Fear Breeds Gun Sales


February 21, 2009, 03:10 PM
Wow! Sometimes im just dumbfounded by people.


Jill Porter: Fear breeds gun sales - and gun sales breed death
By Jill Porter
Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News Columnist

A COLD-HEARTED savage has murdered another Philadelphia police officer, and the city buckles, once again, in horror and disbelief.
It's an unrelenting plague, and its agent of death is - guns.

And the horrifying fact is that more guns than ever are being purchased in this country as uneasy people arm themselves in fear: Fear of a reversal of gun rights under President Obama. Fear for their safety in an economy that drives people to desperation.

Sure, I know: many are legal guns, bought by responsible gun owners who don't kill people, blah blah blah.

But my math is simple: The more guns in circulation, the more that find their way to the dregs of society who casually assassinate cops.

And there are more guns in circulation than ever.

Gregory Isabella, the owner of Firing Line Inc., a South Philadelphia firearms dealer, acknowledged having "a lot of new clients."

He was polite but terse, and unwilling to cooperate with a columnist whose work is "slanted" in favor of gun restrictions.

Mike Friedland was more willing to talk.

"There's definitely been a lot of extra sales," said Friedland, who owns French Creek Outfitters, near Phoenixville.

"We've seen spikes in sales before, what with the onset of the Brady Bill in the '90s, with the magazine [assault weapon] ban, with Clinton being elected," he said.

"But we've never seen spikes with this much fervor that have lasted as long. It's definitely unprecedented since I've been in business, 16 years."

This internal arms race began in November, with the election of Barack Obama and the ascension of Democrats to majority power in Washington.

"It's clear that gun owners and prospective gun owners are concerned about the Obama Administration and Congress," said Ted Novin, speaking for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

Friedland agreed.

"If you look at it practically, both houses of Congress are decidedly Democratic, and the fact that the president probably will get two or maybe three Supreme Court judges; that's what scares people most," he said.

"People are worried about the Second Amendment being in jeopardy."

Obama has verbally backed the Second Amendment as an individual right to bear arms, but also has endorsed the right of state and local governments to enact restrictions.

Friedland said that his fourth-quarter sales were up 15 percent and have shown no sign of abating.

Some critics think that gun sellers are exaggerating sales statistics as a marketing tool.

While there are no objective data on gun sales - neither the FBI nor ATF keep those statistics - the number of FBI background checks for firearms confirms the disturbing trend.

Last month, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System performed more than 1.2 million checks, compared to 942,000 in January of last year - an increase of 29 per cent.

December showed a slightly smaller increase over the previous year, and November - election month - triggered a record 1.5 million checks, 42 percent more than the previous November.

The number of new gun purchases is potentially far more than that: a customer could buy multiple weapons. And many of the guns sold at gun shows don't require background checks.

Friedland acknowledges that fear triggered by the economic downturn also could be contributing to ramped up gun sales.

A friend of mine reports that several associates of his - affluent and successful men - have bought guns for the first time in their lives to protect themselves from predators potentially unleashed by the disintegrating economy.

It's a tragic escalation of the arming of American society, with the inevitable spillover into the streets.

It puts the likes of Police Officer John Pawlowski at a tragic and fatal disadvantage.

And brings a city again and again, to tears. *

E-mail porterj@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5850. For recent columns:


If you enjoyed reading about "Fear Breeds Gun Sales" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Hungry Seagull
February 21, 2009, 03:23 PM
We had a Channel 7 Reporter invaded and killed in her bed, it took her a week to die in a hospital last October. That drive alot of folks to go ahead and get weapons for HD.

But the tipping point seems to be the Election.

In our state, there does not seem to be any "Fear" as the media would like to have it shouted in the streets. Instead, homeowners have engaged and killed intruders on a regular basis during the last 7 months or so in our state.

Dont worry about the LEO's and thier actions. Dont worry about the Media.

America is and always has been a armed people. Now, normally people who decide to go buy weapons would do it for a variety of reasons. But I doubt fear is the top reason.

We bought ours while the previous president was still in office because it was a good time to do it and economically helpful to United States Firearms industry as a spending. We were happy to do this. But fearful? No way. In fact, it was a sort of good thing as a activity, learning new things and a way to participate during down time together as a Married couple who has survived cancer and bad medical issues recently. Shooting is FUN! But HD is serious business. But not driven by fear. No sir.

If a large people succumb to fear, it can be a bad cycle that requires a strong response and it's not a good thing.

The only possible fear I can think of is my advancing age and flab has prevented me from relying on martial arts Semper fu/Judo mixed as shown to me years and years ago by several good friends. It would be very easy for a younger BG to overpower myself and spouse if we did not have weapons for HD.

Duke of Doubt
February 21, 2009, 03:26 PM
I love these stories. What did they expect, that a communist gun grabber would get into the White House and everyone would just shrug?

February 21, 2009, 03:56 PM

While there are no objective data on gun sales - neither the FBI nor ATF keep those statistics - the number of FBI background checks for firearms confirms the disturbing trend.

