Of Gun Sales and the Election

posted on August 19, 2020
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Credit: Photo by Gage Skidmore courtesy of Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s no secret that gun sales have soared over the past six months, propelled by the uncertainty of the global coronavirus pandemic and subsequent unrest. More than 2.5 million Americans have become first-time gun owners, with a million more expected to join the ranks by November. 

A recent national poll conducted by Rasmussen determined that more than a quarter—27%—of Americans say that in the last six months a new gun has been added to their household. That fact speaks volumes, but it also begs the question: What affect will this swell of Second Amendment advocates have on the forthcoming election? 

Rasmussen’s survey also found that those supporting more gun-control legislation has dropped significantly—from 64% a year ago, to 52%. The survey results jibe with a separate poll recently consigned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which determined that, among likely voters in 18 battleground states, 57% said that a prohibition on AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles would be ineffectual in decreasing crime. 

That likely won’t sit well with the presumptive Biden-Harris presidential ticket, as the Democratic duo has long espoused an anti-gun agenda. 

Biden has minced no words when it comes to gun restrictions. He actually referred to firearms manufacturers as “the enemy.” His campaign website is filled with policy plans, as it relates to gun-control restrictions, ranging from “buying back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities,” to “reducing stockpiling of weapons,” to “ending the online sale of firearms and ammunition.” If need be, he has pledged to use executive actions to get his way. 

His running-mate, Kamala Harris, may be even more intent on taking away Americans’ guns. Harris is a former California attorney general and failed presidential candidate. The most-prominent part of her platform included an array of gun-control measures. She said on the campaign trail, and in interviews and debates, that she would demand that Congress draft gun-control bills to her liking within the first 100 days; otherwise, she said she would take matters into her own hands via executive actions.

When candidates vying for the most-esteemed role in the nation say they would take away a constitutionally-protected right from law-abiding citizens, it should give us all pause.

With millions of first-time gun owners this year, and with scores more likely to come over the next few months, it is evident that Americans value their freedom now more than ever. Even in the vehemently gun-prohibitive New York City, permit applications for firearms—even if many or most are ultimately rejected—are reported to have doubled since March.

Come November 3, this issue might prove to be the ultimate deal-breaker for Biden; if, that is, enough Americans realize their freedom is on the ballot.


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