COVID-19 caused unprecedented changes in American society, including an increase in gun ownership. A report by The Trace, an independent news organization that tracks gun violence in the United States, shows that one-fifth of U.S. homes purchased guns during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in 15 million Americans having firearms for the first time.
Americans bought nearly 60 million firearms between 2020 and 2022. Sales were about double what they were 15 or 20 years ago. In a NORC survey, it was also found that 18% of households bought firearms between March 2020 to March 2022.
The shift in gun ownership from rifles to semiautomatics is notable. These guns are now kept on bedside tables or in glove compartments. They can also be carried around. This shift in gun ownership is a reflection of a growing desire for self-defense, personal protection, and a sense of security during this time when there are fears and uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Many Americans, especially first-time gun buyers, purchased guns to protect their families and themselves against perceived threats of home invasions or other forms of violence at a time they felt vulnerable.
According to the NORC study, this shift toward personal protection was evident by the fact that women, people of color, and renters were more likely than men to buy during the pandemic. It is possible that the increased crime rates during the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd were also a factor.
Hill’s analysis of The Trace data suggested that gun ownership had contributed to an increase in gun deaths over the same period.
John Roman, a senior fellow at NORC, an independent research group at the University of Chicago, said, “It is a completely different type of gun possession now.” It’s not just a rifle that you keep in a cupboard and only use twice a year for hunting. It’s probably a semiautomatic pistol that you store in your glove box or bedside table, or maybe even carry with you.
The article did not provide any evidence to support the claim that gun violence has increased due to an increase in the number of legal gun purchases. This claim is undermined by the fact that most gun-related homicides occur among individuals who have illegally obtained their firearms.
The anti-gunners lobby would be in a rage if they heard this news. They are desperately trying to convince Americans to not arm themselves. This is good news for those who know that government can’t save them when they are in danger.
Millions of Americans have exercised their Second Amendment rights during this pandemic. Increased gun sales reflect the exercise of constitutional rights by Americans who purchase firearms to satisfy various needs, such as self-defense, recreational shooting, and collection. The increase in gun sales serves to remind us of the importance and freedom of individuals and their right to choose about personal security and safety.
The increase in gun ownership has led to an increased diversity of gun owners. As we mentioned, women, people of color, and renters were more likely than men to buy their first gun during the pandemic.
The fact that there are now a variety of guns available challenges the stereotypes about gun ownership being limited to white men from the South, who drank Bud Light. In fact, I am a black male who would never drink that disgusting swill. I also became a gun owner for the first time during this period. This data reflects an overall change in attitudes toward gun ownership.
The increase in gun ownership has also increased awareness about mental health, and the importance of proper training and education regarding firearm safety. First-time gun purchasers recognized the importance to receive training and education about safe handling, storage, and use of firearms. The increased awareness about firearm safety and the link between mental health issues and gun ownership could lead to responsible gun ownership and prevent tragic gun incidents.
This development reflects an important shift in mentality, which I believe is the most significant part. This shows that people are becoming more aware that they can’t rely on their state to protect them. They are now taking charge of their lives. They have changed their mind about the role of government in this particular area. Perhaps this will cause more Americans to reconsider their trust in government in other areas.