Anyone who has watched the news in the past few years can tell that Americans have a deep love-hate relationship with guns. Since our founding, guns have been a symbol of nationalistic pride and self-defense.
According to the constitution, our right to bear arms will not be infringed. The Founding Fathers believed there may come a time when every man will have to defend what’s his, even from his own government.
But, if you were to ask an anti-gun activist, those rules no longer apply while living in a modern, civilized society. After every mass shooting incident or tragedy that rocks our country, the calls for stricter gun reform and even a full ban of certain weapons grows stronger.
Yet, despite the cries from the anti-gun lobbies, there’s always one thing a national tragedy never fails to do: spike gun sales.
There’s a major gulf between both sides politically. As they appear to play tug of war with each other, there’s a real fear that the U.S. will go the way of Australia and other countries that gave up their weapons years ago after mass shootings.
The problem is, those other countries aren’t the United States. They don’t have a historical culture that revolves around guns. They don’t have a constitution that personally guarantees them the right to carry. And so, the debate continues.
Guns by the Numbers
Statistics show that there are 114 guns per 100 people in the U.S. It’s difficult to give an exact number on how many guns are out there, but it definitely outnumbers the current population. There are certain events we can look at to see what drove gun sales, and it goes back to fear.
For example, we saw a surge in gun ownership after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. This event is what pushed gun sales far above the population at the time. Fear that his anti-gun agenda would eventually be fulfilled drove gun sales by the millions.
After Sandy Hook, gun sales broke historic trends and rose by about 3 million after the months that followed the tragedy. These same types of numbers can be seen after every tragedy that hits the country.
It’s not just the purchase of guns that skyrocket, but also the number of permits to carry and the stocks of gun manufacturers.
After the Las Vegas and Pulse nightclub shootings, stocks rose significantly for most of the top gun companies out there. NRA memberships soar.
Whether you consider it patriotic duty, defending your rights to freedom, or pure lunacy, there’s no doubt that Americans love their guns. And when fear drives them, they decide to weapon up to protect themselves and their families at any cost.
No one has all the answers to solving the mass murder crisis that seems to be plaguing our schools, churches, nightclubs, and streets, but the solution at present seems non-existent. This deeply divisive issue threatens only to continue to divide us further.