Walk into your local gun shop and you’re likely to be greeted by some of the hardest working salesmen and women in America. On Black Friday alone Gun dealers flooded the FBI with background check requests for prospective hand gun and long gun buyers, smashing the previous record by more than 30%. Deputy Assistant FBI Director Jerry Pender said the checks, required by federal law, surged to nearly 130,000 during the day, far surpassing the previous high of 97,848 on Black Friday of 2008. The actual number of firearms sold is likely much higher because multiple firearms can be included in a transaction by a single buyer. The FBI does not track actual gun sales.
Gun buyers are more diverse than ever. This however is not the kind of diversity the anti-gun left is happy about. Young professionals, people starting families and women, in greater numbers than ever, are purchasing guns. Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said he was “skeptical” of the Black Friday gun surge.
Refusing to accept the reality of the trend, he said “I think there may be no real significance at all.” This of course is the same Brady Center that that in the face of gun violence, has focused it’s efforts on restricting law abiding citizens’ access to guns, rather than campaigning for tougher penalties against criminals who use guns in crimes.
While Brady officials insist their motives are pure, a behind the scenes look at that organization raises serious questions. In May 2005, Florida passed a “Stand Your Ground” law that authorized persons attacked in their own home or automobile to use lethal force in self-defense without a duty to retreat; Brady Campaign workers were dispatched to Florida airports where they passed out fliers warning tourists that, under what they called the “Shoot First” law, tourists could be shot for simply being rude to a Florida resident.
Last year the Brady Campaign gave its “Visionary Award” to AP White House reporter Helen Thomas. Little more than a week later Thomas went on a video taped, anti-semitic rant that resulted in condemnation from the Obama Administration as well as her resignation from AP. The Brady Campaign has remained silent on the entire issue, refusing to condemn Thomas or her hate filled rant.
As the ’12 Presidential Campaign looms, President Obama himself has been remarkedly silent on the issue of gun rights. He must know that waging an open war against the NRA and America’s 80,000,000 gun owners during this campaign season will only hurt his prospects for re-election. He’s also well aware of the two recent Supreme Court decisions District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, decisions that make it clear that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right.
In Attorney General Eric Holder’s brief filed with the Supreme Court in Heller he argued that “the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms,” that it only protected government militias’ rights to guns. He claimed that the Second Amendment posed no obstacle to implementing gun bans. His argument failed, but his anti-gun agenda continues.
While Obama and Holder have said little lately about gun rights per se, the “Fast and Furious” disaster has exposed the administration’s agenda. E-mails obtained by CBS News from the Department of Justice have spoken for them. On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
That demand letter was “Demand Letter 3”, which would have required that gun dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas report all sales of long guns to federal authorities. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is investigating Fast and Furious, as well as the alleged use of the case to advance gun regulations. “There’s plenty of evidence showing that this administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement…”
What you can’t accomplish in one fell swoop, you may be able to accomplish by chipping away. Fast and Furious was clearly, at least in part, a covert effort by the administration to make its case against the Second Amendment; to chip away at established constitutional rights they simply don’t like. The 130,000 Americans who sought to buy handguns on Black Friday aren’t naive. Anecdotal evidence points directly to the Obama administration as a primary motivating factor in the skyrocketing numbers of gun sales.
If Mr. Obama is reelected, the battle will rage on. Brady Campaign Award Winner Helen Thomas