Figured it was time for a slightly different discussion on the whole firearm issue. Rather than debate how/whether/should firearms be regulated, I wanted to see if anyone here was a part of the new demographic - post-disaster first time gun buyers. Previously, I linked in several gun discussion threads that in the last two years, first time gun owners have made a unusually high percentage of firearms purchased. This started (arguably) with the BLM unrest, but transitioned/evolved further with COVID, and now accelerates due to the media attention to recent mass shootings (too many to list). A simple NPR piece on the issue from earlier this year for context.
What is different here, and I’ll give a quote from the article above -
A 2020 survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for gun retailers, ranges and manufacturers that lobbies Congress, said gun shop owners reported 40% of customers were first-time gun buyers from January to April 2020.
Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the largest demographic increase was among nonwhite Americans.
“Today’s gun owner looks a lot less like me and looks a whole lot more like America,” Oliva, who is white, said.
Most often, the first-timers are purchasing a semiautomatic handgun, outpacing the second-most-purchased firearm, shotguns, by 2 to 1, according to NSSF.
Is that we’re now seeing a much broader spectrum of gun ownership - sure there are plenty of Proud Boy wannabees and urban warrior types, but we’re getting POC and other non-traditional groups purchasing handguns in large quantities.
And I won’t deny in the current climate, they have reason to be afraid. With the Government still (IMHO) handling the insurrectionists with kid gloves, the Republicans doubling down on the Trump brand, and voter suppression tactics at an all time high, they may feel that the future is looking more violent rather than less, regardless of who may be in federal office.
For myself, the answer is no. My family has the Israeli branch who have all served and have access to firearms, the ‘liberal’ branch who don’t see the need although they feel well-regulated guns are, like abortion, a personal choice, and the In-laws, which are (largely) pre-Trump style Republicans. The second group doesn’t own and hasn’t bought guns, and the third group has plenty, just worry about the ammunition shortage.
I personally have a decent sized collection of purchased and inherited weapons and saw no reason to get more but did have some of the knee-jerk reaction of “I need more ammo!” largely because it became nearly impossible to replace any you used to practice with.
So enough MPSIMS, I ask are you, or anyone close to you a part of this phenomenon?