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That’s the idea, anyway. Or was, 230-something years ago. Only that all-American take on the over-used Soviet jokes has become less and less true over the last fifty years as the size and scope of government has exploded. Check out Gallup’s latest results for a question they’ve been asking since 1965 (above). The percentage of the American public that views big government as the biggest threat to the country is one scant point shy of its all-time high. That sentiment has a variety of real-world consequences, not least of which for the firearms biz…

I couldn’t come up with gun sales data for the same time period, but here’s NICS data going back to ’99:

Look at the same period on the graph at the top. Gee, it’s almost as if there’s a relationship between the two.

And the Gallup inquisitors break down the numbers by party affiliation:

Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009. The 32% of Democrats concerned about big government at that time — shortly after President Obama took office — was down significantly from a reading in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.

Wait, what? That’s right, Dems have been hit over the head long enough to see that – to coin a phrase – something that can’t go on forever, won’t. If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a citizen who fears the growth of government is a Keynesian who’s been handed the bill.

So what does this mean for guns? More boom times. So to speak. Probably less because bitter clingers are laying in materiel to rise up against the revenooers than more and more average Janes and Joes fear drastic reductions in basic government services and what that will mean for prison space, police manpower and crime rates.

It’s funny how, when public money runs short – federal, state or local – and our dedicated representatives want to make the case for more taxes, the first things cut are always police, fire and education. Never tourism promotion, snail-darter protection or ethanol price supports.

From the ever-increasing gun sales figures, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, as they look down the road, more people are preparing themselves to handle their own self defense. Which is a good thing no matter what the fiscal state of the union may be. And that can only mean more bullish times for the gun business are ahead.

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  1. Response time is best calculated in time assessing a threat and producing a defensive tactic, weapon or not, than primarily using a cellphone and hope to mitigate bodily harm. Firing cops makes that more clear but even in best case scenarios they are minutes away when seconds may be all you have.

    • #1!

      I posted almost those very same words on the site after the first Virgina Tech shooting. A Hasidic Rabbi had written a piece that suggested perhaps only the police and military should have access to guns. I verbally blasted his suggestion citing history, statistics, and trends, and a call to consider the big picture with having an armed civilian population vs. an unarmed one. Those guys are more influenced by East Coast modern cultural liberalism than they will ever recognize.

  2. It is not reassuring that Americans seemed to embrace their ever-more-embracing government right after 9/11, when the most serious erosions of our civil liberties started to occur. Until then, we could at least count on not being tortured or tried by a military star chamber, and *someday* getting a lawyer and our day in court.

    Now we have the right to indefinite detention, ‘enhanced interrogation methods’ and secret military trials using secret evidence that cannot be challenged. I’m much more concerned about this than I am about health care, light bulbs, or even right-to-carry reciprocity.

    • Secret military trials? Its been happening for a long time, see Ex Parte Milligan. It was ruled illegal there only because the president suspended the writ of habeas corpus, the court said it would have been perfectly legal if the congress did it. Enhanced interrogation methods? Please, the police have been torturing people in this country since its inception. Indefinite detention? It happens all the time if a doctor considers you to be a threat to yourself and the community. All this is, is the same thing but on a larger scale. Arent you glad to be able to beat your chest and proudly call yourself an American?

      • Matt, I really worry about you sometimes. At what point did any of the commenters pound their chests in chauvanistic pride?

        If you can ever control the seething anger inside you, you might turn into a very capable debater.

        • No one did specifically, but this board is frequented by many conservative commenters who like to be very patriotic, and like to think that America can do no wrong. I wasnt going after Chris Dumm specifically, I was just rabble rousing in general.

          Thanks, but the anger wont subside until the state is destroyed.

        • If the state is to be destroyed, it will be destroyed by your mind. Keep your mind straight. It won’t work right if it’s too pissed off. That much I can tell you from 30 years of practicing law.

    • Glad to hear that from you, Chris. I think too many on the right (and I’m not saying you are on the right, I have no idea) are all too willing to accept all sorts of authoritarianism as long as it doesn’t affect their guns or possibly abortion. Bonus points for cracking down on hippies and other people unworthy of the Constitution. We are becoming a total fascist police state, and many of the people who should be concerned about this are watching Fox News. Obama is the Devil, and that’s all you need to know, pay no attention to anything else.

      Obama is a tool, a sock puppet for a far more sinister agenda which involves both Big Government and Big Business.

  3. “Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009”.


  4. In other polls, 20% of Americans believe that little green men from outer space are living here on Earth and really dig anal probing. 48% of Americans also believe in ghosts, with 22% of Americans claiming ghostly encounters.

    The only polls that count are taken in November.

  5. Some comments from a couple people who went through a period when the people living in America feared their government

    “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”
    ― George Washington

    • “A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks. ”

      —-John C. Calhoun


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