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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Local paper had an article (actually 2) in todays paper.
Guess it is the same all over...Interesting stats on the carry permits>>>


http://www.theledger.com/article/20...omy_Stumbles__Worries_Trigger_a_Firearms_Rush

By Rachel Pleasant
THE LEDGER


Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 1:33 a.m.
LAKELAND | In an economy where homes sit vacant and unsold cars clutter lots, it's hard to find any winners.

That is until you check in with the *local gun shop.

A slumping economy, a Democratic president-elect and several attention-grabbing local crimes have combined to create a banner month — and even year — at a handful of Polk's gun shops.

'The phone's (ringing) off the hook. I have five people at the counter. I'm seeing people come in and buy cases at a time — that's 1,000 rounds of ammunition. I see people come in and dump $3,500 on stuff,' said Jeff Riggeal, manager of Hartmans Guns & Ammo, 226 W. Central Ave., Winter Haven, who estimated his business this year has tripled.

While Riggeal bases his estimate in part on anecdotes — phone calls, customers at the counter and a bigger than usual stack of forms representing buyers waiting to pick up their guns — more concrete evidence exists.

Between July 1 and Oct. 31, Polk County sent 685 new concealed-weapon applications to the state licensing division within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

That's a 32 percent increase over the same time period in 2007, when there were 520 applications.

Statewide for the same three-month period in 2007, 22,361 new applications were received.

In 2008, that number had jumped 28 percent to 28,509.

The licensing division has requested up to 25 *additional staff members to handle the increased number of applications it has received in recent years, said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Department of *Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Riggeal attributes the 2008 increase in sales to a number of factors.

For one, Riggeal said, a pair of rapes in Winter Haven earlier this year put

residents on alert and convinced some they should be armed to remain safe.

In Lakeland, Alex Wold, manager of The Gunshed, 1704 E. Edgewood Drive, said the December 2007 killings of two Lake Alfred convenience store workers and two Lake Wales insurance company employees, along with the shooting of a man who tried to help the insurance employees, also triggered gun sales at the start of 2008.

'People are coming to *realize that their own personal safety depends on them,' Wold said. 'Any time this issue gets brought to the public's mind, it gets them thinking about their responsibility for personal safety.'

In addition to local crimes, Riggeal said, the economy has had an impact on sales.

When the economy slumps, he said, people become more worried about crime and, therefore, more worried about protecting themselves and their property.

So in an economy where the year — both locally and nationally — will be *remembered for its layoffs, foreclosures and bank failures, it's only natural that * personal protection has become a top priority for some.

While some violent crimes locally and a pervasively struggling economy have contributed to a good year at his shop, Riggeal said, a more recent spark in sales

resulted from the election of Barack Obama as the next president and an increase in Democratic Party power in other areas of the government.

'Any time you have a Democrat that's going to be president or a Democratic Congress, people are always afraid they're going to take away guns and ammunition or put taxes on guns and ammunition so it's not affordable,' Riggeal said.

While these factors — crime, politics, sagging economy — may seem unrelated,

Larry Hazelbaker, chairman of the behavioral and social sciences department and a professor of psychology at Southeastern University in Lakeland, said they are all related to change, and change is what causes fear and subsequent reactions.

Since the Pearl Harbor *attack in 1941 — if not even before — Hazelbaker said, Americans have unconsciously been on guard and waiting for the next 'hammer to fall.'

Changes, such as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; a struggling economy; or the election of a new president can cause that 'on-guardship' to take over and, in this case, translate into buying guns.

'Whenever we have change and all the variables associated with it, people become more isolated and move *toward dependability,' he said. 'We see people gravitating more toward their families, and there's a sense of ‘let's watch out for each other.''

Additionally, conjecture and speculation are *powerful forces in our society, Hazelbaker said, and both have run rampant in relation to the election.

'People tend to imagine the worst-case scenario. Because (President-elect Obama) is so new, nobody really knows exactly what he's doing. There are sound bites that pop up and serve as seeds to grow all this imagination. We write novels in our brain based on perspectives and react as if they were true,' he said.

Hazelbaker pointed to a headline he recently saw on a Web site that said Obama will raise taxes on ammunition by 500 percent.

'That's speculation, but it promotes and produces fear that this will happen, so people go stock up on ammunition,' he said.

