NICS background checks for individual firearm purchases in the US jumped 40% from 2019 to 2020. That number is evidence of a trend in the American firearms industry: more people are buying more guns. Why? Because the world is not getting safer. This trend is only going to continue, and there are three primary reasons from the last 2 years that explain why gun sales continue to increase:
- Cries to “Defund the Police”
- Municipal Leadership Soft on Crime
- Media Celebration of Riots, Looting, Destruction
These are the symptoms. The result is a new worldview that is only going to continue to grow: The world is not getting safer.
2020 Was an Anomaly, but the Trend is Not
The election year 2020 combined with the global covid 19 pandemic drove gun and ammo sales to historic levels. As you can see from the FBI graphic below (click here to see the larger version), NICS background checks in 2020 were up 40%, and 2021 was level with that number.
Those of us sitting in the front seat of the firearms industry had wondered if 2021 would be as crazy as 2020. It was different, but the results were the same. While the first quarter of 2022 has slowed a little, we don’t see the numbers going back to 2018 or 2019 levels. Not even close.
“Defund the Police”
This cry after the George Floyd incident only got stronger throughout 2020 and 2021. Some people are still screaming this mantra today, even after several major US cities did exactly that, only to see their crime numbers skyrocket. The City of San Francisco, the belly of the leftist beast, had until this year flat out refused to issue any weapons carry permits. None.
Now, because the Chief of Police and the City’s leadership are fighting over – wait for it – defunding the police, the Chief is issuing weapons carry permits just as fast as he can. If he has no police officers to curb crime in what used to be a beautiful city, he has decided to enable the citizens to protect themselves if they so choose to do so. He’s right. What would you do if you lived in such a city? Of course, we’re also seeing record numbers of people leaving California, but that’s a different discussion for another time.
Big Cities Soft on Crime
Atlanta is just like any other big city. Our former Mayor got on the wrong side of the City’s police force after the police rightfully shot and killed a criminal in a Wendy’s parking lot. She doubled down on her lack of support for the police, and in doing so enabled Atlanta’s criminal element to thrive. That’s why she’s no longer Mayor.
It is a common cry, mainly among liberal leaning individuals, that we as a society need to treat criminals better. Los Angeles has effectively legalized shoplifting, so long as you only steal $949 worth of merchandise. The result of municipal leaders heeding that cry is reduced sentencing – or no sentencing – for violent criminals. When there’s no disincentive to commit a crime, more criminals will commit more crimes. It’s not a complicated formula.
Combine “defund the police” with city leadership going soft on actual criminals, and you get another predictable “wait for it” result: more crime. Two reasons why gun sales continue to increase.
The Media Celebrated the 2020 Riots
Whether it was “CHAZ” in Portland, or riots in ______________ (name your big city) in the last two years, or CNN famously saying that some riots were “Fiery but mostly peaceful”, the media did its very best to bring positive attention to these riots. Some local governments – Seattle and Portland lead the list – actually fomented and supported these riots, offering such ridiculous excuses as “they need space to exercise their first amendment rights.” The media celebrated billions and billions of dollars of damage to government and private property, giving these criminals their 15 minutes of fame.
So what does a criminal do when they know the police won’t touch them, their sentence – if any – will be light, and they might get famous? More of the same.
The Result: The World is Not Getting Safer
SharpShooters is a gun store. We sell guns, ammo, accessories, range time, and firearms training. The trends we saw over the last two years are simple: more people bought more guns than ever. But within that trend, we saw, and continue to see, another trend:
Why? Because the big, tectonic, macro trend is this: the world is not getting safer. It’s getting more dangerous.
There’s no getting around that. The knee-jerk government policies in response to the pandemic only served to toss gallons of gasoline on that smoldering fire. Hence the spike in all things gun-related in 2020 and 2021. But when we look back at our foot traffic and sales numbers for 2018 and 2019, all we see is evidence that 2022 will be more like 2021 than it will be like 2019.
So What Do We Do?
Prepare. Prepare to defend yourself, your family, and your home.
The world is becoming less and less safe for the individual, especially if one lives in a large city. You must prepare to be your own first responder. That doesn’t mean only getting a gun and learning how and when to use it, but also learning first aid and emergency trauma care. No, you don’t have to get your MD, but do you know how to apply a tourniquet?
If you answered “uh…maybe” or anything similar, then you don’t. Do you have a first aid kit in your vehicle? That’s easy to solve.
Do you carry a weapon? That is about to get a little easier in the state of Georgia, thanks to the legislature and Gov. Kemp, who has promised to sign Constitutional Carry into law “soon”, making Georgia the 25th state to remove the requirement to pay for a permit in order to carry a firearm.
Finally, how are your self-defense skills? What will you do when you or your family are attacked?
The police will come when they are called, but in that 4 – 10 minutes until they arrive, it’s on you.