What has Americans so frightened? Why are they stocking up on guns and ammo?

Fears of crime, a potential crackdown on firearms, social collapse and even zombies have millions loading up as never before.

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Nationwide indicators suggest that the boom is not unique to Florida. The Wall Street Journal reported gun stock prices were up in the shooting’s immediate aftermath. The Washington Post reported that prices for handgun magazines were increasing on eBay and semiautomatic rifles were selling out at Wal-mart stores.

Sullivan reported the Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, racked up more than $1 million in sales on one day for the best single-day performance since the store opened in 1959, according to Justin Anderson, director of online sales. Topping the list was the Bushmaster AR-15, the model used at Newtown that sells for as much as $4,000 and had almost sold out, Anderson said. He noted that revenue at the shop, one of the largest U.S. gun stores, surpassed even the spike just after Obama was elected president in 2008.

Speculation over stricter gun laws will continue to boost sales, Anderson told Sullivan. “It’s kind of the perfect storm for the gun industry,” he said. “When these things happen, even though it’s sad, it does pick up sales.”

But why are people so afraid? “In the age of 9/11, the Iraq War, financial collapse, and Amber Alerts, our society is defined by fear,” writes author Barry Glassner in The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things: Crime, Drugs, Minorities, Teen Moms, Killer Kids, Mutant Microbes, Plane Crashes, Road Rage, & So Much More. “So it’s not surprising that three out of four Americans

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say they feel more fearful today then they did twenty years ago. But are we living in exceptionally dangerous times?

Barry Glassner

Glassner says it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. He blames people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears, including advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases and politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime, drug use, and terrorism.

But hardly a month goes by without reports of another school shooting. So, it’s hardly surprising that in Ohio, more than 650 teachers and school administrators have signed up for a free program to train teachers and school administrators on how to use firearms, reports WHIO News.

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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Related Topics: Gun Control, News

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