Friday, April 25, 2014

Americans Expressing Their Confidence in the Future of Civil Society

From April 25, 2014 USA Today:
WASHINGTON — A record surge in recent firearms production and transactions have swamped the federal government's automated registration system for select weapons, including machine guns.
In a notice earlier this month to the firearms industry, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was temporarily suspending parts of its computerized system to shore up capacity in part to process the required registration and transfer of National Firearms Act covered weapons, which also include silencers, short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled rifles and some explosive devices.
Between 2005 and 2013, firearms act-related applications "skyrocketed by more than 380%'' to nearly 200,000, according to the April 16 memo issued by ATF Deputy Assistant Director Marvin Richardson. The surge has contributed to a backlog of more than 70,000 applications.
If this were a time of rapidly rising violent crime rates, I could understand people buying guns at astonishing rates.  If burglars were showing up in vans to commit their crimes, I could understand the machine gun purchasing going through the roof.  But under conditions like this, I think we are seeing a complete lack of confidence that this disaster that is our government can be turned around.  Elected Republicans are increasingly impossible to distinguish from Democrats.


  1. In general, I agree, except for your last sentence.

    This same sort of thing happened under Clinton. AFAIK it ended when a Republican was elected.

  2. The phenomenon also might be a demographic thing. It's like guys buying Harleys in middle age. Perhaps the tailing edge of the boomers are finally buying all the pretty toys they've always wanted.

  3. Some reasons for buying guns and I suspect is at play in most cases:

    1. Economy is still very fragile and could still collapse at any time.

    2. Increasingly hostile government against it's citizens and against the right to keep and bear arms with said government clearly determined to take away those rights any way they can. They will not give up until they achieve their goals.

    3. Highly unlikely the prices will stabilize or decrease so buying later likely means paying more (not true in every case, but generally very true costs are likely to rise for many reasons besides demand such as manufacturing and legal costs and also regulation).

    4. Buy the stuff you have wanted while you can find it. This may be an incorrect way of thinking but it is nevertheless understandable!

    5. Middle finger to the current powers in DC--especially the anti 2nd amendment crowd.

    6. Support the parts of our economy that if it collapses we lose our rights without the government passing new laws.

    7. Go shooting while you still have the eye-sight, ability to go out, body doesn't shake too bad, etc.

    First time buyers are a good thing to.

    One bad thing is I suspect many (majority) have racked up credit debt or depleted savings buying. I know I'm not the only one.

    We are at war even if there are no shots being fired--yet. Our corrupt leaders seem to want that don't they!

  4. Last week at the rifle range I saw a fellow using a suppressor on his rifle. I asked him about it, and he told me he had three suppressors for different rifles. He also mentioned that the one he was using that day was his most recent purchase, and that it had taken F Troop 18 months to get provide the license!

  5. I don't think there has been a surge in machine-gun sales, since the supply is limited to existing stock. That would mean a large increase in resales, and I don't think owners are more willing to sell.

    More likely is that prices have gone up.

    The statistics that would be really useful to note are:

    What percentage of the population owns firearms?

    How many own what types? (Handguns, shotguns, bolt-action rifles, semi-auto rifles)

    How many own 1, 2, 3... ?

    All compared to previous periods.

    Is the base widening, or is the peak rising? Both, probably, but which is the big driver? There has not been a large increase in hunting.

  6. A lot of NFA weapons are not machine guns, however, such as short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and silencers. Neither are restricted from new manufacturer, and both of which seem to be enjoying a dramatic increase in interest.