Following the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, Democrats planned to turn 2013 into the year of gun control. But thanks to the efforts of law-abiding gun owners, the new media, Fox News, and the NRA, 2013 turned into the year of the gun.
It began with a surge in gun sales across the country in the first quarter of 2013, driven by the concern that President Obama and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) would succeed in passing gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. This surge contributed to a record-breaking year that eventually totaled 21,093,273 background checks for gun purchasers.
The push for gun control was at its apex during the months January through April–a time in which Americans flocked to the NRA in record numbers. By February, Quinnipiac University reported that more Americans agreed with the NRA versus Obama by a margin of 46 to 43 percent.
Federal gun control went down in flames on April 17. Meanwhile, on May 3, the NRA announced it had reached over five million members.
While these things were happening at the federal level, states were witnessing record-breaking levels for concealed carry applications. In 2013, Florida became the first state to hit one million legally armed, concealed carry citizens; Kansas saw their concealed carry applications rise 54 percent over 2012 application levels; and Virginia broke a 24-year old record for gun sales.
Moreover, two thirds of the gun laws passed at the state level during 2013 were designed to decrease, rather than increase, gun control.
This disparity between the push for gun control on the federal level and attempts to stifle gun control on the state level was indicative of a year-long pattern, where we saw gun control receiving less and less support the closer the debate got to the people.
This was typified by the Colorado recalls on September 10th, which succeeded in removing state Senators John Morse (D-Colo Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) from office over their support for gun control. It was also evident in the defeat Mike Bloomberg and Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) suffered on November 5 in Virginia, when NRA-backed delegates defeated MAIG-backed delegates 65 to 2. On that same day, the citizens in Chambersburg, PA booted their mayor out of office because of his support of MAIG.
Throughout the year, the new media and Fox News kept shining a light on the truth behind Senator Joe Manchin’s gun control push–the reality that gun registration would be required to make his “expanded background checks” enforceable.
By the time the year was over, instead of looking back at the passage of gun control, we were looking back at the release of great pistols like the Ruger SR45, Sig Sauer P224, Glock 30S, Sig Sauer P226 SAO, Taurus Millennium G2 9mm, and Springfield XDS 9mm, as well as great AR-15 rifles from Smith & Wesson, Daniel Defense, Bushmaster, and others.
2013 was the year of the gun.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.