While economic and political uncertainty is sweeping across the United States like a swift Santa Ana wind, Americans are seemingly finding certainty in their guns. According to a recent Vancouver Sun article, firearms and ammunition sales are up 10 percent in the US this year. Many are attributing the increase to two factors—concerns about the economy and a fear that President Barack Obama will join with his Democrat colleagues to enact new gun controls.
Apparently, in the "best "country in the world, a worsening economy fuels fear of crime and civil disorder. And when fear strikes might as well grab a gun. Seems easier than trying to rationalize the fear.
One customer at a gun shop in Virginia sees the world this way: “People are preparing for catastrophe right now…it’s [guns] insurance. With the stock market crash and people out of work, and the illegal aliens, the probability of civil disorder is very high.”
This guy probably didn’t hear about the recent study that concluded that when people are unable to deal with uncertainty and chaos in their lives they start developing conspiracy theories.
A gun shop owner in Hagerstown, (now that sounds like tough town) Maryland said of the political and economic situation: “It’s common sense. People are scared.”
In 2005, more than 30,000 Americans died from fire-arm related deaths. That’s 10 times more than died in the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, and in just two years that number would eclipse the total number of Americans that died in the entire 11 year Vietnam War. And they have memorials for those two significant events in American history, and yet there isn’t a memorial for the tens of thousands of Americans killed each year unnecessarily by guns. While 30,000 Americans will meet their fate at the end of gun barrel, more than 70,000 will be injured because of firearms. And Americans are seemingly okay with this.
More than 3,000 children are killed each year by gunfire. It may not sound like a lot, but imagine for a moment if that was your child. It’s probably not surprising then that in the same section of paper that highlighted increased gun sales, there was an equally disturbing article about an eight year old boy, who died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi submachine gun, while at a gun show, and apparently under adult supervision. An eight year old boy belongs at the park, not at a gun show.
The logic, or illogic, is that one carries a gun for protection. I suppose if you whip yourself into a frenzied state of fear, then you anything will seem logical, but I remember Dear Abby writing a column once that suggested that if a criminal wants to use a gun to commit a crime they will use the element of surprise. This means that you will have no time to reach into your purse or glove box, or bedside table for your gun. In fact, you’re more likely to kill some kid going door to door looking for treats as happened to one young boy in Texas on Halloween a few years back.
The notion that it is an American right to carry a gun is utter nonsense. The founders of the United States would be horrified to see what has become of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. One former Chief Justice calls it one of the misinterpretation one the biggest frauds in America. Others have called gun violence in the United States a shameful epidemic.
And while there are many gun control advocates, little will change because guns and firearms have become ingrained in the national psyche of Americans. Not unlike the health care debate in Canada. It’s tough to have objective dialogue about an issue when it becomes wrapped up in one's national identity. A shame really, because more people will continue to lose their lives needlessly.