Terry Collins at ktvu writes that California is on pace to set records in gun sales. Yet his first statement is…nobody knows why. Being that I live on the Golden left coast, let me add some insight from someone who hasn’t been a gun loving nut all his life. Ok maybe I have been but I never really felt a need, or want to own much of anything firearm related. I think we can relate the rise in firearm sales to more than one specific cause. Needless to say, Californians are starting to think seriously about protection and safety for their families and realize that putting their trust in our LEO’s alone isn’t going to cut it . . .
First and foremost California has pretty restrictive gun laws. This of course goes without saying, but the writer seems to think that this should deter us law abiding citizens from wanting guns. Not true I say. In the wake of the Aurora shooting I think it drives home the point that no police officer can protect you all the time. Sure we respect our LEO’s, it isn’t an easy job. But as seen in Aurora, even 90 seconds is too dang long to wait for any help.
That being said, we have a few interesting things going on in the golden state which I feel are contributing to the rise in gun sales, and each affects it’s own group.
Stockton, as you may have heard, filed chapter 9 bankruptcy not terribly long ago. Just prior to that they reduced their police force by over 25%. Other cities are following suit with Mammoth, and San Bernardino also filing. When cities fall into this state, reducing emergency services is usually part and parcel of the process. In Stockton specifically, we have seen a serious spike in crime and gang activity.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that if you take cops off the street criminals will run rampant. Personally I know what kind of financial straights Oakland is in and the federal government has already threatened to take over their police department. If they file bankruptcy and reduce their police force, I shudder to think what will happen.
Next is economics. Sure cities are having to cut services, and tighten their belts, but what about us? I know it is a struggle for me, and many others. The cost of living is high, taxes are high and Governor Brown is pushing for more.
Oakland as an example has an unemployment rate of 14%. Other cities as well are suffering, and when people are unemployed or struggling, they may turn to crime in order to stay afloat. Obviously this isn’t and excuse for breaking the law but it certainly needs to be taken into account.
We also have SB 249 sitting in Sacramento which is designed to close the loophole on the bullet button and essentially stop AR or AK style sport rifles in California. Local shops can’t keep sporting rifles and lowers assemblies on the shelf, selling them as quickly as they get them in.
When I saw a lower I liked, plunked down the cash on the spot. I wanted one anyways, but having this law looming in the background sealed the deal.
Our current political situation is driving sales as well. The looming ATT, while now on hiatus has not gone away, and the current POTUS has done nothing to assuage fears of loosing our 2nd amendment rights. As hard as all of us are fighting, writing letters and joining campaigns to gain back what is ours, we continue to be faced with opposition. So some of us might be stock piling, and some are making first time purchases.
Regardless of the reason, citizens are starting to ask why they are allowing themselves to be victims. They are looking at their own rights, and probably left scratching their collective heads. It is also important to note that this is not just a California trend this it’s nationwide.
It is a good time to be in the gun business as more and more people are electing to exercise their right to own and or bare firearms. On a good note, this benefits everyone from the manufacturers, local shops, to ranges and instructors. Getting into training classes here requires a bit of patience, but isn’t impossible.
Given national trends, this also gives the gun lobby a lot more weight, as the number of people owning firearms is growing rapidly.