February Another Huge Month for Gun Sales

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According to figures released this week by the FBI, February was the third-biggest month for background checks since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was put in place. It follows only December of last year and December of 2012. According to the states, 2.6 million checks were run last month.

In the absence of a codified set of statistics on gun sales, the background checks are the best way we can determine how many people are buying firearms.

While there is usually a spike in gun sales after a high-profile mass shooting, there hasn’t been anything of that sort in the news this year. There have been incidents, but they haven’t been nearly as shocking or well-publicized as some of the shootings that have driven sales in the past. Therefore, you would have to suspect that President Obama himself is responsible for at least some of the frenzy.

Obama announced in January a round of executive actions aimed at shoring up gun control laws, including a measure meant to force more sellers to run background checks.

But the new orders are only the latest in a long series of efforts Obama has made to weaken and degrade the Second Amendment. Frustrated by his inability to push gun control legislation through Congress, the president has said on multiple occasions that the issue remains his chief priority and his biggest regret. But his insistence on exploiting every mass shooting has rubbed many the wrong way and has even backfired. Some have suggested, only half-joking, that Obama is the best gun salesman the country ever had. February’s background checks may be further evidence of that.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might also have sent waves of fear rolling through the country. Scalia was a fierce defender of the Second Amendment, having written the majority opinion in a case many see as the most important single interpretation of that amendment in modern times. If Obama were to replace Scalia with a liberal judge, the current view of the Second Amendment could give way to a very different interpretation. And once the right to bear arms becomes subject to haggling, Americans could see their gun rights go out the window.