As the grassroots right groundswell mobilized by Sarah Palin subsides in defeat, the New York Times reports Nov. 7 a sudden surge of gun sales across rural America—explicitly seen as a response to the election of Barack Obama—with NRA propaganda fueling the flames:
On Concerns Over Gun Control, Gun Sales Are Up
DENVER — Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners around the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms.
“He’s a gun-snatcher,” said Jim Pruett, owner of Jim Pruett’s Guns and Ammo in northwest Houston, which was packed with shoppers on Thursday.
“He wants to take our guns from us and create a socialist society policed by his own police force,” added Mr. Pruett, a former radio personality, of President-elect Barack Obama.
Mr. Pruett said that sales last Saturday, just before Election Day, ran about seven times higher than a typical good Saturday.
A spot check by reporters in four other states easily found Mr. Pruett’s comments echoed from both sides of the counter.
David Nelson, a co-owner of Montana Ordnance & Supply in Missoula, Mont., said his buyers were “awake and aware and see a dangerous trend.”
Mr. Nelson said sales at his store had risen about 30 percent since Mr. Obama declared his candidacy. “People are concerned about overreaching legislation from Washington,” he said. “They are educating themselves on the Internet.”
In Colorado, would-be gun buyers set a one-day record last Saturday with the highest number of background check requests in a 24-hour period, according to figures from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“We’re not really sure who is promoting the concept that a change in federal administrations might affect firearms possession rights,” said an agency spokesman, Lance Clem, “but we do know that it’s increased business considerably.”
The political battle over guns raged fiercely throughout the campaign in many states where gun ownership is common. On Monday, the day before the election, home-delivered copies of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette arrived in plastic bags that said, “Vote Freedom First” and “Defend Freedom — Defeat Obama.” The bags were paid for by the N.R.A., whose initials were printed on each one.
The NRA website, in a special post-election statement from Wayne LaPierre, “What They Didn’t Tell You Today,” writes: “It’s not a matter of figuring out if Obama’s anti-gun or not. We already know he is. What we’re looking for now are signs of how aggressive he will be in trying to enact his gun-control policies…”
Meanwhile, right-wing shock jock Sean Hannity is promoting a series of “Freedom Concerts ’09” that will feature Billy Ray Cyrus, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood and Oliver North to spread the anti-Obama gospel. (BeliefNet, Nov. 1) On his radio program, Hannity has recently broached forming a Conservative Underground in response to Obama’s election. The comments have been noted on blogs such as Topix.com and Randi Rhodes Show Forums, where one reader wrote:
What about Hannity? He has started his campaign with ‘conservative underground, resistance, under siege, etc.; great stuff to energize the militia types. Fine if he wants to keep spewing lies about what will happen under Obama, but to craft some sort of a para-military basis for his crap.. If McCain won and the ‘Left’ said ‘underground’ etc., he would be yelling ‘Terrorist’ every second word. Feh!