When the Democratic Party and the establishment media overreached and pushed all manner of gun control in the wake of the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary (Dec. 14, 2012), something unexpected happened: Americans rejected more gun laws and purchased more guns.
To put it plainly, Americans embraced self-defense anew and chose a gun in the hand (or the purse) over another gun law on the books.
And here is one other fact the left will not enjoy—gun sales to minorities rose as well.Gun sales boomed and concealed-carry permit applications surged as well. And contrary to the left’s tired claims, the people buying these guns were not the same old, white men who already owned guns and were now expanding their collection. Sure, there were some old, white men buying guns, but there were also a lot of women—mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and young female professionals—buying them as well. And many of these women were getting their carry permits.
In fact, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) issued a July 2016 report showing that women acquired concealed carry permits at twice the rate of men during Barack Obama’s second term.
And here is one other fact the left will not enjoy—gun sales to minorities rose as well. And as with women, many of the minority individuals buying guns also got a concealed-carry permit.
According to CPRC, “The number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of men with permits.” The study also shows that there is evidence which “suggests that permit-holding is increasing about 75 percent more quickly among minorities than among whites.”
The study shows that concealed carry has risen 215 percent since 2007. And the number of permits “increased by 1.73 million” in 2015 alone, leaving the national total of permits at more than “14.5 million.”
In certain states, the surge in female concealed carry was breathtaking. For example, Washington state witnessed a nearly 62 percent increase in women with concealed-carry permits between January 2013 and April 2016.
Note: That surge began just weeks after the Sandy Hook attack (the hunger for self-defense is demonstrable).
And Americans' renewed hunger for self-defense has not abated. May 2016 through May 2017 witnessed the greatest ever one-year growth in the number of concealed-carry permits issued. The CPRC reported that the number of permits had surpassed 15 million nationally in May 2017.
Not surprisingly, background checks for retail gun sales absolutely exploded during the surge in concealed carry. Beginning May 2015, the monthly record for background checks was broken 19 months in a row. This means May 2015 witnessed more background checks than any May in history, June 2015 witnessed more background checks that any June in history, July 2015 witnessed more checks and so on, all the way through November 2016.
Beginning May 2015, the monthly record for background checks was broken 19 months in row.According to the FBI, there were 24.7 million background checks conducted between Jan. 1, 2016, and Nov. 30, 2016, alone. This means the number of background checks conducted in the first 11 months of 2016 surpassed every previous record for the number of checks conducted in a full year.
Again—the hunger for self-defense is demonstrable.
While gun sales were booming, concealed carry surging and background checks skyrocketing, Americans around the country began realizing that the high-profile shootings relentlessly politicized by the establishment media are—nearly every time—taking place in gun-free zones. Criminals are picking places where they know their would-be targets cannot return fire. This realization has done two things: 1. Bolstered the desire to be armed for self-defense at all times and in all places; and 2. Undermined the left’s tired claims that gun bans (or more gun control) translate into safety.
Were the people in the gun-free Pulse nightclub in Orlando safe? (June, 12, 2016) How about the people in the gun-free county building in San Bernardino? (Dec. 2, 2015) The students at gun-free Umpqua Community College? (Oct. 1, 2015) The movie-goers at the Aurora theater? (July 20, 2012) The students at gun-free Virginia Tech? (April 6, 2007).
Sadly, the list goes on. It is a list of attacks that occur in places where Americans are denied their unalienable, God-given right to self-defense.
Americans want to be able to defend their lives; they know their safety is literally in their own hands. These things are demonstrable.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.