Unintended Consequences of Gun Control Advocation

Unintended consequences are always interesting. Take gun control for example, the idea behind it is to reduce the number of guns in public hands but it has been one of the biggest sellers of firearms. Whenever gun control advocates come out and start talking about firearms they want to see banned it’s inevitable that sales of those firearms will go up. I think this stems from the success enjoyed by advocates of gun control in the ’90’s. During that time they managed to mandate background checks be performed on firearm purchasers and prohibited the manufacture and sale of new magazines exceeding 10-rounds in capacity and deceptively named assault rifles for “civilian” use. Like clockwork the gun control crowd is demanding new gun control measures in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado shooting and, as expected, gun sales are increasing:

The number of people seeking to buy guns in Colorado has soared since last week’s mass shooting in the US state’s town of Aurora, say law officials.

In the three days after the shooting, applications for the background checks needed to buy a gun legally were up 43% on the previous week.


Law officials said gun sales have in the past had risen after significant events, including the election of President Barack Obama and the shooting in Arizona which killed six people and injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.

This is often attributed to fears that a mass killing could prompt the government to reconsider the Second Amendment to the US constitution, which gives people the right to bear arms.

I’m sure many of the people buying firearms after the Colorado shooting are doing so in response to the shooting itself and not the push for more gun control (after all, people want to have a means to defend themselves) but the irony of gun sales going up whenever gun control advocates start pushing is entertaining.