The NRA is at it again with another one of their dark dystopian commercials that seem to advocate for civil war. I am not going to do their work for them by posting it here (you can find it yourself if interested). Several people claim that the NRAs real goal is to actually not try to scare the left and anybody on the right who doesn’t feel like they have enough guns to increase gun sales. So I did a little digging into this possibility. We all know that gun sales rose under Obama, with false claims about how he was going to take our guns, but I had know idea how much. Below is FBI data on the number of background checks performed. While this doesn’t translate directly into gun sales themselves, the number of checks certainly is correlated.
You might have to click on the image to get a better view. What I thought was interesting was that despite violent crime per capita peaking in the early 90s and declining steadily since, the number of background checks (for as far as the data goes back) seems reasonably steady, in fact falling slightly until 2005. What changed then? This was during the Bush presidency, certainly nobody was suggesting G.W. Bush was going to take away guns, so I did a little more digging and found this article in Forbes. From the article:
“Over 50 firearms-related companies have given at least $14.8 million to NRA according to its list for a donor program that began in 2005. That was the year NRA lobbyists helped get a federal law passed that limits liability claims against gun makers. Former NRA President Sandy Froman wrote that it “saved the American gun industry from bankruptcy,” according to Bloomberg.”
The NRA appears to have been riding a wave to more and more gun sales since. By the end of the Obama Presidency, background checks had increased by 300% from pre-2005 values. It was just kind of a “holy shit” moment for me, so I thought I’d share. Since Trump has been elected, the number of background checks seems on pace for about 10%-20% reduction by the end of the year. It seems all the rich gun manufacturers want to keep getting richer, and the best way to do that is for them to market fear. And that is what they have done steadily in the US for well over a decade. Whatever your stance on the second amendment this should frighten you more. Unfortunately for many the fear they feel is an imagined one.