The looming “fiscal cliff” is getting most of the page one attention in newspapers across the land. Talking heads on television and radio can’t seem to stop discussing whether President Obama and Congress will soon make the plunge — or whether they’ll avert the economic death drop.
On Main Street, however, there is another issue dominating the political talk — gun control.
Here is what I think of the gun control issue in a single word: Nothing. That’s because I don’t believe the fearmongers who are convinced the Obama administration will soon seize our firearms. It’s all Grade A junk, and most folks are smart enough to know it.
Since the Nov. 6 election that re-elected Mr. Obama, state and federal regulators are seeing record numbers of new gun permit applications. People who never had a gun are buying one. I would guess that sales of shovels are also up for citizens to use in burying and hiding their guns.
Record numbers of new gun permits began in Georgia the day after the election. “Any time you have an election like you did (Nov. 6) you have people that are fearful that certain types of guns are going to be banned,” Butch Roberson, owner of Carolina Outdoors in Augusta, told CBS-12 television station in that city.
In Jackson, Miss., USA Pawn & Jewelry Owner Brian Smith said gun sales “seem to increase when Democratic presidents are elected, something he noticed in the Clinton administration, as well, since Democrats are historically less ‘firearm friendly’ than Republicans,” the Clarion-Ledger reported.
Did anyone locally lose a gun over Obama’s election in 2008?
There are all sorts of statistical barometers on gun ownership. They rarely agree on the numbers because many people will not admit to owning a gun. Few of us would even respond to a mail survey asking about gun ownership.
One survey I noticed on the Internet showed, surprisingly, that Georgia is not so hot on guns. Georgia is 36th on the list of “most armed states.” The FBI’s background check system for the last 18 months shows only 9,200 background checks per 100,000 citizens in this state.
Watch your back in Alabama — it is 10th with 16,860 background checks per 100,000. Kentucky leads the nation with 134,028 checks. Arkansas is 9th and Tennessee 11th. Mississippi is 17th and Louisiana 21st.
(I refuse to try to correlate these stats to college football prowess, so don’t ask.)
One Gallup Poll says that 47 percent of American adults currently admit that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property. This is up from 41 percent the year before and is the highest Gallup has recorded since 1993.
The South easily leads the nation in gun ownership with 50 percent of the households owning at least one. The Midwest is second at 39 percent.
The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, (and) the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
I don’t see that ever changing.
Go on and get yourself a gun. The taxes you pay on it will even be helping Congress from toppling over that dreaded cliff.
Mac Gordon is a retired reporter and gunowner who lives near Blakely and writes an occasional opinion column for The Albany Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.