Loughner surges weapon sale: Isn’t it strange?

Curious things are hard to imagine for most of us. But people are forced to the conclusion that those things happen. So here comes the next one.

On Monday the 10th January, just two days after the horrible shooting in Tucson, Arizona, gun shops opened their doors for a run on weapons. The sales of handguns in Arizona increased by 60 percent. This kind of a strange phenomenon didn’t only happen in the state of Arizona, but even in other parts of the US. However, most of the sellers haven’t been surprised when people entered their shops and asked for a Glock Pistol, exactly that kind of weapon which was used by Jared Lee Loughner to shoot 19 people. “When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Greg Wolff, owner of two Arizona gun shops, said in the Bloomberg Magazine. Don Gallardo, a manager at Arizona Shooter’s World in Phoenix, added in the same article: “Whenever there is a huge event, especially when it’s close to home, people do tend to run out and buy something to protect their family.”

That might be right. But maybe there are other reasons or unconscious intentions which gun purchaser have. “Weapons have a long tradition in America and are enrooted in historical background. They are a symbol of self-protection”, says Christian Wilp, chief correspondent of German news channel n-tv in Washington. But what he thinks about the Tucson shooting could have an impact on how people see and evaluate weapons now? “It won’t influence the view people have regarding guns. That topic is kind of American mentality and hard to comprehend for Central Europeans.”

That’s a fact. And of course, it disproves my expectations. However, it seems that I’m too gullible since I was at fault. I really thought that such an incident like that in Tucson would cause a public paralysis concerning pistols and weapons in general. Maybe it’s true, maybe I’m naive. Nevertheless, I’m left wondering why the government didn’t intervene. Isn’t it a naturalness to protect people in the country being afraid and upset from gun violence, especially those living in Arizona or even in Tucson, the center of scare? Wouldn’t it been the best to stop gun sale in Arizona at least just for a few days? Christian Wilp who lives and works in the United States since 2003 agrees with me. Though, he knows for sure that stopping weapon sale is impossible. Therefore he argues as follows: “Americans consider gun possession as a constitutional right. It doesn’t matter that firearms could kill people. Otherwise cars should be banned as well because of deadly accidents.”

I’m not sure, but in my opinion it would have been a good possibility for the government setting an example out of respect for the victims. In other cases governments all over the world react immediately. Example requested? Two weeks ago in Germany people couldn’t buy as much meat as they were used to. The reason was a dioxin scandal regarding animal feed. Hence, German department of Health banned the meat sale in supermarkets because people were threatened.

I guess weapons also pose a risk for citizens. Anyhow, everybody in Arizona can still go to a gun shop and purchase a firearm according to his wishes. Wilp try to explain why politics remains passive: “The government fears the gun lobby which is a powerful and rich institution. Without the support of the lobby it would be hard to rule.” Ok. I buy it and attempt to summarize. There was an awful shooting with six killed people and the drawn consequences are, not any. Sorry, how could I forget it. Actually, there was a response. Gun sale surged and more and more weapons are prepared to struggle against other weapons. Isn’t it strange?

Tim Graesing

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