America’s 1st Freedom | Tendency towards freedom
MArk Twain noted a big truth when he repeated the quote (now often attributed to him) that “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics,” but obvious trends are another matter. And American gun ownership is all the rage.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 10 million Americans have become new gun owners. This figure is based on surveys by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which estimates that 8.4 million Americans purchased their first guns in 2020 alone, and likely sales based on verification data from antecedents. To put this stat in perspective, know that since surveys and other data have long indicated that there are more than 100 million gun owners in the United States, the number of armed citizens has increased by maybe 10% in the last two years alone.
Regardless of the exact number of new gun owners, gun ownership tends to rise despite heavy-handed attempts by the mainstream media to steer Americans away from that part of their freedom.
The number of homicides in the United States also increased by nearly 30% in 2020. This appalling increase in the most violent crimes was in fact the largest single-year increase ever recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). . Meanwhile, the overall violent crime rate in the United States increased by 5.2% in 2020, compared to 2019.
Some have, of course, attempted to blame this increase in violence on legal gun owners in the United States. But the number one reason people give for buying guns is personal protection from criminals that drives up those violent crime statistics. And data from government agencies has repeatedly shown that violent criminals almost exclusively use illegally owned and obtained firearms.
Polls tell the real story
Last November, Gallup gave us an indication of how the gun ownership trend might influence voters. The Gallup poll showed support for tougher gun control measures had fallen to its lowest level in years. The October 2021 survey found that 52% of American adults say they want tougher gun sales laws, up from 67% in 2018. The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who support the ban on handgun ownership dropped to 19%, the lowest rate ever recorded by Gallup – in 1959, when Gallup first asked this question, 60% of respondents said that they thought only the police should be able to carry handguns.
Gallup also found that 88% of gun owners in the United States report owning a gun for self-protection; this is about two-thirds in 2005, and is consistent with data from the NSSF survey of why a majority of people say they buy guns.
People who have recently decided to embrace their Second Amendment rights are clearly reacting to the civil unrest that took place in 2020. Another reason is President Joe Biden’s (D) plea to ban guns and further restrict rights. of the second amendment of law-abiding citizens. These appear to be the main factors explaining why the number of federal background checks for gun purchases hit an all-time high of 21 million in 2020, according to the NSSF.
It should also be noted that gun sales have for the most part increased over the past two plus decades because, to name but two other factors, licensing “must issue” and, more recently, legislation constitutional law on portage have spread, making it easier for citizens to exercise this constitutional right.
This trend affects elections
Election results last November in Virginia and New Jersey also highlight these trends, as candidates who opposed Second Amendment freedoms did not fare well. A closer look at Gallup data shows why, as only 14% of self-declared political independents said they want to ban handguns.
The desire to protect their Second Amendment rights may not be a central issue for all or even most new gun owners, but it has certainly become a factor for some of them. Common sense tells us that new gun owners are at least more likely to react negatively to a candidate who says they want their guns retired. In a tight race, in which a margin of just one or two percent of the vote counts, new gun owners can move an election.
Consider how former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) said he wanted popular semi-automatic rifles banned, and he lost – a 1.5% change in this election would have done it new governor. The Second Amendment was not treated as a central issue in this election, but given all the attention the issue received a year prior, when the then Governor. Ralph Northam (D) and the state legislature attacked the rights of law-abiding citizens, but it must have been a factor for Virginians at the polls nonetheless.
Perhaps this growth in gun ownership will help make the Second Amendment a nonpartisan issue again. Admittedly, state or district politicians who sometimes tip over must now be aware that taking a stand against this constitutional freedom could cost them dearly.
This appeared in the February 2022 issue of America’s 1st Freedom.