Right to Bear Arms – Will It Survive Current US Atmosphere
By Jay Chambers
Publishers note: Please join me in welcoming Jay Chambers from Minutemanreveiw.com as a new contributor to The Liberty Coalition Blog. This is his first article. Please note, as with any contributor, Jay is entitled to his own opinions and is neither required nor expected to reflect mine or anyone else’s
As gun owners, we always feel on the defensive when it comes to our second amendment rights. We are used to the barrage of attacks that come our way, and we are used to standing up to them. So far, our rights mostly remain intact. However, it is still hard to refrain from imagining what the future may bring.
There has been a consistent feeling among many on the left that the US is behind the times when it comes to gun control. They look at other countries in Europe with lower homicide rates and attribute that to their more restrictive gun policies. Many gun owners will be aware that the breakdown of gun deaths reveals a different story. Roughly 60% of gun deaths in the US come from suicide. In this case, it is not guns that are the issue. The issue is people who are suffering enough to consider suicide. When it comes to murder, gun deaths are split between everything from police shootings to gang violence. On these issues, gun control rarely offers a solution, and the “scary black rifles” the media tends to go after do not make up much of the weapons used in shooting deaths.
However, unless people are willing to look into these numbers, the argument is convincing. People have empathy, and they want to see violence end. Simply banning firearms sounds like an easy way to curb gun deaths to many. A cursory glance at the platforms of many politicians, including the Democratic nominee Joe Biden, shows that banning certain types of firearms and limiting gun rights in other ways is near the top of their platforms.
Beyond the federal level, there is always the possibility of individual states going the way of California on firearms. As unconstitutional as it may be, restricting gun rights is always a bill and an executive signing away.
Not All Doom and Gloom
For a start, there are still millions of Americans who care deeply about their gun rights
However, the politicization of gun rights restricts its value. All Americans have the rights to defend themselves. No group of people does not deserve to be protected. There has been evidence lately that many left -leaning Americans have been changing their minds on gun control. Data collected over the past year shows a large percentage of gun buyers have been first-time gun buyers.
This seems to largely be a response to the many crises of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic started the year off with a bang. Toilet paper flew of the shelves. Meat became hard to find. Shelves in stores were no longer guaranteed to have fresh vegetables. This scared people, and not without reason. People were faced with a situation in which food and other basic necessities were not guaranteed. Throw in the uncertainty of how the pandemic would play out, and people were drawn to gun stores. Some were worried about potential rioting over food. Some were interested in being able to hunt for themselves. Many Asians felt that they needed to be able to defend themselves with the bigotry they had directed towards them over the virus’ place of origin. Then, the tragic death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots across the country. Many business owners and other people felt the need to gain a way to protect themselves. At the same time, the slogan “armed minorities are harder to oppress” rang true for many.
Through all the tragedy of 2020, many found a new appreciation for the Second Amendment. According to a study by the NSSF, roughly 67% of gun buyers this year were purchasing a gun for the first time. In most years, this number hovers around 25%. Along with that, around 40% of them were women, and around 58% of the first-time gun buyers were African American. Many of them bought modern sporting rifles, like AR-15s, and many bought shotguns and handguns built for home defense to keep them and those they love protected. These are groups which, demographically, tend to lean left and tend to be underrepresented among gun owners. This signals a shift that may be larger than is currently seen among these groups. For a start, anytime the right to bear arms is expressed by more Americans, the country is helped. On the political side, the gun rights side may be growing its numbers.
Will It Survive?
It is impossible to predict the future. Will another mass shooting spur a reactionary movement to ban firearms? Will the influx of new gun owners change the way the Democratic votership views firearms? Will things simply remain stable for the foreseeable future? These all seem possible, but the US has a rich history of enfranchising people with rights. The optimistic side suggests that the outlook for the Second Amendment may be positive in the coming years.
Jay is a pro free speech business owner based in Austin, Texas. Having lived through several natural disasters and more than a few man-made ones (hello 2008), he believes that resilience and self-sufficiency are essential in this increasingly unpredictable world. That’s why he started a business! Jay writes over at Minuteman Review.