The gun industry is experiencing something of a golden age. More than 8 million people became first-time gun owners in 2020 alone. Driving the increase are women, who purchased 40 percent of those weapons.
Significantly, the new gun owners aren’t buying hunting rifles. They’re buying semi-automatic handguns for personal protection. The spike in violent crime across America has convinced fence-sitters on the gun control issue that maybe it’s time to stop listening to politicians who are enabling violent mobs to run wild in our city streets and think of their families and their own personal protection.
Not surprisingly, Gallup has reported a trend against gun control. Support for gun control peaked in the early 1990s when 78 percent of Americans supported “stricter gun control,” according to Gallup. As recently as 2018 after the Parkland school shooting, 67 percent of Americans supported stricter gun control.
Now, just 52 percent support stricter gun control measures with only 19 percent supporting a ban on all handguns. Majority or not, Democrats who promote gun control do so at their own political risk.
The number of homicides in the U.S. rose nearly 30% in 2020 from the prior year to 21,570, the largest single-year increase ever recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The violent-crime rate rose 5.2% last year compared with the previous year, while the property-crime rate dipped 8.1%, according to the FBI.
Gallup found that 88% of U.S. gun owners now say they own a gun to protect themselves against crime, up from two-thirds in 2005.
The “gun culture” — mocked and criticized by elites — is deeply embedded in American culture and the American consciousness. Gun control activists will argue endlessly about the meaning of a “well-regulated militia,” but as it stands now, the individual American’s right to keep and bear arms has been cemented into law. District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago have only confirmed the plain language found in the Second Amendment. If the Supreme Court invalidated those crucial decisions, there would be a legal earthquake larger than if the court invalidated Roe v. Wade.
Following a string of mass shootings this spring, President Biden called on Congress to pass sweeping new gun restrictions. They included an expansion of background checks for people seeking to buy guns and a ban on semiautomatic weapons with high-capacity magazines, such as AR-15-style rifles. He also ordered new rules for untraceable weapons known as ghost guns and arm braces used to steady AR-style pistols. Congress hasn’t passed any new gun laws.
The Gallup survey found that 31% of U.S. adults say they own a gun, a number that has remained little changed for more than a decade.
The number of federal background checks for gun purchases hit an all-time high in 2020 of 21 million, according to an analysis of federal data by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group.
As we’ve found, the radical left has infinite patience and will wait for the most opportune moment to strike — probably following another horrific mass casualty event. The temporary surge in support for stricter gun control will be eagerly pounced upon by the left as “proof” the American people don’t want guns in their towns.
But after the dust settles and reality sets in — the reality of violent criminals loose in our city streets — support for stricter laws will subside.