Gun Sales Rise, Zombie Apocalypse to Blame?

Gun and ammunition sales have increased exponentially over the last 18 months or so, and according to many dealers and retail managers, the reason might not lie exclusively with our president and his potential gun-control efforts. It seems that a generous portion of buyers are preparing for Doomsday.

This is a banner year for end-of-the-world conspiracy theories. Not only do we have the Mayan-predicted global upheaval in December, but it appears that a whole different subset of Americans feel the need to arm themselves for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, an event that will pit the living against the undead.

Sparkly vampires and hedonistic werewolves are temporarily out of the spotlight. There's a new fascination in town, fueled by movies like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, and there are factions among us who believe that the brain-eating undead are more than figments of Hollywood's fertile imagination.

Some people believe that the end of the world will not take the lives of everyone on the planet, but will trigger the animation of the dead, who will then finish off the remaining population. Other theories are based off movies like Zombieland, in which a virus related to mad cow disease is responsible for turning people into zombies.

Whether doomsday comes as a result of rabid zombies or some other phenomenon, it appears that Americans believe they can forestall their own demise if they are sufficiently armed. Sales of guns, ammo, Tasers, knives, and other weapons have skyrocketed, and stock prices for firearms manufacturers have also increased.

It is possible that the rise in gun sales is a combination of several factors, including the fear that more restrictive gun laws will hamper Americans' abilities to obtain weapons in the future. Retailers are now selling ammunition by the case rather than just by the box, and many are overwhelmed by the demand.

According to ABC News, one gun manufacturer -- Storm, Ruger - was so overwhelmed by orders that it had to stop taking new ones. Its production teams could not keep up with the orders flowing in.

Now there are guns and related merchandise manufactured specifically for those who fear the inevitable rise of zombies. Guns with images of zombies on them, for example, have become increasingly popular. While these may seem like novelties to most of us, for others they are the last line of defense against the brain-starved risen dead.