How America’s deep rooted gun culture contributes to record sales amid the Covid-19 crisis.

As Americans struggle to cope with the angst surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the chilling trend of gun ownership has heightened. The United States gun culture and patronage to uphold the ‘right to keep and bear arms’ are prominent staples of this country. It’s no secret, the US loves its guns. However, in a time of such crisis, the proliferation of gun sales exposes the concealed reality of gun culture in America.

Covid-19 sparks an increase in gun sales

In March, over 3 million background checks were conducted, leading to record sales of gun purchases. It all makes sense when considering US history with gun possession. The nation issued stay-at-home mandate ordered the closing of most business and stores. As unemployment rises due to lack of work, lower waged workers are unable to afford their respected standards of living. This financial unpredictability leads to potential civil unrest (running out of supplies, fights over toilet paper, fear of riots). Hence the need to ‘protect oneself’ and purchase a firearm. However, the reported evidence of firearms as an actual method of protection tells a different story.

Are more guns actually going to ‘protect’ us?

Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey exposes the reality behind gun purchases and actual self-defense incidents. In fact, defensive gun use is reported less than 0.5 percent in recorded criminal acts. Guns are stolen far more frequently than they are used in criminal defense. This will lead to millions of unsecured guns in the hands of first-time users post Covid-19. Rise in unintentional shootings, suicide attempts and reported domestic abuse cases are all real possibilities. For a nation with an already problematic gun violence problem, more guns in the in more hands is a frightening reality. This unfortunately puts the country in a dangerous dilemma. Whether to purchase a gun for ‘protection’, but also fear the number of guns now openly circulating society.

The reality of gun culture in America

The United States has seen a massive transformation in private gun ownership within the last several decades. Previously, hunting/sports was the primary reason for purchasing a gun. However, recent studies now show more than 70% of gun owners now list self-defense as the primary reason. The massive increase in laws (both foreign and domestic) post 9/11, led to a shift in gun culture. The ‘right to bear arms’ is now a tribal issue. Owning a gun is the token of pride to claim what it means to be an ‘American’.  Having a firearm for ‘protection’ is part of the fabric of this nation. Self-proclaimed conservatives wear that pride on their sleeves, prepared to flaunt the second amendment as a form of justification. 

The root cause of this destructive cultural shift is not just popularity among right wing supporters, rather government sanctioned action. The NRA (National Rifle Association) maintains its dominating hand in pro-gun politics. Its regular contributions to both sides of the aisle, has ensured Congress’ inability to pass any sort of lasting gun control. Republicans are overwhelmingly in support of the NRA’s position as one of the most influential lobbying groups on Washington. From here, years of political support for gun rights over gun control has left firearm ownership as one of the most polarizing arguments. Despite the obvious public health concerns regarding mass shootings (gun violence) that already exist, the government consistently fails to grasp the severity of the issue.

Are gun retailers even ‘essential’ during this time?

The power of the NRA on the current administration became even more obvious as they successfully lobbied the Department of Homeland Security to include firearm retailers as essential businesses. In other words, gun manufacturers are just as important as grocery stores and pharmacies in one of the worst pandemics in recorded history. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NRA (and their public pro-republican support) was already facing massive tension from the gun-control movement. Having spent nearly 30 million dollars in electing Trump in 2016, 2020 was to be the year to silence the gun control movement again. It is no surprise the NRA is attempting to capitalize on this situation. Using this supposed ‘attack on the second amendment’ to push their hypocritical agenda at the expense of American lives.

What happens with these guns post Covid-19?

The massive influx of guns could potentially prove more danger than the virus even after the lock down has been lifted. Regardless of political affiliation, the US response to the pandemic has been lackluster and incomplete. If serious action was taken early on, mitigation or at least control would have been possible. The passive approach regarding gun control, approval of firearm sales during the poor response to the pandemic, and urgency to return to ‘business as usual’ despite public health, has uncovered the truth regarding guns in America.

5 thoughts on “Why are gun sales rising amid Covid-19 pandemic?”

  1. A well written article on the massive increase in gun sales and how this nation is being pulled apart thru NRA’s greedy agenda.

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