Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guns and the stock market

To buy that gun stock or not to buy- that is the question. Here is a report from the website, "The Motley Fool" which is one of many websites used by investors for advice about stocks. In this article gun sales for the publicly traded gun manufacturer, Sturm Ruger, are examined. It is commonly known that the sale of guns skyrocketed after the election of President Obama. The word on the street was that Barack Obama was going to take away guns from law abiding citizens. Also all that talk about a government take-over of everything in sight and the country becoming a Communist or Socialist country struck fear into the hearts and minds of gun owners.

If you look at the charts posted in this article, the number of background checks can be used as an indicator of gun sales though not on a one-to-one basis. In looking at these charts, a record number of FBI background checks for firearm sales were conducted in 2009, a sure indicator that people are buying guns. But 2010 has seen a decrease. That is one good reason to rev up the fears and make sure to get as many nefarious amendments passed in Congress ( see my previous posts) as our leaders and the public will stomach before we realize that the number of gun deaths and injuries are not going down as a result of those amendments and all the permit to carry holders protecting us all from shootings. But I digress..

The firearms business is booming and in all sorts of markets, some of them illegal or shady. Many private sellers are law abiding citizens who have collections of guns for sales. Some do not intentionally sell to prohibited purchasers but without a background check, how would they know? Many of these are the same dealers who show up from gunshow to gunshow with some of the same guns sold by the licensed dealers at tables right next to their own. In some cases, they even charge more for the same gun because the buyer doesn't have to go through a background check. After all, they are so inconvenient. The average 8 seconds it takes to connect to the National Instant Check System and the minutes it takes to check out whether someone is a prohibited purchaser or not is really terribly inconvenient! In this amount of time, about 90% of background checks are completed by the FBI according to the 2007 report linked above. How long does it take you to wait in line to purchase a hot dog at a baseball game? Did you feel inconvenienced?

So background checks are convenient indicators for forecasting gun sales but inconvenient when it comes to buying from an unlicensed seller. Hmmmm. It just doesn't compute does it? But whatever. It is what it is until we change laws to require background checks on all gun sales. Then we will have an even better way of forecasting gun sales because background checks will surely increase. But the guns sold by private sellers may not be the brand new guns sold directly by the manufacturer through licensed dealers. The companies such as Sturm Ruger (above) or Smith and Wesson  have done well enough in the economic downturn compared to many other companies. In fact, check out how their stocks rose after the Supreme Court issued it's ruling on the McDonald case. I wonder if the private sellers who display at gun shows and flea markets have done as well? Will sales fall if background checks are required for all gun sales at these secondary markets? So far there is no evidence for this in states where background check laws have passed. And if the NRA keeps insisting on new places for people to have guns and stoking up new fears about confiscation and Socialism, gun sales will continue to rise. But if the mythical fears do not materialize and sensible gun laws are passed, gun sales could drop. So there is an obvious reason why we should not pass laws to stop shootings and easy access to guns- money!

My advice is to check out the linked web sites of Smith and Wesson and Sturm Lugar  to decide if you want to buy stock. And while you are checking out the stock possibilities, also take a good look at the "stock" sold on the websites of these two companies. The "stock" possibilities are endless and potentially dangerous but obviously lucrative.

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