Poll: Are You Concerned About the Increasing Numbers of Gun Sales in California?

Experts say gun sales typically jump after major tragedies like the Colorado movie theatre shooting.


One week after 12 people were shot and killed at a showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, the California Department of Justice announced it expects state residents will buy over 700,000 pistols, rifles and shotguns in 2012.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, that means firearm sales this year will nearly double from five years ago, when 370,628 weapons were sold.

Gun sales in Colorado jumped significantly in the days after the shooting. The Huffington Post quotes sources as saying that in addition to a surge in California sales, Florida, Washington, Oregon, and Georgia also reported increases in gun purchases.

According to the Chronicle, our state "doesn't record the personal history of those who purchase guns, nor their reasons for buying them, so it's hard to pinpoint a reason for the increase."

Sales typically increase in large numbers after incidents like 9/11 and the Colorado shooting. One gun store owner quoted by the Chronicle spoke about new customers drawn to arming themselves after personally feeling the effects of crime.

"The police aren't there to save you," argued the owner. "They're there to clean up the mess and make a report after the fact. There aren't enough police to protect civilians - there just isn't."

Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is asking President Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney to move beyond rhetoric and provide some concrete solutions for gun control. Their website urges you to sign a petition drive now underway.

What do you think? Do the increasing numbers of gun sales concern you? Are heavily-publicized incidents of gun violence the result of too many firearms in circulation? Or was Aurora an isolated incident, and the majority of gun owners responsible citizens simply exercising their constitutional right to bear arms?

Tell us in your comments. Then take the poll below.

