News & Politics

Scary: Bullet Makers Can't Keep Up With Demand

"I call it the Obama effect," says one Louisiana gun dealer.

This post originally appeared in PEEK.

So here's a disconcerting little headline. From the Associated Press (via the Houston Chronicle): Bullet makers can't keep up with demand

Bullet-makers are working around the clock, seven days a week, and still can’t keep up with the nation’s demand for ammunition.
Shooting ranges, gun dealers and bullet manufacturers say they have never seen such shortages. Bullets, especially for handguns, have been scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up on ammo, in part because they fear President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation -- even though nothing specific has been proposed and the president last month signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

According to the article, "gun sales spiked when it became clear Obama would be elected a year ago and purchases continued to rise in his first few months of office. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that 6.1 million background checks for gun sales were issued from January to May, an increase of 25.6 percent from the same period the year before."

This is only the latest news report showing a rise in demand for guns and ammo since Obama took office. But the president didn't accomplish this on his own; a good deal of credit goes to the gun lobby, which has always relied on fearmongering and paranoia as critical parts of its strategic arsenal. In its propaganda campaign in the run-up to the 2008 election, the NRA portrayed Obama as the most anti-gun candidate in the history of the republic.

"Never in NRA's history have we faced a presidential candidate ... with such a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms," read a letter sent out last August. The mailing purported to lay out "Obama's Ten Point Plan to 'Change' The Second Amendment," despite the fact that the "points" did not match Obama's campaign positions on guns. One of them was a ridiculous claim charging that Obama plans to "close 90 percent of the gun shops in America."

Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and World Special Coverage.
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