Opinion

There’s Nothing Depressing About Americans Buying Guns

|
Posted: Jul 10, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
There’s Nothing Depressing About Americans Buying Guns

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Just before our Independence Day celebration, British journalist Piers Morgan took to Twitter to complain about surging firearms sales here. 

He tweeted, “BREAKING: Just when you thought the news couldn't more depressing...8.3 million guns have been sold in the United States since March, meaning 2020 is on course to be the biggest year for gun sales in American history.”

Morgan, who once told Ben Shapiro our Constitution is a mere “little book,” isn’t the only one downplaying this incredible phenomenon. Gun control activists are touting a new UC-Davis study, absent of peer review and marked by faulty methodology, attributing historic numbers to “excess firearms purchases.”

What exactly is depressing about more Americans buying guns? How is responsible, law-abiding gun ownership “excessive”? 

It’s wonderful to see more people—especially first-time buyers who are women, younger, and people of color—purchasing firearms en masse. The Second Amendment, after all, is for all law-abiding Americans.

Gun Purchases Made By First-Time Buyers

Since March, gun sales have shattered records. After the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deemed the firearms manufacturing industry part of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” it would’ve been unwise to cease operations. In fact, a shortage of firearms available on the market is happening. This is a good problem for the industry to have!

It’s estimated 40 percent of recent gun purchases came exclusively from new, first-time buyers. In June, 2.3 million firearms were purchased—a 145 percent increase from the same time last year. 

Here in Virginia, even with our new anti-gun majorities in the General Assembly, residents are stockpiling in record numbers on account of COVID-19, increased violence, and efforts to defund the police.

Incredible!

‘Gun Control is Dead’ for a Generation 

On May 31st, Daily Mail White House Correspondent David Martosko tweeted “... America's gun control debate is *finished* for at least a generation. Over. Done.”

Elections could be decided by a new and powerful gun voting bloc, writes Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski. 

Gutowski noted, “The record-breaking gun sales during the coronavirus pandemic could bolster candidates that support the Second Amendment in 2020 and alter the course of American gun politics for the foreseeable future.”

But he cautioned readers to not assume every new gun owner is a single-issue voter. 

Not all Second Amendment activists are confident about the immediate effects of new gun owners on the 2020 election, though. Despite a reputation for being single-issue voters, gun owners come from a variety of political backgrounds. It is unlikely that every new gun owner will automatically equal a new vote for a pro-gun candidate, according to Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition.

"I think many new gun owners will carry their identity with them into the voting booth, but they’re far from monolithic, so I don’t see it as likely changing election results in 2020 much, if any," Combs told the Free Beacon.

The Importance of Getting Trained

As seasoned gun owners and firearms instructors can attest, it’s not enough to own firearms. Mere ownership must be supplemented with consistent and extensive training. 

Law-abiding gun owners, including concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders, exhibit no criminal tendencies. Reckless handling of firearms gives anti-gunners and confiscators ammunition to attack and disparage us. That’s why training, especially good training, is essential.

National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) Joe Bartozzi writes, “Guns are flying off the shelves these days, but at the same time the most important commodity in the firearms marketplace is free and invaluable: That’s responsible and safe firearm ownership.”

He also stressed the importance of safe storage of firearms through their Project ChildSafe® program:

The first consideration a gun purchaser must consider along with a gun purchase is safe home storage. Securing a gun when it’s not carried or in use is critical to reducing firearm accidents. It’s also easily accomplished with the free locking device that’s included by the manufacturer with each new gun. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe® program partners with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies and community partners to distribute free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock, contributing to the more than 100 million locking devices provided by industry to gun owners free of charge. 

Conclusion

Much to the chagrin of the Piers Morgans of the world, seeing gun stores cleared of inventory is a good thing. 

To all the new gun owners out there: Welcome to the family! We are thrilled to have you and hope you encourage others to join our ranks.