While gun prohibitionists have been trying to capitalize on the recent Santa Barbara tragedy to push their gun control agenda, on Monday CNN Money reported that handgun sales are hot, and that, “The market is driven by a growing interest in self-defense and concerns about tighter gun restrictions.”
The report, picked up by several news agencies including WLTZ, said the top two companies for sales lately appear to be Smith & Wesson and Colt. S&W’s sales are reportedly up “by more than 30 percent” and Colt “sold 12 times as many handguns in the first five months of 2014 than it did in all of last year.”
The CNN report quoted a spokesman at CRT Capital, noting that there are new gun owners “who have never touched a gun before and want to get into shooting.” The report also suggested that the Santa Barbara shooting had a dual impact. “While some people view these events as a reason to restrict guns,” the report said, “others view such events as an incentive to buy guns.”
This news comes on the heels of Sunday’s detailed report in the Seattle Times about the number of active Washington concealed pistol licenses and the fact that more than one in five of those having a CPL are women. Contrast that with the big noon luncheon on Monday, sponsored by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility launching its campaign to pass Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure being touted as a so-called “universal background check” package.
On Monday, writing for the Huffington Post, Shannon Watts – founder of the Michael Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – demanded to know “Why aren’t we doing more to keep women safe?” The rebuttal to that can be found in the Seattle Times article. At least here in Washington, and presumably reflective of a national trend, women are keeping themselves safe by arming up, learning to shoot and obtaining CPLs.
Watts was trying to exploit the “tragic shooting” in Santa Barbara 12 days ago, ignoring the fact that half of the victims in that incident were stabbed to death. Only two of the six victims were women and they were, indeed, fatally shot. But Watts’ exploitive piece focused on firearms, which gun rights advocates brand as clearly disingenuous if not deliberately deceptive.
She complained, “Clearly, the laws allowing our country’s culture of gun violence are not being made by the mothers who lose eight children and teens every day to a gunshot. And yet, ironically, our weak federal and state gun laws disproportionately affect women.”
This just might explain, at least in part, why increasing numbers of women are contributing to the brisk sales of S&W and Colt handguns, not to mention Glocks, Sig Sauers and other popular brands. WGMB quoted the CNN Money report which noted, “Sales of compact pistols are growing at double the rate of handguns overall.”
How this will all play out in the mid-term elections is speculative at best, but here in the Evergreen State, with a growing number of gun owners looking at protecting their rights as much as protecting themselves and their families, it may become an important dynamic. Average citizens are not impressed with big money Seattle centric types trying to buy their vision of Utopia via an 18-page initiative that many gun rights advocates contend is confusing at best.
A lot of money was raised or pledged at Monday’s media event at the Westin Hotel. But the citizens buying all of these new handguns are demonstrating that they believe their money is much better spent exercising their rights rather than trying to legislate impairments on those rights.