Gun stores in Wisconsin are doing a brisk business this week. Some dealers say there's no doubt the tragic shootings in Connecticut are at least partly responsible.
As the calls for increased gun control legislation have mounted since the Newtown school shooting last Friday, the number of customers at gun store counters has also increased. Ben Giese at the Shooter's Shop in Milwaukee said he called in extra sales staff to deal with the increase in business, "This is our busy season already you know we had concealed carry passed last year so there was that and then [President] Obama got elected and there was that and then there was Friday, so it all kind a snowballed into I need every person I can get."
Giese says the people who are buying guns from him now are motivated by both fear for the personal safety and fear of more gun control, "Over the last few shootings 'I've had a number of people in here who are first time buyers who have been buying because they felt they needed to protect themselves which has always been a personal responsibility. You know that's not the job of law enforcement. Lately it's been panic buying, would be a word, a lot of it's been reaction to increasing legislation."
Giese says the recent decision by the nationwide chain Dick's Sporting Goods to pull some military style assault weapons off its shelves is just a cheap publicity stunt, and Larry Gleasman who runs Grampa's Gun shop in Madison agrees, “There's literally dozens of different weapons that will do the same thing as those assault weapons would do. You can get rid of guns but hey a guy with a truck can kill the same number of people coming out of a University of Wisconsin football game as he can do with a gun."
Gleasman says guns aren't the problem it’s the mental health of the people doing the killing.