December 2015 – DALLAS , TX (AP) — A Texas police chief who warns President Barack Obama in a social media video that trying to disarm Americans would “cause a revolution in this country” is the latest law enforcement official to urge citizens to arm themselves in the wake of mass shootings. Randy Kennedy, longtime chief in the small East Texas town of Hughes Springs, about 120 miles east of Dallas, says in the video posted this week on his personal Facebook page that the Second Amendment was established to protect people from criminals and “terrorists and radical ideology.”
“It’s also there to protect us against a government that has overreached its power,” Kennedy says in the video. “You are not our potentate, sir. You are our servant.” He warned people in his town to prepare themselves: “Be ready when the wolf comes to the door, because it’s on its way.” Law enforcement officials in Arizona, Florida and New York also have recently prompted citizens to arm themselves – some using similar comments aimed at terrorism.
Kennedy said his call to arms was the result of his disappointment with Obama’s Oval Office speech Sunday in which the president vowed the U.S. will overcome a new phase of the terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world. The police chief told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s not asking residents to turn into vigilantes or “become super action heroes.” He said feedback on his video has been supportive for the most part. –AP
Guns outnumber people in the U.S. – It’s tough to know exactly how many guns we have in the United States. Most estimates of the number of guns in the U.S. use federal tallies of the firearms manufactured, imported and exported by U.S. gun makers. A 2012 Congressional Research Service report published exactly one month before the Sandy Hook school shooting put the number of civilian firearms at 242 million in 1996, 259 million in 2000, and 310 million as of 2009. If that 310 million number is correct, it means that the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency was an inflection point: It marked the first time that the number of firearms in circulation surpassed the total U.S. population.
In reality, over 100 million guns have been sold in the United States since Barack Obama was elected. Not exactly what you’d expect from a president that won the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office “because the Nobel committee judges found his promise of disarmament and diplomacy too good to ignore,” according to Huffington Post. Data on gun manufacturing from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now goes through 2013. If we were to update the CRS numbers with the most recent data, we’d get a chart that looks something like this:
Adding up new guns and imports and subtracting gun exports, in 2013 there would have been roughly 357 million firearms in the U.S. — 40 million more guns than people. This is just an estimate. These numbers are blind to firearms that enter and exit the country illegally, and to guns that break down, or are lost or destroyed.
Philip J. Cook of Duke University suspects that estimates based on the ATF numbers don’t properly account for this type of attrition. He’s estimated that roughly 1 percent of the American gun stock gets destroyed, lost or broken in a given year. Applying that factor retroactively back to when the ATF first began keeping records in 1899, that would put the civilian firearm total at something like 245 million as of 2011, he said. Regardless of the actual number of civilian firearms in circulation, there’s no ambiguity around one crucial fact: U.S. gun manufacturers have drastically increased their output during the Obama years. In 2009, according to the ATF, gun-makers produced 5.6 million guns. By 2013 their annual production had just about doubled, up to 10.9 million guns that year.
FSU’s Kleck calls this an “Obama effect.” High-profile shootings and talk of changing gun laws “motivates gun owners to get more guns, and perhaps some non-owners to get one ‘while the getting is good,’” he said. This is despite the fact that Congress has not passed any changes to federal firearm legislation since early 2008. –Washington Post