Sales of handguns have risen in the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and nineteen other innocent bystanders.

In a brief entitled “Pistol Sales Surge After Shooting,” Bloomberg News reported that the increase in sales is a result of the incident, and that gun dealers attribute it to people’s fear that Congress might tighten gun restrictions.

An Arizona gun shop owner is quoted as saying in the brief, “When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff.” I’ve heard the argument that people need to own guns in order to stop crimes like this from happening, and I understand it although I don’t put much stock in it. Having more guns in circulation only makes the world more dangerous. An overly simplistic proof of this is that deaths by shooting have increased exponentially in relation to the number of firearms in circulation. We don’t allow handguns on college campuses, or any weapons for that matter, because we believe that the fewer guns around, the better.

However, the point is that people are specifically buying more handguns! What makes someone go out and buy something they think the government will soon make illegal? If our elected officials think that handguns are among the most dangerous and unnecessary weapons (unless you’re using them for nefarious purposes, in which case they’re very effective) then why not try to convince them otherwise, or at least look into their reasoning? When there’s a devastating fire, do people buy more matches?

4 comments on “Gun sales up in wake of Giffords Shooting”

  1. Art Says:

    The match example is rather flawed. Had someone in the crowd had a concealed carry, they could have neutralized Loughner after his first round or two

  2. Bret Matthew Says:

    Art,

    Someone else was carrying a firearm during the shooting, and almost killed the wrong man:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2280794/

    Real life is not like a videogame, where you can spray endless virtual bullets into crowds of innocent people without hurting them. Nor is it like a spy movie, where the hero has perfect aim and always shoots his man, only pausing for a quick one-liner. When ordinary people–especially those without formal training–rush into a shooting with their weapon drawn, they make the situation even more dangerous, no matter how noble their intentions.

  3. Art Says:

    I agree that the scenario never should’ve happened; mechanism should’ve been put into place that would’ve prevented loughner from so easily getting a firearm.

    Zamudio, as a gun owner, should know the following, unless the individual has the weapon pointed at you, you ask him to raise his arms and then slowly place the weapon down [made a little difficult in this scenario as someone has to keep Loughner away]
    It is easy to be confused and in shock at a time when guns are out. Zamudio, as a gun owner, has to prepare for those moments when he chooses to draw [remember he has a CCW]. The owness is on him.

  4. Nat Says:

    There’s no conceivable way that anyone could have shot at Loughner, considering the shooting background was terrible. Even trained marksmen miss quite often, and given the number of people at this event both in front of and behind of Loughner, shooting would have been foolhardy. Given what’s been fairly well established about Loughner’s state of mind, I doubt he would have complied with any demand to lower his gun.

    I’m hardly surprised that more people are purchasing guns in response to this shooting. Nobody cares about statistics when it comes to purchasing guns, if owning one makes someone feel safer, it’s natural they’d buy one right after a traumatic event.