More evidence of long term trends
I've said that we're probably seeing a long term trend relating to arms and attitudes toward them, and this seems to be the case. NSSF just released its July data on background checks. Unadjusted, the July 2010 figures were up 10% over July 2009, which itself was well into the timeframe when checks were skyrocketing. Adjusted to take out the checks for CCW permits and leave only those relating to gun sales, it's up 4.3% over 2009. I had read that there did seem to be a surge after the last election, focused on guns that could face bans, but that this faded away within three months. What's left is an enormous and sustained increase in new firearms purchases.
Someday historians may correlate that with changes in public opinion poll results, the near collapse of antigun legislative efforts, and even the judicial recognition of the right to arms. Americans historically loved firearms. US presidents were NRA members, government programs recruited and armed competitive shooters. Then in the 1960s that changed; the media in particular pushed the idea that gun owners were a dangerous, selfish, rather oafish lot. Perhaps fifty years later we've hit the end of that cycle?
Update: circulation of the NRA political mag America's First Freedom is up 20% over last year, and its Rifleman and Hunter are also in the top 25 fastest growing publications.