The press spooks its readers about increased gun purchases.
The press spooks its readers about increased gun purchases.
Media criticism.
Nov. 13 2008 6:26 PM

Crazy About Guns

The press spooks its readers about increased gun purchases.

(Continued from Page 1)

Many gun enthusiasts worry that the Obama administration and Democratic Congress will reinstitute the ban and pass other restrictive legislation. Although Obama supports "common sense" gun laws, his idea of what constitutes common sense differs from that of most gun owners. Consider:

The Chicago Tribune reports that as "an Illinois state legislator [Obama] voted to support a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and tighter restrictions on all firearms. He has said in the past that he opposes allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons."

The AP reports that as a U.S. senator, "Obama voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuits."

According to the Anchorage Daily News, "the pro-gun control Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Obama and called his win Tuesday 'a major victory.' "


If a genuine run on guns exists, whose fault is it? Blame Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, a well-known "assault weapon" foe. Paradoxically, if Obama wanted to end the purported run on guns, he could do so by opposing any new regulations.

I'd love to see a spate of stories exploring that line.


I fully expect to win the Stephen Hunter Second Amendment Award for this article and for the judgment to be so overwhelming that they retire it forever. Send news of other journalism prizes I qualify for to Thanks to readers Allen Flanigan and Eric Verkerke for their nudging. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Track my errors: This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slate runs a "Press Box" correction. For e-mail notification of errors in this specific column, type the word guns in the subject head of an e-mail message, and send it to

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at

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