Susan August 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM
When reading how the passage evolved (below link), there can be little doubt the right to bear muskets was in the context of a state protecting militia. Now, the right-to-make-blood-money-off-of-weaponry advocates, including the NRA, claim the passage is intended to protect us from a tyrannical government?! That means citizens should have the right to own military-grade weaponry, explosives, rocket launchers, drones, etc. -- because that is exactly what it would take to challenge the US military. It's ridiculous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution Scroll to: Initially, Conflict and compromise in Congress produce the Bill of Rights
Mark Burns August 01, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Wikipedia should not be your primary source to support an argument or point of view. I'm sure over the past 220 years or so there has been some better analyses from more scholarly sources. Especially considering the material at hand.
Susan August 01, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I understand the concern about Wikipedia, but in this case the citations are linked to The Library of Congress. The source is scanned images from the orginal 1789 Congressional Record. Example: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=001/llac001.db&recNum=227
Jillm August 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Speaking of perspective, let’s look at this issue from another way: “Criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns to defend themselves each year. Out of that number, 400,000 believe that but for their firearms, they would have been dead.” My father is one of those 400,000. When gun bans were enacted in cities like Washington DC, crime actually went up! Did you know that Switzerland, Israel, Denmark and Finland, all of whom have a higher gun ownership rate than America, all have lower crime rates than America? In fact, their crime rates are among the lowest in the Western World. Britain, Australia and Canada, increased gun control in the late 1990s which led to increased crime.. States in the U.S. that have enacted concealed-carry laws have lower crime rates. How about we blast the media for not printing all of the stories where people saved themselves, a loved one or a stranger by using a gun? Why do you only hear about the lunatics? The media loves plastering all of these criminals faces everywhere which makes them hero’s in their minds. They glorify these horrible acts giving them more face time then any victim. Let’s hold the media & the criminals responsible for their actions and not penalize millions of law abiding gun owners.
Susan August 09, 2012 at 03:03 AM
What are your sources that crime in Britain, Australia and Canada has increased since gun control laws were enacted? Thanks!
Mark Burns August 09, 2012 at 05:50 AM
I looked. The very first thing that came up in my search. Followed by much more of the same. Try Yahoo, Google, Bing, or whatever. http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp Thanks!
Frank Geefay August 09, 2012 at 06:20 AM
Again you are missing the point. This is a Constitutional issue, not an issue of whether it is better to own a gun or not for self protection. Nowhere in the 2nd amendment does it mention that arms be used for self protection. What is said is that bearing arms are related to protect the State. Again I emphasis that the 2nd amendment does not say the right to bear arms is for the purpose of self defense as most gun advocates in this discussion are claiming. If that was the intent then why didn't they say it instead of saying something about protecting the State? Gun advocates must stick to the stated intent as Written in the Bill or Rights not as imagined to be the intent. Law must be precise or be challenged in the courts. As far as I know in the last 200 years since the writing of the 2nd amendment it has stood up to court challenge and still remains unaltered. The intent of the 2nd amendment cannot be ignored, and the words used in the intent says “..security of a free State” not “..security of one’s safety”. It would seem the security of one’s safety is a more natural thing to say according to gun advocates but that isn’t the way it is worded.
Mark Burns August 09, 2012 at 05:02 PM
This thread of replies has to do with crime statistics as mentioned by Jillm. What point am I missing? Are you interjecting an unrelated argument to cloud the discussion at hand or just replying to the wrong thread? There are several discussions going on here at the same time. It's easy to become confused. Thanks!
Susan August 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Mark, fraudulent claims of an increase in the UK are easily detected because they fail to mention the police changed its system for recording crime since implementing stricter gun control laws in 1996/97. According to the government sponsored British Crime Survey, between 1997-02 violent crime fell 22%; domestic burglary fell 39% and vehicle crime fell 26%. Source: Preface, page i, Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002 http://snipurl.com/24lr4xm Your source, JustFacts.com, takes donations through PayPal. Australia: Search for the Attorney-General of Australia's letter to Charlton Heston/NRA: "…firearms are being used less often in murder, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and armed robbery in 1998 compared with 1997… Now that you have the facts, I request that you withdraw immediately the misleading information from your latest campaign." Canada...?
Frank Geefay August 09, 2012 at 06:31 PM
As the 1st contributor to these threads the point that is being missed by gun advocates has to do with the right to bear arms according to the Constitution which is the basis for all laws including ownership of guns. The point missed by gun advocates is that the 2nd amendment of the Constitution is worded as follows: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The point missed by gun advocates is that they totally ignore the first half of the amendment "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.." as if it does not exist or has no bearing upon the right to bearing arms. The point missed is that the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with the ownership of gun for self-defense as gun advocates are claiming because it is not stated that way in the Constitution. That is the point.
Jillm August 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Frank - apparently the Supreme Court doesn't agree with your interpretation of the 2nd amendment: The New York Times - Appeals Court Says Gun Ban Violates 2nd Amendment http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/washington/09cnd-gun.html?_r=2&hp
Jillm August 13, 2012 at 05:30 PM
As Susan points out, I should have added my sources. Guns are scary things until you educate yourself. I read a lot of Gary Kleck & John Lott. Feel free to google them or click the links below: In 1996, the most comprehensive "gun control" study of all time was published by John Lott www.johnrlott.com/ Professor Gary Kleck is a life long (self-avowed) liberal democrat, author of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America www.gunscholar.org: The Journalist's Guide to Gun Policy Scholars and Second Amendment Scholars: Featuring experts -- liberals, moderates, and conservatives -- whose research has led them to be skeptical of gun control More reading: Cato report: www.cato.org/publications/commentary/gun-control-myths-realities www.gunsandcrime.org www.learnaboutguns.com www.thegunzone.com I also have many, many links to articles, journals & reports from all sorts of news sources if any one would like them.
