I’m seeing this story all over – Nightline, the N&O, the New York Times – and I’m really wondering about these people. Why would one stock up on assault rifles? What does one do with an assault rifle? I’m not being facetious, I really want to know. I assume you can’t hunt with one, so why do you need them?
Many gun buyers say they’re concerned about new federal regulations on guns. Since Obama said repeatedly while campaigning that he believes that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms, and since, as a Constitutional law professor, he would know, I can’t imagine what the hysteria is all about. Especially since Obama is not the president now and won’t be for more than two months. Sounds suspiciously like an NRA-induced mania designed to increase sales that have been flat in recent months. Is that just me?
The NYT has perhaps the funniest take on it:
[S]ome gun buyers and sellers never forgot, or forgave, Mr. Obama’s widely reported comment in April to a group in San Francisco that some Americans ‘cling to guns or religion’ in times of adversity.
‘It was an annoying comment, and it showed there’s a lot more to him,’ said Mike Warner, 38, of Las Vegas, who was shopping for a gun there on Thursday.
Mr. Warner said he was an N.R.A. member and an owner of two guns but wanted at least one more.”
In other words, the shift in America as we knew it has caused Mr. Warner some discomfiture, a feeling he believes he can assuage by purchasing a new (wait for it) gun. Clearly, Mr. Warner won’t be relying solely on this weapon for personal protection, as he already has two guns at home, or hidden on his person, so you might surmise he’s relying on the gun to make him feel better in an uncertain time. Would we call that clinging? I’m sure there’s a lot more to him than that.