled since 2008, when Obama stated that he would reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. During the 2012 campaign, Obama said "weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets."

Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, "there are some limitations that can be imposed." In a rare moment of sanity, Scalia also pointed out that weapons law existed at the time the Second Amendment was written and ratified by the Founding Fathers, supporting the constitutionality of gun control legislation.

Freedom Group saw a rosy outlook for assault rifles. "The market for such weapons grew 27 percent between 2007 and 2011," it wrote.

In February 2006, Smith & Wesson, unveiled its first-ever semi-automatic assault-style rifle. The company dubbed it the M&P15, (an AR-15 variant) for "military and police," but the gun was aimed at the retail market. Sales of the M&P15 and other military-style weapons played a crucial role in pulling the company out of a deep sales slump.

Sales surged after the election, with more than 100,000 M&P15 rifles built in 2010, up from 4,600 in 2006. According to federal firearms manufacturing data, Smith & Wesson's revenues broke records and its stock price quadrupled. The boom in assault weapons has more than offset dropping sales of traditional firearms caused by a declining national interest in hunting

The Surge After the Massacre

On Dec. 19 after President Barack Obama held a White House press conference announcing that Vice President Joe Biden would lead a team tasked with coming up with "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence, one customer ordered 32,000 rounds of ammunition from SelwayArmory.com, worth close to $18,000. The order had to be shipped from the company's Lolo, Mont., office to Kentucky on a freight truck. "I've done more sales in the week after the 19th than I have the whole year," says Zimmerman, who launched SelwayArmory.com in 2009. The story has repeated itself at gun shops across the country: High-capacity .223-caliber assault weapons, as well as the ammunition and magazines for them, are selling out.

Assault rifles are sold out across the country. Rounds of .223 bullets, like those used in the AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle used in Newtown, are scarce. Stores are struggling to restock their shelves. Gun and ammunition makers are telling retailers they will have to wait months to get more. Store owners who have been in the business for years say they have never seen demand like this before.

Franklin Armory, a firearm maker in Morgan Hill, Calif., is telling dealers that it will take six months to fulfill their orders. The company plans to hire more workers and buy more machines to catch up, says Franklin Armory's President Jay Jacobson.

"Assault rifles were selling like crazy," says Kotis, who is president and CEO of Kotis Holdings, a real estate development company based in Greensboro. "People are stockpiling."

"AR-15s are sold out and back ordered over a year," says Orlando, 18, a student at the University of Texas.

No organization publicly releases gun sales data. The only way to measure demand is by the number of background checks that are conducted when someone wants to buy a firearm. Those numbers are released by the Federal Reserve Bureau every month. Data for December are not out yet. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that it did 16.8 million firearm background checks as of the end of November, up more than 2 percent from a year ago.

Many firearm dealers and manufacturers say that Obama's comments since the Newtown school shooting are driving demand.

As the last child killed in the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. was laid to rest, gun enthusiasts across the country waited in long lines and thronged gun show booths in what many openly described as a rush to buy assault weapons out of fear that they could soon be outlawed. Reuters reporters went to gun shows in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas to confirm the trend that is also backed up by local news reports. There was such a rush to get inside a Texas gun show the Saturday morning following the massacre, that the Fort Worth Star Telegram says it prompted "comparisons to eager 'Black Friday shoppers.'"  

The price of assault weapons has soared since the Newtown massacre, but that hasn't dented demand in the slightest. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a gun shop owner said she has sold more than 100 assault weapons since Dec. 14. "I'm sold out," she told Reuters. In a gun show outside San Antonio, Texas, the most popular item was ammunition for the AR-15, the very model used by the Newtown shooter, reports theSan Antonio Express-News. That was hardly an isolated instance.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that hundreds waited in line to enter a gun show in Marietta, Georgia, where AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and its ammunition were popular purchases. "Early attendees left the show wheeling cases of ammunition," reports the paper. A local CBS affiliate notes that the AK-47 and AR-15 are in particularly high demand at a York County, Penn. gun show this year "because many gun collectors say they're afraid they'll soon be outlawed."

Reuters reports that one buyer at a Kansas City gun show paid $925 for an AR-15, when that same model would have cost around $400 a year ago. Still, it seems the buyer got a relative bargain since most of the models "were selling for $1,500 or more."

In San Diego, Northwest Armory gun store owner Karl Durkheimer said the Saturday after the shooting "was the biggest day we've seen in 20 years. Sunday will probably eclipse that."

In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Sales were through the roof on Saturday," said Eaton. "People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines."

"….we reach the conclusion that there are somewhere around 3,750,000 AR-15-type rifles in the United States today….. And keep in mind, the AR-15 is just one of the many assault weapons on the market. It is estimated that more than 800,000 Ruger Mini-14 rifles - the rifle that Anders Behring Breivik used in the Oslo summer camp shootings last year - had been produced since 1974. There are other types, too. This is only the tip of the gunberg."

Conclusion

World War II was the last time the United States was united. We are now a "House Divided". We have devolved to a nation devoid of shame, honor, and trust. Mitch McConnell, the poster boy for the Republican undercover Civil War II put it in a nutshell - the Republicans oppose and will continue to oppose, anything and everything Obama and the Democrats want to accomplish, including anything the Republicans themselves had proposed in the past. In the past four years ample evidence has accumulated showing that all the congressional Republicans and their media supporters march to this tune in a lockstep that would put the Nazi Wehrmacht to shame.

Republican lawmakers complaining about the intrusiveness of the federal government have introduced 10th Amendment resolutions (reasserting that those powers not granted to the federal government remain with the states) in about three dozen states, some of which are threatening secession.

In this divided national environment, with an already existing 4,000,000 assault weapons in the hands of Americans, who are the Americans buying assault rifles now and why?

Part of the answer can be obtained from the October 26 2011 article "Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993" by Lydia Saad

"Princeton, NJ -- Forty-seven percent of American adults (55% Republicans-40% Democrats) currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property. The new result comes from Gallup's Oct. 6-9 2011Crime poll, which also finds public support for personal gun rights at a high-water mark. Given this, the latest increase in self-reported gun ownership could reflect a change in Americans' comfort with publicly stating that they have a gun as much as it reflects a real uptick in gun ownership."

Republicans have, until recently, owned almost twice as many guns as Democrats. Call the upsurge in gun ownership by Democrats what you will, positive feedback, self-defense, self-propagation, chain reaction, vicious cycle, the rapid increase in the number of new gun holders and the ongoing frenzy of assault weapon purchases is clearly a self-perpetuating response to the loss in trust of Americans for each other.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Donald G. Schweitzer

Donald G. Schweitzer has a PhD in Physical Chemistry, is a retired tenured Senior Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Chief Advisor to AEC, NRC, DOE, State Dept., the IAEA, and the US Air Force, on all forms of carbon and graphite chemistry, on nuclear and chemical safety, licensing, accident analyses, chemical and nuclear waste isolation and development of advanced fuels and advanced nuclear reactors.


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