Susan August 13, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Thanks, Jillm, but are you aware that when Mr. Lott was asked to produce his data, he said his hard drive crashed? When asked to produce a hard copy, he said he lost it in a move? He also admitted to posing as a women that was praising his research in internet forums. In terms of the Supreme Court rulings: Anyone interested should read Justice Stevens' dissenting opinon in District of Columbia v. Heller. Also keep in mind the court's majority is the same one that stopped the vote count in Florida in 2000, thereby selecting George W. Bush our 43rd POTUS.
Jillm August 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Susan – yes, I have heard that Dr. Lott lost his data even though other researchers in the same study confirmed they lost their data too, but much of his study has been replicated and shown to be valid. But this is why I don’t single him out as my only source. You seem to want liberal sources (based on your Bush comment) so please make sure to read Dr. Kleck’s opinions on this topic. I also recommend www.gunscholar.org which has many views from all sides of the aisle.
Allen King August 13, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Jillm, Mr. Geefay knows more about the constitution and constitutional interpretations more than anybody else (including well known legal scholars and Supreme Court judges). He also believes that continue restating the same legless interpretation (that the courts rejected as early as in 1940s) would make his point stronger.
Mark Burns August 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
A dissenting opinion is . . . a dissenting opinion. And how does the Bush election relate to gun control? As they say in math class, you have to show your work.
Susan August 13, 2012 at 09:30 PM
When governments produce accredited studies that indicate violent crime in the UK and Australia has decreased since stricter gun control laws were enacted, I'm inclined to believe them and move on. And I'm by no means anti-gun. I'm anti-assault weapon, anti-large capacity magazines. “Weapons of war do not belong on our streets, plain and simple”– Diane Feinstein
Jillm August 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Susan - thank you for stating you are not anti-gun. I do appreciate that & I actually agree with you that assault weapons have no place on our streets. My problem is that just passing laws doesn't make it safer, nor does it keep weapons out of the hands of criminals - it just makes people feel better. The law abiding citizens are being penalized for doing nothing but obeying the law. And I can produce many accredited reports/studies that do support that stricter gun laws have not decreased violence so we are just going to have to agree to disagree on that subject.
Frank Geefay August 14, 2012 at 07:55 AM
As always the topic of gun control always brings out strong opposing views and few are influenced by the arguments of others. Undoubtedly guns take far more lives than any other implements. It is a shame that guns cannot be totally eliminated from society. I think that if guns had never been invented, there would be hundreds of millions of more people who would live longer lives world wide throughout history. It is such an efficient people killer. But reality is what it is and we are stuck with this very efficient people killing machine. For that is undeniably its primary intent, to kill human beings like you and I. It is true that the Supreme Court did rule in favor of the NRA but it was not a unanimous vote and there were Justices who had strong dissenting views on this matter. So legally it is the law of the land. But that does not make it right.
mrmyers August 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
If you are really interested in facts look at where the shootings take place. With rare exceptions they are in 'gun free' zones, so these cowards know they have defenseless targets. The media rarely covers any story where a crime is prevented by the use of a gun, and almost never cover a story about a crime is prevented by the mere possession of a gun by a potential victim. So the general public, that only gets interested when the media stirs them up, have no idea that guns can and do protect citizens. Remember, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.
mrmyers August 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Allen is right. People that believe removing guns from honest citizens will reduce crime are kidding themselves. The best example is when Australia banned guns from private citizens to ‘reduce crime’. The results were: Armed Robberies are UP 69% Assaults Involving Guns are UP 28% Gun Murders are UP 19% Home Invasions – a crime for which Australia didn’t even have laws before the gun ban because it never happened – are UP 21% http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/cold-hard-facts-on-gun-bans-the-cost-of-liberty-can-be-measured-in-the-loss-of-life_08032012
Susan August 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Thank you for the interesting link, but I'm gonna go with the Attorney General of Australia over statistics produced by SHTF (a.k.a. excrement making physical contact with a hydro-electric powered oscillating air current distribution device). BTW: The SHTF website takes forever to load, a clue that it is full of it.
mrmyers August 14, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Susan, thanks for the colorful description of the name of the site. Even the left leaning Snopes had to do some very fancy footwork just to dodge the numbers but couldn't demonstrate they were wrong or provide alternative numbers. I can find the atty gen of Australia refuting NRA numbers but not providing any of his own. Do you have them? Supposedly the AIC was chartered to keep track of the results of the ban but all I could find was: "In 1997, the prime minister appointed the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to monitor the effects of the gun buyback. The AIC have published a number of papers reporting trends and statistics around gun ownership and gun crime, which they have found to be mostly related to illegally-held firearms.[28][33]" Well, since guns were illegal it is a safe bet the gun crimes committed were with illegally-held guns. duh. The AIC site does not make it easy to find any reports. Wonder why.
lillian hinchcliff August 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Waiting periods are a good thing. Certain restrictions are also good. The drunken fool, the enraged jealous and impulsive family member, the person that suffered a number of losses and wants revenge, these normally law abiding people should have to jump through some hoops to give them time to cool down. Guns are a dissociated and impersonal way to kill someone. They can also make killing too easy and impulsive. This won't stop someone hell bent on killing, it can stall and possibly prevent some cases of impulsive killing. My weapon of choice is the crossbow pistol. Stealthy, silent and lethal. I only use it for target practice. I personally don't prefer guns for two reasons: they are loud and you cannot tell they are loaded by looking at them.
Susan August 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Here you go: Attorney-General for Australia, The Hon Nicola Roxon MP M1.2 
Parliament House
 Canberra ACT 2600

