Patch Poll: Have Obama's Re-Election and/or Recent Shootings Prompted You to Buy A Gun?
Fear of gun control measures and safety concerns after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings have triggered gun sales.
As some people push for gun control, more stringent background checks on gun buyers or reinstituting the assault weapons ban, others are doing just the opposite—buying guns for the first time, adding more guns to their arsenals or at least stocking up on ammunition.
Since 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected president, an estimated 67 million firearms have been purchased in the United States, according to the Kansas City Star—more than were sold in almost seven years before his first election. Nationwide, more than 2.7 million of those checks were recorded for December 2012, according to statistics kept by the FBI.
Since late 1998, when federal law began mandating checks for prospective gun buyers, the only other month that exceeded the 2 million mark was November 2012 — when Obama won a second term, the Star reports. The Black Friday after the Nov. 6 election, gun sales across the country broke records, crashing the FBI's background check system, according to The Denver Post.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, where 26 students and educators died at the hands of a lone gunman, have also fueled gun sales in the last few months—and National Rifle Association membership. The Huffington Post reports that the NRA's paying member ranks have grown by 100,000 in the wake of the December school shooting in Connecticut.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is heading up an interagency task force on gun violence at Obama's request after the Sandy Hook incident, has said universal background checks on gun buyers and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines are emerging as a consensus, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Over the past days several Republican lawmakers have said they could support action on high-capacity magazines but would oppose any ban on assault weapons.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has said some 40 percent of gun sales happen with no background checks, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads.
Take our poll and tell us in the comments section your feelings about the issues.