|We can say yes to gay marriage and yes to legalizing marijuana, but that doesn't mean everybody's on board. The same holds true for guns. Not surprisingly, and in keeping with everywhere else in the country, the post-Sandy Hook gun craze is in full swing here in Washington State. One might even conclude that tragedies like last Friday's in Connecticut are great for business:
Saturday afternoon, business at Wade's Eastside Guns was on a record-setting pace, according to owner Wade Gaughran.Since I live in Bellevue, and often find myself driving by the gun store mentioned in the article when running errands, let's take a brief moment to look at my city of residence...
Prior to the economic downturn of 2008, downtown Bellevue was undergoing rapid change, with many high rise projects under construction. It is currently the second largest city center in Washington state [...] Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington.
Bellevue, Washington: A hunters paradise
|Needless to say, it's not exactly a rural environment—I have yet to see a "Deer Crossing" sign. Next thing you know, they'll be opening a store in our big mall, Bellevue Square.
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There's little doubt that the palpable change in the nation's attitude towards gun control is being felt in my state as well. In fact, despite the increasing likelihood that we'll end-up surviving the predicted "end of the world" event supposedly upon us, a certain subset of people fear they won't be so lucky:
So gun enthusiasts are rushing to Wade's and other gun shops around Puget Sound, buying weapons and accessories — like high-capacity magazines — that, if the past is any indication, are the likely first targets of gun-control efforts.The perpetual state of collective paranoia is as "healthy" as ever:
"This is kind of the perfect storm for anti-gunners," said Gaughran. "They have their president, they have their Senate and they have their tragedy."In Mr. Gaughran's mind, this has less to do with the senseless loss of life resulting from the use of these excessively-endowed weapons than it does with the "Democrat Party got their excuse, they're a comin' fer our guns!" aspect. I understand his concern, I suppose—us "anti-gunners" and our restrictive gun control aspirations are bad for business.
So the crunch is on, bringing with it an explanation for all of our traffic woes here in the area:
There was a rush on at the King County Sheriff's Office, too, where people lined up to apply for concealed-carry permits. By late-afternoon Monday, permit seekers were standing 10-deep in the lobby, and the clerks had to start turning people away, telling them to come back tomorrow.With nearly twice as many permits issued this last Monday (71) as there were on the same day last year (38), it's no wonder they're a little bogged-down.
I can't imagine what those lines will look like the day before an actual gun control law becomes effective. This is to be expected, of course, because gun enthusiasts have been down this road before:
In 1994, during the Clinton presidency, just before the passage of legislation that would limit sales of certain-types of semiautomatic firearms and high-capacity magazines, there was a big run on guns and other items that would be illegal to buy later. The same thing happened after President Obama was elected in 2008 — fears about his possible gun-control agenda sent sales through the roof.Yet a simple fact has become lost amidst the rabid resistance to reasonable limits: those left to pick up the pieces after these tragic events, not to mention our society as a whole, have been down this road before, too:
A version of [the AR-15], made by Bushmaster, was used in the Connecticut killings. Infamously, it was the same brand of weapon used by the D.C. snipers during their killing spree in October 2002. That gun was stolen from a Tacoma gun shop.Somewhere out there, however, our self-appointed citizen protection force is on call, ready at a moments notice to handle situations that regular police and SWAT teams cannot:
"[The AR-15 is] the modern sporting rifle for the current generation of young shooters," [editor of The Gun Mag Dave] Workman said. "That's just a fact of life. There are probably several million of them out there in private hands right now."Several million. Even more disturbing is the number of fledgling nuts who might be among those millions. It's a question that, as it stands today, seems answerable only incrementally, after a massacre happens.
[Mr. Workman] said he already knows what's going to happen next: With limited supply and big demand, prices will likely go up.Nothing like a little help from Invisible Hand of the Market, I guess, right?
(My emphasis in all quotes)
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Creosote, Rogneid, myboo, Sharon Wraight, suesue, DefendOurConstitution, Azazello, MartyM, Glen The Plumber
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