 Tel: (02) 6277 7300
 Fax: (02) 6273 4102
 email: attorney@ag.gov.au
Josiah Folsom August 28, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I would just like to bring to attention part of the 2nd Amendment that I feel was not properly defined. The Amendment does state that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (U.S. Constitution). Now if you look at the definition for the word "Militia" it does not refer to the military. According to Dictionary.com and Merriam Webster, Militia is defined as; "a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency ", "a body of citizens organized for military service". Now most people know that our government may call upon the American people in a time of emergency to fight in the military. In the definition of Militia it does not say that there is a body of soldiers organized for military service, but rather a body of "citizens". So through definition the "people" recognized in the 2nd Amendment are civilians, not the military. The right given to the people to keep and bear refers to all of the American people not just the military.
Frank Geefay August 29, 2012 at 01:13 AM
@Josiah Folsom. So following your reasoning one has the right to bear arms if bearing these arms are for the sole purpose of serving in a well regulated Militia. Is that the reason why people have firearms. Are these firearms appropriate for a modern militia? I doubt that this is even the intent of a single person of the millions of firearms that are owned today in America. I don't think this reasoning is valid or has a reasonable expectation. People primarily buy guns to kill another person or for self defense. Other lesser uses are for target practice and hunting. No one excepts a National Guard solder has a gun that could be used in a well regulated Militia and these weapons are government issue and their use strictly controlled by the government.
Josiah Folsom August 29, 2012 at 01:43 AM
@Frank Geefay, In my reasoning I never stated that firearms were for the sole purpose of serving in a Militia. I simply stated that Militia does not mean "military". That Militia refers to civilians. And in the second part of the Amendment where it says "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." I just wanted to point out that it says "the people" to keep and bear arms not the military. My only purpose in my post was to thoroughly define the words in the Constitution. So even though in your opinion you don't feel that civilians should be band from having guns, according to the Second Amendment it is a civilian right to keep and bear arms. I said nothing about the purpose a certain individual may have concerning the firearm and its use.
Frank Geefay August 29, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Though I don't agree with your opinion and the opinion of millions of gun owners in this country, as well as the majority ruling of the Supreme court, I do respect those opinions because that is the law of the land. I dislike anything which primary intent is to take human life. And gun do this most efficiently and selectively. Gives me shivers just thinking about it. But I guess that is just me.
CRAIG GINESTRA March 20, 2013 at 12:43 AM
That was when the British had muskets. None of our woluld be enemys would be carrying muskets or any thing close. Also I believe the 2nd ammendment was also to protect us from oppresive goverment. as absolute power corupts. I as a NAVEY VETERAN SWORE TO PROTECT TO CONSTITUTION FROM ALL ENEMY FORIEGN OR DOMESTIC. So did all of elected officals. I will not give up mine you fools can if you choose to not I. Wait till something bad happens and the only law around to protect your right and family is you and your GUNS and your neighbors with GUNS.CRAIG GINESTRA,FATHER,HUSBAND,NAVEY VETERAN.FROM SAN JOSE,CA


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