Disturbing for criminals?


February 21, 2009, 04:02 PM
law abiding citizens buying guns..... oh no!!!!! they're going to be able to fight the political agenda of the left and not allow the government to control everything!!!!!

Fat Boy
February 21, 2009, 04:48 PM
Interesting reading....especially this comment:

Sure, I know: many are legal guns, bought by responsible gun owners who don't kill people, blah blah blah.

Not just many legal guns, but another fact generated by statistical studies will confirm, I believe that actually a small fraction of total guns owned wind up in criminal activities. Thus the majority of law-abiding gun owners are punished for the deeds of a minority of gun owners. Funny how the liberal thinking writers never seem to consider this part of the studies. Using the logic of this writer, if I understand it correctly, we should then restrict ownership and usage of an almost limitless list of things, including vehicles, scissors, knives, dogs (yes, some time ago the media reported that a woman got angry with her significant other and threw a dog at him), frying pans, "blah blah, blah" since these things are occasionally used by individuals in the commission of a crime.

The other thought process is that if guns could be totally removed from our society, criminals will resort to whatever weaponry is left, including I believe knives and ultimately big rocks to give them some force in commission of a crime....

The bottom line is that we need to stop crime, not gun ownership. However, the thinking continues in the what seems like much of our world, especially the media, that the best first step in dealing with crime is to try and remove guns...

And the saga continues-

February 21, 2009, 04:51 PM
Law abiding citizens do not normally shoot cops. A little urban investment would go a long way to ensure that these felons do not become so in the first place. Much better than trying to control their tools.

February 21, 2009, 05:01 PM
Maybe when the bleeding hearts lock up the violent criminals we will stop shooting them eh?

Lady it ain't our fault you weepin hearts whine and dine then release the most vile criminal on Earth!

February 21, 2009, 05:05 PM
Wow. Gun grabbing weenies never cease to amaze me. The fact that she attributes the recent gun purchase increase to a deadly homicide in one of the more dangerous metro areas in the country, GIMME A BREAK.

February 21, 2009, 05:35 PM
This in Philadelphia, where cops are being slain almost weekly is seems.

Yes, people want guns to protect themselves, can you just imagine?

Hungry Seagull
February 21, 2009, 05:39 PM
Not to be smug, but decades ago in the old Duck and Cover days, we used to tell each other the Russians may invade the USA but they would never take West by gawd Virginia. LOL.

A people properly armed is worth raising as militia in times of trouble.

Ive kind of gotten away from various media outlets and thier negative news reporting, too stressful to listen/watch some of these 10 second bites of the sky falling.

February 21, 2009, 06:19 PM
Jill Porter - Columnist - "He was polite but terse, and unwilling to cooperate with a columnist whose work is "slanted" in favor of gun restrictions."

Gee, I wonder why she was "uncooperative" with a certified gun confiscation crusader???


February 21, 2009, 10:19 PM
In Wellington Florida recently the good guy blew away a home invader. I think if this were the norm we would have fewer home invasions or home burglaries.

February 22, 2009, 12:00 AM
I would be "uncooperative" with someone who reduces my rights to "blah, blah, blah."

February 22, 2009, 12:03 AM
Double tap, sorry.

February 22, 2009, 04:14 AM
Wow, what a dumba$$. So, let's see, we're supposed to rely on the cops to protect us? Who's gonna protect the cops?

Seriously, LEOs put their life on the line everyday, and venture into territory and situations w/ a target on their back, and thank God for them. But, when criminals are so willing to shoot at them, not fearing what will happen to them for shooting at cops, do you think these criminals will think twice about shooting you, even if you comply?

Having a family, and seeing what goes on out there makes you concerned for their safety. Is some gun ownership fear driven? Maybe. But to me it's more logic driven.

Are you living your life in fear because you lock your car doors when you leave your car in the parking lot? Are you living in fear when you lock your doors to your home when you go to sleep, or leave your home unattended? Are you living in fear if you subscribe to a monitoring service for an alarm at your home? Are you living in fear by not letting your small children out of your sight? Or are these things just logical things to do, based on the threats to your personal and property safety? Hell, why even have a police force if there's nothing to be afraid of or concerned about, right?

WTH is wrong w/ idiots like this? You lock your doors and set your alarm as deterrents. You call the police if those deterrents don't work. You may choose to arm yourself w/ another tool, in the event the locks and alarm don't work, and the police don't get there in time. What is so freakin hard to understand here?



February 22, 2009, 04:38 AM
The increase in gun sales may partly be due to the change in presidency, but I believe the larger part of this trend is due to the economic downturn.

Common sense: when people are broke, a portion of these people may turn to crime. Law-abiding citizens are fully realizing their personal need to protect themselves and their families, and on a secondary level, their property.

Good people who have never previously considered purchasing firearms are thinking ahead, and due to the economic climate, they are purchasing firearms, and learning how to use them.

If there were a substantial fear of nuclear war in the US at this time, people would be purchasing potassium iodide tablets and duct tape.

