As reported Saturday by The Miami Herald, conservatives are making the gun issue their "new rallying cry."
On Friday, Bruce Rogers of Forbes wrote that "the NRA and the pro-gun rights voices are winning the influence battle."
As Reuters reported last month, "President Barack Obama launched the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations" and is "urging Congress to approve an assault weapons ban and background checks for all gun buyers to prevent mass shootings like the Newtown school massacre."
In the meantime, JC Crowder -- owner of Crowder Hardware in Spring Hill, Fla. -- is selling AR-15s, AK-47s and high capacity ammunition clips – when he can get them.
“When we can get them they move pretty good,” Crowder told Examiner Friday. “But they’re not really available to us right now. Most of the distributors are sold out.”
Crowder said firearms sales increased soon after Obama got elected in 2008. While firearms sales “tapered off in 2010 and 2011,” demand “picked back up in mid-year of 2012.”
Following the Sandy Hook shooting, when the Obama administration “began talking about banning weapons and confiscating guns, business really took off,” Crowder explained to Examiner.
The problem is -- there’s no product. We can only sell what we have. The demand is greater than the supply.
Crowder also offers carry-conceal courses with an NRA instructor to assist Florida residents in obtaining their permits.
The classes, holding a dozen students every two weeks, “are usually full,” Crowder said.
As Examiner reported Jan. 21, during his speech at the Second Amendment rally in Brooksville, Fla., Florida Republican State Rep. Jimmie T. Smith cited the fact that Florida – the first state to see concealed weapons permits exceed the million mark -- saw crime go down.
Despite the positive statistics regarding high volume gun ownership and lower crime rates in the Sunshine State, Crowder told Examiner he received an email from Florida Sen. Bill Nelson Thursday saying "he supports President Barack Obama’s assault weapons ban, magazine capacity limits and restrictions on firearm ownership."
As Examiner reported Jan. 7, a collection of polls contradict Obama’s claim that the majority support his effort to ban “assault weapons.”
As Examiner also reported, the Second Amendment was established by the nation’s Founding Fathers to assure Americans the right to protect themselves, not the right to go hunting.
“The Second Amendment was designed to ensure that individuals retained the right and means to defend themselves against any illegitimate attempt to do them harm,” wrote Lawrence Hunter for Forbes Dec. 28, “be it an attempt by a private outlaw or government agents violating their trust under the color of law.”
Still, while Nelson’s website says nothing about his position on gun control, his email – which Crowder shared with Examiner -- essentially parrots the administration’s talking points, including Obama’s effort to diminish the Second Amendment as an effort by the Founding Fathers to protect an American’s right to go “hunting.”
“I’m a hunter,” Nelson began, “and have always owned guns and I support the Second Amendment.”
As Alexander Hamilton once said, “the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Rasmussen’s Jan. 18 survey showed that 72 percent "of those with a gun in their family regard the Second Amendment as a protection against tyranny" as well as 57 percent "of those without a gun in their home."
Rasmussen’s Jan. 20 survey showed 57 percent of American adults feel “it is more important for the government to enforce existing gun control laws than to create new ones.”
Moreover, Second Amendment Americans have made it clear they will defy any laws passed by Obama to ban weapons, a growing number of states -- like Wyoming -- are passing legislation to block the laws and members of Congress – especially Democrats facing reelection in 2014 – are saying they will oppose Obama’s effort to pass those laws.
“Solutions for reducing gun violence must address many areas,” Nelson’s email continued, “from protecting law enforcement and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals to school safety and access to mental health and confronting a culture that sometimes glorifies violence.”
But many law enforcement officials http://blogs.lawyers.com/2013/01/sheriff-joe-arpaio-wont-enforce-gun-laws/ have vowed they'll refuse to enforce those laws.
Furthermore, it’s the criminals – not law-abiding gun owners – who gain the advantage with gun bans.
“Most mass shootings occur in gun-free zones,” Crowder noted, “where killers know they won’t be opposed by anyone who is armed.”
John R. Lott -- an author, college professor and one of the nation's leading gun experts -- told Newsmax in December that gun-free zones become “a magnet” for deranged killers who hope to become famous by running up a big body count.
If you read the documents that they leave, the diaries and the video tapes, it is pretty clear that these guys know that they get more attention the more people they can kill.
So their goal is to try to kill as many people as possible.
But what about those in the government who put guns in the hands of criminals for the purpose of creating a platform for gun control? Semi-automatic weapons sold to members of drug cartels in Fast and Furious were used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens.
Moreover, what about politicians who boast threats of violence to intimidate those who oppose their agenda?
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” The Wall Street Journal quoted then presidential candidate Obama saying at a Philadelphia fundraiser in June 2008.
Nelson’s email went on to inform Crowder that he supports “reinstating the assault weapons ban and restoring the ten-round limit for ammunition magazines.”
Semi-automatic weapons , such as the Remington Bushmaster .223 -- which CNN reported Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance identified as “the primary weapon” used by Adam Lanza during the Connecticut shooting -- fire one shot with each pull of the trigger.
According to About.com -- “the U.S. Department of Defense has long defined assault rifles as fully automatic rifles used for military purposes.”
While the 1994 federal ban on semi-automatic weapons expired in 2004, “assault weapons have been banned in the U.S. since the National Firearms Act of 1934.”
As Crowder noted, the latest statistics from the F.B.I. -- in 2010 -- showed that far more people were killed with “blunt objects” than with “rifles” or “shotguns.”
An even greater number were killed with “knives or cutting instruments,” and “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).”
Crowder also said he doesn’t “understand the opposition to armed guards in schools.”
"I do not believe those remarks represent anywhere near a significant portion of America," Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters. "I do not believe they represent the views of responsible members of the National Rifle Association."
A Jan. 14 survey by Pew showed 64 percent of Americans support putting armed guards in schools.“I’m a strong proponent of our Second Amendment rights,” Florida’s Citrus County Republican State Committeewoman Gloria Fisher -- a “life-member of the NRA and a holder of a conceal-carry permit” -- told Examiner after her speech at the Brooksville event.
"It just doesn't make sense," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said of the NRA’s proposal.
USA Today reported Thursday that an off-duty Atlanta police officer -- working as a security guard at the Price Middle School in southeast Atlanta -- shot, wounded and disarmed a 14-year-old student, moments after the 1:50 p.m. shooting in a courtyard. A second student was taken into custody.
On Friday, The Atlantic Wire reported that the Newtown Board of Education voted to put armed guards in its schools.
“AK-47s are intended for killing, not for hunting,” Nelson concluded in his flippant email to Crowder.
I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue and I will keep them in mind.
“I usually don’t bother writing to those guys because I think it’s a waste of my time,” Crowder told Examiner. “I think it’s criminal. I wouldn’t have voted for the guy but I definitely won’t vote for him now. The guy’s a disgrace.”
"This is our last chance to save our country,” AJ Monte, a gun-rights activist who also spoke at the Brooksville Second Amendment rally, told Examiner Friday.
“It’s also a call to action for military veterans, active service members to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic' against a president who is abandoning his oath to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'”