• Kyle Brickman

How Obama Unintentionally Helps the Firearms Industry

The debate over gun control is a complex one to say the least, and in the interest of avoiding conflict I’ll try and avoid taking a side in this issue. This article is not about what methods of gun control are effective, nor is it about whether or not gun control is merited.

This article will be talking about the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Obama’s reputation precedes him; he became the first black president of the US when he was elected in 2008. It’s also necessary to mention the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 2009 for his work in the field of nuclear disarmament.

He does however have one item on his resume he might not be so proud of: Barack Obama may be the greatest gun salesman in the history of mankind. I understand this is a pretty lofty statement to make, especially because Obama is clearly in favour of increased gun legislation, but there is plenty of hard evidence to back up the claim. A microcosm of this effect was shown last weekend. With the president's town hall on gun control expected Monday, Americans from all over the country flocked to gun shows to purchase firearms in anticipation of tightened gun legislation. One attendee in Tucson, located in the gun-loving state of Arizona, had this to say about the massive crowds: “I have never seen so many people in there. You can barely even look at a gun.”

Just this past Thanksgiving, America broke its own record for number of guns purchased in a day, on Black Friday. Now, it would be a valid claim that perhaps the influx of gun sales could be attributed to a number of factors, not just Obama. The fear created by the situation in Oregon, as well as the ever-present fear of terror groups such as ISIS could motivate some to try and protect themselves. Perhaps many Americans made it their New Year’s resolution to purchase a gun, spending their new Christmas cash on firearms.

These are all legitimate reasons for the weekend’s chaotic gun purchasing, however it doesn’t explain what is a larger trend. Since Barack Obama was elected, there has been over 100 million firearms purchased. In George W. Bush’s final year as commander-in-chief (2007), there were approximately 4.8 million concealed handgun permits in the USA. The number grew slowly throughout the past 7 years to almost 13 million in 2015. In fact, there were 1.7 million new permits issued in the past year alone, representing a huge 15.4% increase. This doesn’t even count data from the 10 states where a permit to carry a concealed weapon is not required.

It has gotten to the point where about 1 in 20 Americans have a concealed carry permit. To keep up with the demand, American gun manufacturers have increased production by 140% since 2007. While there are without a doubt many factors that contribute to this staggering increase, it would be foolish to deny that Obama has an impact. Every time there is a mass shooting, Obama addresses the nation on TV, and gun sales subsequently increase. Being the president, he has power that regular salesmen don’t -- the power to incite fear, panic and paranoia. When it comes to a product like a firearm, maybe this is the most effective sales tactic. It should be another big year of gun sales as consumers react to the threat of Hillary Clinton as president, who is notoriously strict when it comes to firearms. Overall, it would seem, the Democrats are doing more harm than good for their cause.