Magazine article Insight on the News

Clinton Puts Bang in Gun Sales

Magazine article Insight on the News

Clinton Puts Bang in Gun Sales

Article excerpt

The "Clinton economic recovery" hasn't touched many sectors, but at least gun sales are booming. President Clinton's rhetoric, combined with the increased threat of violent crime, has led Americans from all walks of life to arm themselves before it's too late.

It's a classic case of the law of unintended consequences. The administration wants to discourage gun ownership, which it tries to blame for growing violence. So the president successfully lobbied for passage of the five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, and he probably win advocate federal handgun licensing. He wants to drive dealers out of business by upping their license fee 1,000 percent. And he is target" so-cared assault weapons. There even has been talk of banning handguns entirely.

As a result, people are acting as if it were the week before Prohibition and stocking up. Consider this dispatch from Dean Barber, business edit[)r and columnist for the Birmingham News: "In the gun trade, of which Birmingham is a national center, there is an incredible run on guns and ammunition," Panic buying is now the norm "because of the perception that you will not be able to buy the gun of your choice in the not-so-distant future."

According to Barber, wholesale prices for guns of all ports have doubled in the past two months. Sales volume in many outlets is running three times greater than in the recent past. Barber reports that a friend of his got a cash advance from his employer to buy a semiautomatic rifle, six 30-round clips and 1,200 rounds of ammunition. A criminal? No, he's "spooked that the government would consider denying him - Solid Citizen - the right to buy the gun."

The Clinton administration will not be pleased with this news. Somehow, I don't think first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers or Attorney General Janet Reno and hers will gain much comfort from knowing that Americans are arming themselves to the teeth against the possibility of a gun ban. They and their allies will inevitably step up the attack, only increasing the level of gun buying.

Others worried about the gun boom include burglars, rapists, murderers and other animals (if the cats and dogs will excuse the libel). Criminals are less safe in a world where the honest are armed. That's why the mass purchase of guns will make our country safer. …

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