THE BLOG

Did Gun Sales Really Spike Because of the Election? Not Really, it Turns Out.

12/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I thought all those stories about the bang up business at gun stores after Obama's win sounded hokey.

And they are, according to Jack Schafer at Slate, who he has numbers to back him up. First, gun sales in the past sales period were no higher than usual. They were, in fact, lower than some other years. Gun ownership is down in general, from half of households to a third since 1977. There are a fifth as many dealers today as well as there were two decades ago. The last time we heard a wave of these stories was 1993, when the incoming Clinton administration supposedly scared people into their gun stores as well. 1993 was the year gun violence peaked, as it happens. It's been a downhill slide since. In many ways, luckily, 2008 is not 1993. Feel better? I do.