I have to admit, I would not have predicted this as a result of the Sandy Hook shootings:
The week after [the Sandy Hook massacre] set a new record for background checks. CBS Connecticut reported that permit applications in Newtown itself more than doubled in the three months following the killings.This is intriguing. So of the population that's closest to a particularly egregious mass shooting, one of the responses seems to be that people feel that they needed a gun:
Newtown in recent years has issued about 130 gun permits annually. Police say the town received 79 permit applications in the three months since the Dec. 14 massacre, well over double the normal pace.What I'd really like to know is what the national figures were for the increase in those 3 months, and whether Newtown's increase was in line with, above or below the national rate. I rather suspect (from some back-of-the envelope math) that it was higher.
"A good percentage of people are making it clear they think their rights are going to be taken away," said Robert Berkins, records manager for Newtown police.
Generally it seems that whenever a major shooting-related event occurs, people who did not previously own guns rush to get a permit to own them in anticipation of future denial of this right. People who do currently own guns stock up on ammunition and spare weapons. All of which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that if a government really wants to reduce firearm ownership, they will loudly promise not to change anything in the country's current gun ownership rules. Since the US government has been all over gun owners in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, one can only conclude that they are in pursuit of votes rather than lower firearm ownership.