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Why Are More Americans Packing Heat?

WI Staff | 11/20/2012, 10:07 a.m.

Since President Barack Obama won re-election just two weeks ago, there has been a run on gun purchases by Americans, mostly whites, all across the country. Gun sellers, including Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. have described it as a sales boom as the purchase of guns has risen significantly since the president was re-elected.

Why?

Media reports reflect a rising concern by gun owners and gun advocates over the possibility that the president will move to tighten regulations on assault rifles during his second term. So folks are trying to stock up on handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons now. The National Rifle Association (NRA), legislators and consumers are continuing to arm themselves and preparing to fight for their perceived Second Amendment right to own and carry the weapons of their choice, concealed or open, as they see fit and not what the government demands.

In a recent article published in GQ magazine, it was reported that one in three Americans owns a gun - about 59 million handguns, 46 million rifles, and 28 million shotguns - nearly 135 million new firearms for sale in the U.S. since 1986. "We are the most heavily armed society in the world," wrote Jeanne Marie Laskas of GQ.

And the recent mass killings have only contributed to the uptick in gun sales, despite efforts by anti-gun advocates for stronger and more stringent gun laws. In an Aurora, Colo. movie theater last July where suspect James Holmes who used a semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round magazine to kill 12 people and injured 58 others, gun sales reportedly rose 40 percent following the tragic event. And the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-Ariz.), where several people were killed and injured, few changed their views on stronger gun laws, aiming for less strict gun laws in the state where the tragedy occurred.

This weekend, thousands of people, including women and children, stood in line for hours to purchase guns of all sorts at The Nation's Gun Show in Chantilly, Va. What a sight to see so many mostly white Americans gearing up to protect themselves from ... what. Vendors reportedly ran out of inventory while thousands of permits were granted.

The reality is that guns are as American as apple pie. However, gun laws dating back to the 1600s were aimed at denying African Americans from owning guns. Today, felons, who are disproportionately African-American males, are denied gun ownership.

Gun owners believe that it is their guns that will keep them, their family, the community or the country safe from the enemy. President Obama will be taking on a serious fight in an attempt to take their highly coveted guns away from them.