“The gun industry is struggling with good times,” bloomberg.com reports with Zimmerman-esque sarcasm. “Firearm sales are soaring. Gun company stocks are way up, despite a market-wide January slump. But as gun makers, wholesalers, and retailers gather in Las Vegas for their annual industry convention, leading executives are striving to accentuate the negative.” Question: why wouldn’t they? The Democratic party’s nominees have launched a full-on assault on the firearms industry, promising to repeal The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. A law that shields the gun business from death by ambulance chasers. That’s not the way Bloomie’s man Paul Barrett sees it . . .
Why the disconnect—intense self-pity during a period of good fortune? The contradiction lies at the heart of a business that thrives on playing defense.
The perceived threat of stiffer gun control laws historically drives buyers to the stores to stock up on firearms and ammunition. There was much talk yesterday at the Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show about the continuing “Obama surge.” The phrase refers to a rise in sales tied to the perception that the president will implement tougher gun regulation, even though that hasn’t come to pass. Changes he proposed earlier this month following another year of gun massacres flesh out existing laws—and only at the margins. By keeping the focus on the potential for more aggressive gun control, the NSSF, like its sister organization, the better-known National Rifle Association, stokes fear that results in higher revenue.
That’s one theory. Here’s another: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. As NSSF Prez Steve Sanetti told members gathered for the lobby group’s annual rubber chicken dinner, the Democrats have never been this blatantly confrontational, this openly antagonistic.
And who’s fueling this anti-firearms freedom frenzy? The man who signs Mr. Barrett’s paycheck. Coincidence, surely. And yes I just called you Shirley.