Photo: National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Here is an American scene the Democrats running for president would love to misconstrue.
On Monday, as thousands of Second Amendment supporters peacefully marched to defend their rights in Virginia’s capitol, many of the world’s private arms makers were gathered along a shooting range outside Las Vegas, Nevada. They are in Nevada for the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) and this is a chance to handle all of this product—much of it made in America—before the trade shows began.
Gunshots were pounding away in the foreground and background as a who’s who of the gun business tried the latest products. There was an excitement in the air, as the firearms business is booming in America as we move toward a presidential election.
Yes, booming. Background checks on gun purchases in the U.S. hit a record high in 2019. The FBI conducted 28,369,750 background checks, via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the vast majority on people interested in purchasing firearms in 2019. This is a 3% increase from the record 27,538,673 checks in 2016.
This continued trend means that Americans now own an estimated 423 million guns. This includes 17.7 million AR-15-type rifles that were produced in the U.S. or imported between 1990-2017, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Incredibly, about half of all rifles produced for the U.S. consumer market in 2017 were AR-15-type rifles—take that Michael Bloomberg and every other Democrat now running to be president.
These gun makers made 7,901,218 firearms for the U.S. market in 2017 alone (of these, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns). America’s ammo companies also made about 8.7 billion rounds of ammunition for the U.S. market in all calibers and gauges in 2018.
Each gun maker, at what is known as “Industry Day at the Range,” was set up under little tents with tables loaded with guns and employees ready to explain them. Crowds of writers, bloggers and TV show personalities were moving along the range as if it was a carnival, and it was, of sorts.
It’s the kind of show only found in America. It’s also the sort of thing the mainstream media both won’t show the public and doesn’t understand—or just doesn’t approve of, as all of the bang, bang, bangs of gunpowder up and down the range were a positive melody of freedom.
These people were having fun, just as people do on ranges and in rural backyards all over America every day. They had freedom’s tool—yes, guns—in their hands, the newest and latest in this case, and after they’d pulled a trigger they’d speak in tones of awe and admiration.
No doubt about it, this scene is and was representative of the big swath of American culture the mainstream media is loath to tell their audiences honestly about, as if they think they can somehow avoid normalizing something that is very, very normal.
Actually, anyone who takes a little time to understand gun-owning America quickly realizes why President Donald J. Trump’s attacks on “fake news” resonate so well with so many.
These gun industry leaders, after all, are no more scary than the five or more good citizens who drew their self-defense handguns in the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas to stop a murderer. They are normal, everyday good people.
And so, as I left this range looking forward to the SHOT Show, I knew this scene is representative of America, a place where freedom is still real even though it is under steady attack from Virginia to California.
I also know that the more the Democrats who are running for president demonize America’s gun owners—and thereby attempt to blame law-abiding citizens for the actions of criminals—the more they are telling people who cherish their freedom to vote for President Trump.