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Big Numbers

With millions more guns now on the streets of America, why has gun control become a fading issue for liberals?

Shelby Murdoc

The FBI released its monthly numbers for September background checks, and the 2.89 million new checks push the 2020 total to 28.82 million. That’s a new annual record by almost half a million, and this chaotic year has three months to go.

Compared to the previous six months of the pandemic, September’s numbers are actually a little low. March through August averaged 3.40 million, with a high of 3.93 million in June. Last month’s numbers are still a September record by more than 600,000, however, and it stands to reason that the limited availability of guns on shelves and the 20 million guns sold since March are going to reduce new purchases at some point.

President Obama has long been hailed as the “gun salesman of the century,” but it only took a few years and the combined efforts of a global pandemic, nation-wide rioting and looting by anarchists, and a presidential election to unseat him. When Obama was president, a 2 million check month was the exception, not the rule, but in 2020 we haven’t seen a month below 2.70 million.

As noted in this column previously, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has a strong gun control plan as a key part of his agenda, along with the suggestion that 911 responders use fewer police officers and more therapists to confront dangerous situations. Americans who realize that the police are minutes away when seconds count now must wonder if there will be any police arriving at all if Joe wins in November.

Additionally, Joe thinks that when cops confront dangerous criminals, they should “shoot them in the leg” instead of doing what it takes to stop the threat. Those whose lives are on the line don’t want police officers taking the time and effort to pull their punches against a dangerous threat, and those who are standing behind the target don’t want police taking less-accurate shots, increasing the risk to the innocent in order to protect the threat. This isn’t the first time Biden’s suggested shooting an attacker in the leg, either. There was significant pushback against the idea previously, so the fact that Biden brings it up again shows that he’s serious about it.

Citizens are watching the government’s flailing responses to the global pandemic and witnessing severe restrictions on freedoms and liberties in the name of public health. They are seeing their livelihoods being flushed down the drain by reactions to the pandemic. They are feeling the crunch as emergency orders meant for five weeks being extended for five more months with no end in sight. All the while, so-called “social justice” activities like mass demonstrations and protests—many of which devolve into violent riots—are given a free pass. You can’t go to church because it’s too dangerous, but your anarchist neighbors can march down the street, block traffic, and maybe smash some windows if they feel like it.

Meanwhile, the FBI also released a report that shows four times as many Americans were murdered by knives as by rifles in 2019. Despite this, gun control activists and politicians continue to try to push the idea that so-called “assault weapons” are somehow particularly dangerous and that banning them is of utmost importance. Joe Biden is proud of his support for the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban, and he insists that he aims to make a new, stronger, AWB permanent and get “weapons of war” off the streets forever. All of this, of course, ignores three simple facts. First, the ten-year 1994 ban did not have the slightest effect on gun crime. Second, despite non-stop misinformation from the anti-gun crowd, commercial ARs and other guns that would fall under the “assault weapon” category are NOT military-grade weapons of war. Finally, not only is there no Constitutional standing to ban the rifles included in such proposals, the intent of the Second Amendment obviously means for Americans to own military arms in the first place.

It’s not only longtime gun owners buying more guns these days. In September, Peter Smith, CEO of Smith & Wesson, estimated that about 40 percent of 2020 gun sales were to first-time gun buyers. That means more than 11 million guns are in the hands of Americans who didn’t own one before this year. Gun sellers are reporting that a significant number of the first-time buyers are women and minorities, further demonstrating that the surge in gun buying is not limited to the cliched “gun nut” who simply wants to expand his “arsenal.”

The political uncertainty ahead of what’s sure to be a crazy election season, combined with the pandemic and the civil unrest and calls for defunding the police, are waking more and more Americans up to the reasons that our nation’s founding fathers were adamant about the natural human right to keep and bear arms. This isn’t a political opinion or a marketing strategy. The numbers show that it’s the simple truth. No amount of spin can change the fact that Americans—who already own more guns than any other nation on the planet—are willing to spend a lot of their limited money on more. The threat of danger due to political strife, anarchist warfare, and global pandemic will do that.

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