While the COVID-19 crisis has left most businesses reeling, gun sellers are an exception. Across the country, there are reports of customers waiting for hours just to reach the counter. Lines around the block at a California gun shop made headlines, and many dealers are saying the majority of those showing up are first time purchasers.
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It’s not hard to see why people would suddenly feel the need to pick up a weapon. After all, some jurisdictions have announced that they’re no longer arresting people, even for crimes like burglary. Others are releasing prisoners; Joshua J. Haskell was turned loose earlier this month due to fears that coronavirus would spread at his Utah halfway house. He’s since been accused of tying a woman up in her home.
The fact is that when the government stops working, criminals don’t. For some folks, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
People who were calling Virginia gun-owners “terrorists” two months ago or supported unconstitutional red flag laws are realizing that they just might need to protect themselves and their families. The same leftists who didn’t want you to have a gun now want one of their own. Unfortunately, they have some hurdles to clear.
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California has a 10 day waiting period for gun sales and severely restricts so-called assault weapons. Further, states like New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts all require a permit to purchase a firearm; thanks to the pandemic, those who apply can face a long wait.
And while New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of “low-level offenders,” its governor has suspended all firearm transfers in the state, arguing that “a safer society for my taste has fewer guns and not more guns.” However, he acknowledged that his security team won’t be giving up their weapons.
In fact, there's no proof that guns in hands of legal owners make society more dangerous. It certainly doesn't in Texas: of the over 1.3 million people who were licensed to carry there in 2018, only one was convicted of murder and another three were convicted of manslaughter. If they formed their own country, its murder rate would be 0.29 per one hundred thousand residents--far below the national average. On the other hand, you can find plenty of crimes that they've stopped.
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In contrast, criminals will themselves admit that the mere presence of a weapon can be enough to deter them. A survey of convicts funded by the Department of Justice found that 81 percent of respondents agreed, “A smart criminal always tries to find out if his potential victim is armed.” Another 74 percent concurred with the statement, “One reason burglars avoid houses when people are home is they fear being shot.”
If anything, the evidence suggests that a ban on gun sales is likely to make society more dangerous. Something else it's likely to do? Motivate liberals to call up their conservative friends.
In his 1995 autobiography, Charlton Heston recalled how during the LA riots, formerly anti-gun celebrities were suddenly trying to get around the law by asking to borrow one of his guns. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon, but if they don't, then requests like those are going to get a lot more frequent.
Dan Wos is a nationally recognized 2nd Amendment advocate who is the author of Good Gun Bad Guy and Good Gun Bad Guy 2. He also hosts a podcast called Good Gun Bad Guy Radio. Go behind the lies of the anti-gun radicals and find out what they hoped you would never know.