There's no difference, and there's nothing disturbing about good people protecting themselves against danger to their families.

February 22, 2009, 04:51 AM
It's an unrelenting plague, and its agent of death is - guns.

Hyperbole much?

Sounds like the writer is living gripped with fear over law abiding citizens.

February 22, 2009, 06:24 AM
"But my math is simple: The more guns in circulation, the more that find their way to the dregs of society who casually assassinate cops."

Yes, your math is simple, and terribly elementary. If the guns I've bought recently constitute living in fear, then I'm TERRIFIED.

February 22, 2009, 07:58 AM
It's not fear, it's determination to survive.

February 22, 2009, 08:02 AM
sounds like my ex-gf wrote that article...

February 22, 2009, 08:25 AM
But my math is simple: The more guns in circulation, the more that find their way to the dregs of society who casually assassinate cops.

His high school math teacher is weeping in a corner somewhere.

February 22, 2009, 08:29 AM
Fear, maybe more like sensibility and awareness.

Before all this started, most people were just drifting around and not paying any attention to gun issues unless the media brought it up.

Now, more and more people are realizing that stuff could happen to them. Stuff as in home invasion and the potential inability to someday purchase a gun as easily as they can now. The fence sitters are stepping up to the plate and making a move.

I have personally assisted a number of those people purchase their first gun in the last few months and then trained them in the safety and use of same.

February 22, 2009, 10:56 AM
Just amazes me that the plague is always guns.
Never the " Cold Hearted Savages".

Duke of Doubt
February 22, 2009, 10:57 AM
markallen: "Just amazes me that the plague is always guns.
Never the " Cold Hearted Savages"."

Or the chimpanzees.

February 22, 2009, 10:58 AM
Never the " Cold Hearted Savages".

You mean "misguided lost souls" :rolleyes:

Can't be blaming people, that would admit that things like personal responsibility actually exist. :)

February 22, 2009, 02:28 PM
Gosh, you guys are great! I think ill send her a link :)

February 22, 2009, 02:55 PM
The last time I checked (been awhile) the safest country was Switzerland where they all are part of the military,and have to have a loaded full auto in their home. The police are NOT responsible for the safety any of us. They can only respond after the fact! There are some of us that take responsibility for our own safety,and that of our family as it should be. Long as I am venting I believe there was a Supreme Court decision out of the 1930's that said in essence that Military Weapons were protected not hunting firearm's, then again I could be wrong...........hounder

February 23, 2009, 10:50 AM
The Phila Daily News has been a shill for PA's anti movement for a long time - remember that Gov. Rendell (Mr. Class Action Suit against the gun manufacturers) was the mayor of Philly.

Warms my heart to hear that the Philly Inquirer and Philly Daily News just filed for bankruptcy.....

February 23, 2009, 03:45 PM
Just amazes me that the plague is always guns.
Never the " Cold Hearted Savages".Getting rid of the "cold hearted savages" would involve reducing/eliminating poverty, improving education, building solid family/community systems - you know, tasks that are challenging if not impossible.

It's much easier to scapegoat a tool, sign it away with the stroke of a pen to claim that you're doing something, and call it a day.

Just One Shot
February 23, 2009, 05:10 PM
I'd be curious to know if the BG in this story has a history of illegal activity?

It seems that our legal system has failed us in many ways. They send a person to prison and they don't recieve any kind of training or rehabilitation other than being drug deeper and deeper into the criminal mindset by their fellow inmates.

To top it off it seems that our prisons were built with revolving doors. When ever there is a budget or over crowding problem they turn the thugs loose to roam the streets once again to continue down the long road of of their criminal activities.

I have a friend who's mother was murdered years ago by 2 guys who were put back on the street before finishing their sentence. She probably weighed 90 lbs. soak and wet but they beat her to death trying to get money that she didn't have. She was on social security and we all know how well off people on that program are doing. :banghead:

Duke of Doubt
February 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
I have dealt with a lot of criminals professionally, but comparatively quite few who have done long prison sentences. Those who did tended to fall into one of two patterns, the divergence between which I find a little disturbing.

Those who committed the worst, most violent crimes tended either to "find religion" and rehabilitate into a very different person, or else to withdraw into themselves, and upon release be hardly seen or heard from again until they quietly died, and it made the news and shocked their neighborhood.

On the other hand, those who committed comparatively "minor", sometimes non-violent offenses and yet received and served long prison sentences, usually under inflexible federal sentencing guidelines, did NOT rehabilitate, and instead tended to BECOME very violent and dysfunctional. Sometimes they were an otherwise fairly ordinary person who for whatever reason committed tax fraud, insider trading, racketeering, corruption, or whatever. When they emerged from prison they were MORE anti-social and, to my view, MORE dangerous to society than before. Some believed they had been abused by an imperfect system, and in some cases it was time for payback.

Our criminal justice system of punishment is based on some very eccentric and often questionable assumptions, and to a great extent is the contorted product of historical accident and political machination.

If you enjoyed reading about "Fear Breeds Gun Sales" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!