It's tricky to bet on the stock market, but there's one business whose sales are easy to predict: Guns. In recent history, sales of guns tend to spike amid political discussion of gun control and after high-profile shootings. I called around to Portland gun dealers yesterday to see whether the national trend was holding true locally after Obama's announcement of his support for new gun control laws.

Indeed, the three Portland gun sellers I spoke with reported that a big increase in gun sales recently. Shaun Lacasse, manager of the Gun Room on SE Foster, says the shootings have had more of an impact on sales than the political debate. "Let me put it this way, since this stuff started a month ago, sales have been off the charts, people have been buying protection: hand guns," says Lacasse. While the store sold out "almost instantly" of most assault rifles and high capacity magazine cartridges that the new federal laws could ban, "The most popular gun is the concealable hand gun."

Under Oregon law, before any person can get a concealed hand gun permit, they are required to take a safety course. It's also one of the few states to require background checks at gun shows, though background checks for people buying guns in stores is voluntary.