Firearms Production Numbers
Denise at The Ten Ring has a post up on the latest firearms production numbers (with link to the report from the ATF.) Comments on the post are very interesting as well.
What the data shows is that, at least from 1998 to 2004, production declined by about 600,000 guns per year. (Given anecdotal evidence post-Katrina, that may have at least temporarily turned around in 2005.)
One oddity I did find-or rather didn't find-in the statistics was Century Arms. Century imports, among many types of firearms, various Kalishniklones, most notably the various Romanian made SAR and WASR models. I don't have any hard numbers, but I'd venture a guess that sales of these models have gone up, starting in the last quarter of 2004. And these are rifles that fill a niche that no American manufacturer does-a (relatively) low cost, reliable, semi-automatic rifle with a sizable magazine capacity. As far as I can tell, these don't fall into the set of statistics shown by the ATF.
Now, I have to admit, I'm probably part of the problem here. Of the roughly 35 firearms that I own, only 9 were purchased new, and two of those are home-assembled ARs. The rest were bought used, all of those milsurps with the exception of two pistols. And I fully expect most of my future purchases to be the same-mostly milsurps. The only new gun I have a real interst in buying doesn't actually exist yet-a civilian version of the FN SCAR-H.
Maria Cantwell Is An Economic Ignoramus
Either that, or she thinks that Washington voters are.
Cantwell's latest displays of why she shouldn't have passed high school economics:
Sen. Maria Cantwell...wants to investigate oil companies and hints at where she and her colleagues are likely already planning to find evidence to prove that something nefarious is going on: oil companies selling gas cheaper overseas than inside the U.S. "Well, we want to make sure that there is a strong law on the books that looks at the wholesale price of gasoline, because we have a question about whether gasoline is being exported out of the country for a cheaper price just to drive up the cost here in the United States," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Of course, she doesn't bother to think that, if American-refined gasoline is being exported, that just maybe it's because the government is messing with the American gasoline market by mandating requirements for additives, etc. Of course, she doesn't consider that meddling with the market. To Sen. Cantwell and her friends the environmentalists, it's protecting the environment.
Also scary in these comments is Sen. Cantwell's ignorance of the law-if you're going to make laws, it would help if you hand a working knowledge of them. Corporations-to include oil companies-are required by law to maximize profits for their shareholders. I know, this runs contrary to the belief, especially among the Left, that oil companies exist to provide you and me with cheap gasoline. If oil companies are exporting gasoline, it's because doing so maximizes their profits. Like the law requires.
Also this, from the Seattle P-I, via SoundPolitics
With gas prices above $3 a gallon in many places, Congress should pass legislation by Memorial Day to make price-gouging a federal crime, Sen. Maria Cantwell said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address.
Nevermind that everytime there's a significant increase in gas prices, there's calls to investigate 'price gouging' by oil companies. Nevermind that not a single one has found any evidence of said 'gouging.'
What you should pay attention to, is that Sen. Cantwell has actively interfered with the law of supply and demand-by voting against expanding supply by drilling in ANWR. And that she didn't say a word to protest her friends in Olympia increasing the price of gas in Washington.
Maria Cantwell apparently doesn't understand the basics of supply and demand. In which case, she's stupid. Or she thinks the voters of Washington don't, which means she thinks we're stupid. I really can't tell which.