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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama's Election Prompts a Run on Guns

If you ever need a reminder of how dense people can be, feel free to check back on this post.

Why? Well, we have a report that gun sellers in the Birmingham area say sales have skyrocketed since the presidential election. It seems gun enthusiasts are stocking up because they fear President-Elect Barack Obama will tighten restrictions on gun ownership.

Never mind that Obama has said he "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms" and would "protect the right of hunters and other law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, transport, and use guns."

Even though no evidence suggests that Obama intends to dramatically alter the nation's policies on gun ownership, the owner of one Birmingham sporting-goods store says gun sales have increased about 30 percent since the election.

CNN reported that the FBI saw requests for background checks on gun purchases rise dramatically for the week of November 3-9, with an increase of almost 49 percent over the same period in 2007.

In Alabama, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says applications for gun permits are running about double the normal number.

"He's going to take my guns," said one Alabama man. "Ain't a whole lot we can do about it, but we're stockpiling before he takes them away."

Why would people have such thoughts? The National Rifle Association ran ads and sent out fliers during the campaign saying that Obama would shut down 90 percent of gun shops and ban some ammunition. "This administration is coming after our freedom," NRA President Wayne LaPierre said this week.

Wonder if it's ever occurred to the panicky gun folks that the NRA is issuing these dire warnings in hopes of sparking a run on guns and NRA memberships. Think these people have figured out that the NRA is interested in their money, not Obama's policy plans?

The scary thing is that some of the whackos who are stockpiling guns probably also voted. That must explain how Republican Greg Shaw defeated Democrat Deborah Bell Paseur for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court, even though Republicans on the court cheated Alabama out of a $3.6 billion jury verdict against oil giant ExxonMobil. Alabamians, apparently, like that kind of "jurisprudence."

Strange things happen when large chunks of the populace is not able, or willing, to put two and two together and get four.

All of which reminds me of the routine about voting by the late, great George Carlin. The common refrain is that we need more people to vote. But Carlin took the opposite approach. He said we have too many people voting, especially stupid people.

It's a process of "garbage in, garbage out," Carlin said.

"If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders."

I think he had a point:

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