Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Bodies Fell And More Guns Sell

Twenty 6 and 7 year old children are killed by a madman wielding an assault style semiautomatic rifle and one of the results is an increase in gun sales, gun makers’ stock prices and membership in the NRA. It seems that longer funeral procession lines from mass shootings generate even longer lines to buy more guns. We may have a problem.

Many say that the spike in guns sale and National Rifle Membership was spurred by the prospect of a looming potential ban on certain guns and a weakening of the second amendment, but that is a smokescreen. The real driving forces behind the perverse relationship between the almost cause effect relationship between mass shooting events and gun sales increase are greed, selfishness and opportunism. The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution has become nothing more than a marketing slogan for those wanting to continue buying their favorite hobby guns and the gun lobby working to keep the sales of guns at a bubble level. The truth is that the current gun sales environment is like the real estate bubble that took the economy down when it burst.

It seems that the gun lobby may have won as more school districts are deciding to arm some teachers and even janitors. A huge new market is opening for gun manufacturers based upon the utterances from the executive vice president of the NRA, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Those words and atmosphere of fear even have senior citizens that have never owned a gun before going to their local gun dealer to purchase a gun for the first time.

Think about the responses that the gun industry have when a mass shooting takes place anywhere in the country. Oh wait, what response have you heard from the manufacturers directly? What if products from other manufacturers were used to kill 20 children, would there not be a response directly from the manufacturers? Consider the NRA response to be the manufacturers’ response, buy more of our product to protect yourself from someone using our product. Isn’t that like someone arming both sides in a war that they are helping to prolong?

I have a gun that I have owned for over 30 years and it still works fine. Sanity is the real fear of the gun industry. We have well over 270 million guns in the United States and there are just fewer than 114 million households in the country. That means there are over 2.3 guns for every household in the country and not every household has a gun. If every household had one gun for protection and kept their gun as long as I have then there would be a far smaller firearms industry. Guns have undergone a transformation from useful tool to hobby item and now a campaign fueled by fear has created a new market of schools and senior citizens wanting to strap themselves with firearms because they fear a gun wielding madman may knock down their doors. The truth may be closer to what happened in New Mexico on January 20, 2013 when the teenage son in a family used two of the guns in the family home and killed the rest of his family. So are we protecting ourselves against the bad guy from without or arming the bad guy within our own midst.      

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