Saturday, June 30, 2012

The President's Biggest Success

Mr. Obama has squandered billions trying to stimulate jobs in green energy industries and elsewhere, all to little effect. But there's one industry that's prospering richly from having Mr. Obama in the White House - the firearms industry.

Gun sales have soared since Mr. Obama was elected, the industry has not laid off employees, and, not coincidentally, violent crime has been declining;;. In fact there seems to be a correlation between declining crime and the increase in states that issue concealed carry permits.

The Washington Times' Emily Miller has the story:
Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

"This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI's violent-crime rates," said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. "It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline."

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have "shall issue" laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.
As for gun sales Miller writes:
"Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election," said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. "There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we're seeing a surge again."

The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise "more flexibility" in restricting guns in a second term.
Perhaps when Mr. Obama said that the private sector was doing fine he had firearms manufacturers in mind:
Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 - an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products.

Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.
So, not only can Mr. Obama claim credit for thousands of jobs "saved or created" in the firearms industry he can also take credit for the drop in violent crime that this industry's products have facilitated. I wonder if he realizes how helpful this would be to him in the election if more people knew about it. As one gun dealer told me a couple of years ago "If I would've known how good Obama would be for my business I would've voted for him myself."