I am reminded of the story I heard right here in Houston after Obama's inauguration in January 2009. Academy, the hometown sporting goods store, was said to have sold more ammo between Obama's election and early spring 2009 than they'd sold during all of their years in business. Many Americans equate their personal safety with guns, sort of like buying car or household insurance. Better safe than sorry.
Krugman writes that he remembers the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton's election in 1992 that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And I remember the crowds, mob-like at the McCain Palin rallies, filled with a sense of hate and urgency, under girded by cold constant fear. For those crowds, guns seem to protect, perhaps kept the fear at bay?
I haven't turned on the television, but I know that the dialogue is 24/7 and there is a tremendous fight going on between the 'left and the right' about the true nature of this shoot-out. Seems everyone is fighting for their version of America.