On Sunday, Banana Republican stopped by the Victor Bean's Southern Classic Gun & Knife Show at the Miami-Dade County youth fairgrounds to gauge the mood of Second Amendment acolytes in the wake of Barack Obama's announcement last week that he wants to clamp down on guns.
For all his blustering about stemming the flow of firearms in the land of the free and home of the brave, Obama has set off a nationwide gun buying frenzy. The gun show was packed with customers looking to arm themselves against the tyrannical Commander-In-Chief, who they claim is using the horrific tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to further erode Americans' rights. And by God, they will not let anyone, especially Obummer, take away their freedom!
Near the exit, two volunteers for the Republican Party of Florida didn't have much trouble persuading show goers to sign a petition protesting the 23 gun control measures Obama proposed last week. By 4 p.m. Sunday, 671 people had signed the petition. One of the gatherers, Maria Peiro, is a Miami public school teacher who doesn't want the federal government to disarm the people.
"I feel your right to defend yourself is being taken away," Piero says. "I know people are feeling overwhelmed because of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, but I feel the government is trying to scare people. They want us to believe that by banning a certain type of weapon we will stop these types of tragedies from occurring."
Obama wants to re-institute an assault rifle ban that was lifted under his predecessor, George W. Bush. Under Obama's measure, gun makers could no longer sell civilian semiautomatic AR-15 rifles and AK-47 rifles. But first, the president needs Congress to pass it.
Peiro believes Obama's proposals do nothing to stop criminals from getting guns. "There is nothing to address arms trafficking," she says. "What about criminals who are going to smuggle guns into the country? What is he doing about that?"
Leandro Travieso, a 20-year-old volunteer with Peiro, echoed her comments. "During the era of prohibition, the government's ban of alcohol gave rise to the mobs in Chicago and New York," says. "Today you have the cartels in Mexico controlling the drug trade into the U.S. because of the war on drugs. Now the cartels are going to be selling these guns Obama wants to ban in the black market."
Inside the show, exhibitors like George Corbato and Rafael Franco Sr. had sold out on virtually their entire inventory of AR-15s and magazine clips. Still, the two Miami-based gun sellers were not very enthusiastic about business being so good. They explained Obama has made it harder for them to find parts and ammunition for the firearms they manufacture.
Corbato, owner of Nebulous Ordinance, says he sells everything that is on the list Obama wants to ban. "It has done a lot of harm to the industry," he says. "I want to be part of the solution, but don't push me or the industry. This is our livelihood. We cannot find components to build anything."
What is available sells for an exorbitant amount of money, Corbato continues. "Some of the large distributors in the country have shut down their websites and they don't want to take new orders because they are backed up. The uncertainty is causing an inflated speculative panic."
That's not the worse part of Obama's plans, adds Franco, who owns Sabal Arms in Miami. "I am concerned about the freedom," he says. 'They are going to take the freedom away once they have control of the people with no weapons. That is why you see people in other countries throwing rocks at tanks. They have no weapons."
Even a college age freelance gun brokers were hating on Obama and his liberal cohorts in Congress, like U.S. Rep. Dianne Feinstein, who is authoring an assault rifle ban bill. "Feinstein is a joke because she's admitted to having a concealed weapons license," says 20-year-old Miami Lakes resident Eric Faden.
"The United States government was caught selling firearms to criminals in Mexico in the Fast and Furious case. It's really hypocritical that they want to disarm the American people and not themselves."
Sporting a Mod hairstyle and thin mustache, Faden looked like he should have been hanging out at Gramps in Wynwood. Instead, he was parading the halls of the Fuchs Pavillion, where the show was held, hawking an AK-47 strapped around his shoulder.
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Asked if he was taking advantage of Obama's scare campaign against guns, Faden replied, "what's the old saying? Buy low, sell high?"
His asking price: $1,100 to $1,200. He declined to say how much he paid for the rifle.
Follow Francisco Alvarado: @thefrankness.