SAFETY CATCH October 29, 2008Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Human Rights, US Politics.
Uncertain economic times is one reason for the increase in American gun sales. Another driver is the anticipation that a Democratic President and Congress are likely to restrict the sales of guns and ammunition.
The Washington Post has the story:
Americans have cut back on buying cars, furniture and clothes in a tough economy, but there’s one consumer item that’s still enjoying healthy sales: guns. Purchases of firearms and ammunition have risen 8 to 10 percent this year, according to state and federal data.
Several variables drive sales, but many dealers, buyers and experts attribute the increase in part to concerns about the economy and fears that if Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois wins the presidency, he will join with fellow Democrats in Congress to enact new gun controls. Obama has said that he believes in an individual right to bear arms but that he also supports “common-sense safety measures.”
“Even though [Obama] has a lot going for him, he’s not very pro-gun,” said Paul Pluff, a spokesman for Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, which has reported higher sales. Gun enthusiasts are “going to go out and get [firearms] while they still can.”
Gun purchases have also been climbing because of the worsening economy, which fuels fears of crime and civil disorder, industry sources and specialists said.
“Generally, we know that hard economic times always result in firearm sales,” said James M. Purtilo of Silver Spring, who publishes the Tripwire Newsletter.
Gary Kleck, a researcher at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice whose work was cited in the District’s recent Supreme Court gun-control case, said that although there are no scientific studies linking gun sales and economic conditions, people often buy firearms during periods of uncertainty. People often buy weapons because of concerns about personal safety or government actions to limit access to firearms, causing spikes in sales, Kleck said.
I would have thought the more guns, the more likely accidents, and the more likely fatal injuries and multiple killings. Now if that is correct, then the possession of guns makes you less safer.
One of the contributing factors to the gun culture in the United States, which seems to be unique among Western Nations, is the Second Amendment to the US Constitution:
Codification of the right to keep and bear arms into the Bill of Rights was influenced by a fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia, since history had shown taking away the people’s arms and making it an offense for people to keep them was the way tyrants eliminated resistance to suppression of political opponents. In District of Columbia v. Heller (June 26, 2008), the Supreme Court ruled that self-defense is a central component of the right.
In Australia, self-defence is not an acceptable reason for issuing a gun license. Thus it follows that Australians are more likely to be subject to military dictatorship and have less personal safety than Americans. These cases are mutually exclusive – one must be wrong.