Last fall, I wrote about a surprising trend: gun sales have skyrocketed since Barack Obama became president. During that time, the stock of gunmaker Sturm Ruger (RGR) has outperformed gold. Analysts aren’t quite sure what’s causing the trend. Many anticipated a boost in sales after the election from gun owners fearful that Obama might outlaw assault weapons — the so-called “fear trade.” But they expected a brief spike, no more. Instead, gun sales kept rising, and they’ve continued to rise even since last fall. Ruger, which was up 400 percent at the time, is now up more than 500 percent.
Despite the fact that Obama hasn’t made the slightest feint toward regulating guns, firearms enthusiasts have whipped themselves into a paranoid frenzy, convinced that this is all just part of some elaborate conspiracy. Don’t believe me? Here’s how Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, put it to the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) two weeks ago: