White House: Recent Surge in American Gun Sales is 'Ironic and Tragic'

December 10, 2015

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called it "ironic and tragic" Thursday that a spike in American gun sales has occurred in the wake of mass shootings in places like San Bernardino and Colorado Springs.

On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the FBI did 175,754 background checks, part of the seventh consecutive record-breaking month in gun purchases. Gun rights experts told the Free Beacon that recent terrorist attacks and the Democratic push for more gun control have fueled this surge.

"I wonder if the president feels as if what's happened may actually be giving motivation or momentum to gun rights advocates rather than his position?" NBC reporter Chris Jansing asked.

"Well, I guess there is some evidence to indicate this," Earnest said. "The FBI put out information a week or so ago that [on] Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when many people go shopping, they actually processed the largest number of background checks for gun purchases in history. I described this, I think, at a briefing earlier this week as a tragic irony, that the more that we see this kind of violence on our streets, the more people go out and buy guns, and that is both ironic and tragic.

"I think the president's view is that he is going to forcefully advocate for the kind of gun safety measures that common sense tells us will not prevent every act of gun violence, but even if it makes some acts of gun violence less likely, and we can do all of that without undermining the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, then why wouldn't we do it?"

In his Oval Office address Sunday, Obama called again for more gun control measures, including denying people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns, a view even the Los Angeles Times editorial board finds untenable. Also, a recent claim by Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) that no recent mass shootings would have been prevented by new gun legislation was rated "True" by the Washington Post fact-checker.

Published under: Gun Control , Josh Earnest