One thing I didn’t count on President Obama to do was drive up gun sales. In comparison to any other national leaders, President Obama is the gun-owner’s hero. And why? Because he has inspired the most fear.
In 2008, fears that a weapons ban might come back under Democratic leadership drove gun enthusiasts into a spending frenzy. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted 97,848 firearms background checks on Nov. 28, 2008, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That’s the third-highest number of background checks ever recorded in a single day. The FBI conducted 12.7 million background checks during all of 2008, compared to 11.2 million the year before. Background checks have been climbing ever sense.
Just as in 2008, soon after President Obama was re-elected stock prices soared for gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger, and retailers like Cabela’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods. How could Governor Romney have ever declared that President Obama isn’t good for business?!
According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 47 percent of American adults keep at least one gun in their home or on their property. Every year, gun owners and gun users are responsible for roughly 30,000 deaths, more than half of which are suicide. Among Americans ages 15 to 24, firearms are the second most frequent cause of death overall.
What’s to be done? The answer begins with figuring out what to do with all the guns that already exist.
There are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in America owned (legally and illegally) by private citizens. On top of the guns that already exist, another 4 million enter the market each year. Even if the Second Amendment was reversed, it would be an organizational nightmare for the government to round up the 300 million guns that have already found a home.
Because of this, I see no near future where gun violence and gun sales are down. Laws don’t stop people; they just slow them down. Culture is the true gatekeeper; culture defines the collective mindset on what is and is not appropriate in a civilized society. Considering that we live in a civilized society that gobbles up guns after a Democrat is re-elected, I see no room on the national stage for a calm analysis of the Second Amendment.
Until fear is removed from the question: fear of authority, fear of taxes, fear of the enemy, etc., there is no room to expand the conversation beyond “should we have more or less guns?” American citizens shouldn’t only feel safe when armed. The more weapons we think we need, the less safe we feel.
So, to all you job hunters, if you are looking for an industry that’s not going away, answer the one true American calling: gun sales.
Gena Akers can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.