Here at Bearing Arms, we’ve smacked Virginia Governor Ralph Northam around a fair bit. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Of course, we don’t condone actual assault, but rhetorical smackdowns are kind of what we do. Frankly, Northam sure looks like he deserved them.
That said, he may also be one of the most brilliant ambassadors the firearm industry ever had.
You see, thanks to him, Virginia gun stores are booming.
Gun retailers in Virginia say they’re seeing sales of weapons and ammunition skyrocket as the now fully Democratic Virginia legislature moves closer to passing strict gun control within the state — including a provision that allows the state government to confiscate so-called “assault weapons” if citizens who own them don’t register the weapons.
The Washington Examiner reports that at least one gun retailer has seen sales rise more than 200% year over year. Cash sales are way up, especially amid news that Democrats in Virginia and in Congress want to use credit card information to track gun purchases.
“This is the largest Christmas and November, December that we’ve had, basically, since Trump has come on board. The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President Obama,” one retailer told the Examiner.
Now, there was no doubt that Obama was a gun grabber. Honestly, it’s also likely that Northam harbors no pro-gun sympathies of any kind either.
But I also can’t rule out the sliver of my subconscious that thinks Northam knew this would happen.
What if instead of just being anti-gun, this is Northam’s stimulus plan to help beleaguered Virginia gun stores? After all, we’ve seen the Trump Slump is having a significant impact on gun stores throughout the nation. Thanks to Northam’s push, these stores are experiencing sales akin to the Obama era which is helping a lot of them push out of the red and into the black.
Let’s be honest, it’s a heck of an economic incentive plan; one that doesn’t actually require much taxpayer money either.
Oh, I don’t actually think he’s doing that. Ultimately, he’ll keep going until he either gets his assault weapon ban or it gets shot down in the legislature. Yet let’s also be perfectly honest, something like this would be a hell of a way to help out a buddy whose gun store is struggling, now isn’t it?
What Northam hasn’t figured out, nor has any other anti-gun lawmaker for that matter, is that when you move to ban a particular class of gun, sales for that class of gun shoot up. Anyone who ever considered buying one but put it off now flocks to the stores to buy the guns because they might not have a chance in the future.
Ultimately, they put more on the streets than would be there without the gun ban.
That’s especially true of there’s a grandfather clause, but a lack of one doesn’t suggest those guns are going to be turned in. Look at how few bump stocks have been handed over since that ban. Let’s also note that bump stock sales went through the roof the moment people thought they might be banned. Before that, they were novelties that were a fun way to waste ammo, but they weren’t anything most of us took seriously.
Well, not until it looked like they were going to be banned.
Today, there are an untold number of bump stocks floating around. That’s true in Virginia, too.
My hope is that this niggling thought in my head, the idea that Northam is really trying to help out gun stores in his state and maybe the firearm industry as a whole, is actual fact. It’s a much more comforting thought than what may well end up transpiring in Virginia instead.