2020 has not been kind to the U.S., or the world for that matter. Multiple crisises have hit the country. The state of politic in the US is also in a divisive and downright strange place. With all of that said, could there be good news for those in the firearms community?
Waning Fear Tactics
The ways in which the mainstream media attempts to push control have always been wrought with misinformation. There has long been a sense in the gun community that people would see through to the truth if they simply looked into the facts of matter. However, much of the media is not interested in spreading the truth. They routinely paint the country as warzone with gun homicides as an ever-increasing threat. Their coverage of mass shootings has been particularly egregious. They can often make it sound as if schools are being attacked every other day, when these kinds of attacks actually make up a tiny amount of homicides. Of course, mass shootings have to be taken seriously. Lives are lost, and they deserve respect. The issue is that many in the media attempt to take advantage of our empathy to garner support for gun control. They also mischaracterize weapons, labeling them as “military grade assault weapons”, to conjure fear. They fail to explain the actual breakdown of firearms homicides.
The issue with a campaign built largely on propaganda is that it creates a house of cards. Looking behind the scenes at the actual data can quickly cause their vision of a country wrought by an epidemic of gun violence to crumble. As powerful as their campaign has been, this sets the stage for curious people to easily peek behind the curtain of propaganda. For those interested in learning about their second amendment rights, it is not hard to find the truth.
Millions of New Gun Owners
Data suggests that there have been roughly 5 million new gun owners this year. This seems to be connected to the sense of social unrest that has plagued the country this year. At the beginning of the year, the coronavirus caused a spike in purchases. Many feared that the coronavirus could disrupt American life and lead to shortages of food and other necessities. This led to panic buying by some and to gun purchases by others wanting to be prepared for anything. Then, protests erupted. Thousands of protesters lined the streets, and footage came out showing businesses being attacked by rioters. This added to fears of social unrest, and many felt like they needed to ensure that they could be protected. In addition to social unrest, we are in an election cycle. Biden has made his anti-gun stance clear. There is a real chance that he may become president, and many have a sense of wanting to purchase a gun before it is too late. All of these factors have led to the roughly 5 million new gun owners we have seen this year.
The idea that support for gun rights would strengthen on the right is not particularly surprising, but interestingly, support has been growing among many on the left.
The Pink Pistols are an organization that aims to empower members of the LGBTQ+ community by educating them on their gun rights. “Armed queers don’t get bashed” is one of their slogans. It empathizes a key point of the second amendment which is that when a group feels threatened by society, firearms can act as a great equalizer.
Many black Americans have also been rediscovering the usefulness of the second amendment. The history of gun control cannot be separated from racism. During the times of segregation and Jim Crow, black people had their gun rights limited in any way possible. Many understand that being able to defend oneself is necessary to preserving the rights of any group.
Where Do Things Go from Here?
Recent events notwithstanding, the data generally shows that support for increased gun control measures has been slowly increasing over the past few years. Some polling data suggests that support for tighter gun control rose to around 60% in 2019. As shoddy as arguments for gun control may be, there is no guarantee that everyone will see through it. It definitely seems that support for the second amendment is growing though. America has a rich gun culture, and there is no reason why it should only include members of one political party. The second amendment is incredibly important for all disenfranchised groups, and hopefully that message will continue to spread. It is not yet clear how significant the increase in support for gun rights has been this year, but it seems promising.
The best move for those concerned about their second amendment rights is to educate people. Offer to take your friends to a gun range. They may have never handled a gun in their lives, and the experience of shooting for the first time can be enlightening. Do what you can to calmly explain the usefulness of firearms. Education is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal.
©Jay Chambers. All rights reserved.