Why are Gun Sales Up? | Harper's Magazine

Sign in to access Harper’s Magazine

Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?

  1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
  2. Select Email/Password Information.
  3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.

Locked out of your account? Get help here.

Subscribers can find additional help here.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!

Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99.
Subscribe for Full Access
Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99.
[Washington Babylon]

Why are Gun Sales Up?


From the lows of mid-day March 6th through the close of trading yesterday, the Dow Jones is up 23%, the NASDAQ 100 is up 24% and the Russell 2000 is up 31%.

Meanwhile first quarter results show that Sturm Ruger (RGR) stock is up 102% and Smith & Wesson (SWHC) stock is up 165%. What’s behind the gun boom?

Human Events, home to writers like Ann Coulter and Oliver North, attempts an explanation:

Where politics was rarely mentioned during a gun purchase a year ago, the store manager says at least 60% of his customers mention the Obama administration now.

At Rich Wyatt’s Gunsmoke, “We are getting ‘Prius-driving Obama people’ buying guns because they realize they picked the wrong pony…even though they never admit it.” Just like my local gun shop, Wyatt has “old ladies and young people and liberals” buying guns. He says that while there were spikes in gun buying during the Clinton administration, during the Rodney King riots, and even just before Y2K, he’s never seen anything remotely on this scale.

This calls for an investigation by Stephen Colbert.

This, however, seems plausible:

Much of the demand for ammunition is due to an NRA advertising campaign during election season which described Barack Obama’s historical positions on gun issues, including having said that he would support a 500% federal tax on guns and ammunition. And while it is true that Obama has not made many anti-gun statements recently, gun rights expert David Kopel explains clearly that Barack Obama is easily the most anti-gun President in US history.

More from