'People *imagine what the second phase will be — that they will only be able to buy two bullets.'

[ Rachel Pleasant Chambliss can be reached at 863-802-7533 or [email protected]. ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The second article...Showed the BEAR >>

http://www.theledger.com/article/20081112/NEWS/811120379

LAKELAND

In an economy where homes sit vacant and unsold cars clutter lots, it's hard to find any winners.

That is until you check in with the local gun shop.

A slumping economy, a Democratic president-elect and several attention-grabbing local crimes have combined to create a banner month - and even year - at a handful of Polk's gun shops.

"The phone's (ringing) off the hook. I have five people at the counter. I'm seeing people come in and buy cases at a time - that's 1,000 rounds of ammunition. I see people come in and dump $3,500 on stuff," said Jeff Riggeal, manager of Hartmans Guns & Ammo, 226 W. Central Ave., Winter Haven, who estimated his business this year has tripled.

While Riggeal bases his estimate in part on anecdotes - phone calls, customers at the counter and a bigger than usual stack of forms representing buyers waiting to pick up their guns - more concrete evidence exists.

Between July 1 and Oct. 31, Polk County sent 685 new concealed-weapon applications to the state licensing division within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

That's a 32 percent increase over the same time period in 2007, when there were 520 applications.

Statewide for the same three-month period in 2007, 22,361 new applications were received.

In 2008, that number had jumped 28 percent to 28,509.

The licensing division has requested up to 25 additional staff members to handle the increased number of applications it has received in recent years, said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Riggeal attributes the 2008 increase in sales to a number of factors.

For one, Riggeal said, a pair of rapes in Winter Haven earlier this year put residents on alert and convinced some they should be armed to remain safe.

In Lakeland, Alex Wold, manager of The Gunshed, 1704 E. Edgewood Drive, said the December 2007 killings of two Lake Alfred convenience store workers and two Lake Wales insurance company employees, along with the shooting of a man who tried to help the insurance employees, also triggered gun sales at the start of 2008.

"People are coming to realize that their own personal safety depends on them," Wold said. "Any time this issue gets brought to the public's mind, it gets them thinking about their responsibility for personal safety."

In addition to local crimes, Riggeal said, the economy has had an impact on sales.

When the economy slumps, he said, people become more worried about crime and, therefore, more worried about protecting themselves and their property.

So in an economy where the year - both locally and nationally - will be remembered for its layoffs, foreclosures and bank failures, it's only natural that personal protection has become a top priority for some.

While some violent crimes locally and a pervasively struggling economy have contributed to a good year at his shop, Riggeal said, a more recent spark in sales resulted from the election of Barack Obama as the next president and an increase in Democratic Party power in other areas of the government.

"Any time you have a Democrat that's going to be president or a Democratic Congress, people are always afraid they're going to take away guns and ammunition or put taxes on guns and ammunition so it's not affordable," Riggeal said.

While these factors - crime, politics, sagging economy - may seem unrelated, Larry Hazelbaker, chairman of the behavioral and social sciences department and a professor of psychology at Southeastern University in Lakeland, said they are all related to change, and change is what causes fear and subsequent reactions.

Since the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 - if not even before - Hazelbaker said, Americans have unconsciously been on guard and waiting for the next "hammer to fall."

Changes, such as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; a struggling economy; or the election of a new president can cause that "on-guardship" to take over and, in this case, translate into buying guns.

"Whenever we have change and all the variables associated with it, people become more isolated and move toward dependability," he said. "We see people gravitating more toward their families, and there's a sense of 'let's watch out for each other.'"

Additionally, conjecture and speculation are powerful forces in our society, Hazelbaker said, and both have run rampant in relation to the election.

"People tend to imagine the worst-case scenario. Because (President-elect Obama) is so new, nobody really knows exactly what he's doing. There are sound bites that pop up and serve as seeds to grow all this imagination. We write novels in our brain based on perspectives and react as if they were true," he said.

Hazelbaker pointed to a headline he recently saw on a Web site that said Obama will raise taxes on ammunition by 500 percent.

"That's speculation, but it promotes and produces fear that this will happen, so people go stock up on ammunition," he said.

"People imagine what the second phase will be - that they will only be able to buy two bullets."

[ Rachel Pleasant Chambliss can be reached at 863-802-7533 or [email protected]. ]
 
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