Sudden changes in America — the coronavirus pandemic, financial turmoil and continual social unrest — appear to have prompted one particular sector of both public interest and the economy.
Gun buyers flocked to gun shops in early spring; some 6 million guns were sold during between March and May, according to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, an industry source which based its estimates on FBI background check data.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation now says that 40% of those purchases were made by first-time gun buyers — some 2 million people — who lined up to purchase a firearm. The organization based that percentage on their own survey of retailers.
There are political implications here.
“The record-breaking gun sales during the coronavirus pandemic could bolster candidates that support the Second Amendment in 2020 and alter the course of American gun politics for the foreseeable future,” writes Stephen Gutowski, a staff writer for The Washington Free Beacon.
“Several of the country’s leading gun-rights groups are working to convert many more first-time owners into new gun-rights voters in the run-up to the 2020 election,” he says.
Mr. Gutowski also notes that Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, is convinced that such efforts to organize this demographic could alter the political landscape at the local, state, and national levels.
“The National Rifle Association believes voters who recently purchased guns for self-defense will join other Second Amendment voters and be an even more formidable voting bloc. They’re educated, passionate, and they know anti-gun politicians are the biggest threat to their fundamental right to self-defense,” Ms. Hunter told The Free Beacon.
“We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, also advised the Beacon.
The trend will no doubt be addressed in September during the three-day Gun Rights Policy Conference, organized by the aforementioned Second Amendment Foundation and featuring 80 grassroots advocates, authors, analysts and grassroots representatives.
MEANWHILE IN NEW YORK
Unsettling news from the Big Apple just keeps piling up.
“There have been 112 victims in 83 shootings over a nine-day period ending Saturday, according to police. Most of those shot were expected to survive, but at least six people have died in the past week and others suffered serious or critical injuries,” reports WINS 1010, a New York City-based all-news AM radio station.
As of Saturday, the New York City Police Department said there have been 503 shooting incidents with 605 victims.
“Amid calls to defund the police ahead of the June 30 deadline for the city budget, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said last week that the city’s homicide rate had hit a 5-year high and that the criminal justice system was ‘imploding.’ The number of people shot has risen 42% compared to last year,” the stations said.
“It has just been ridiculous how it has taken place, because we saw a serious decline over a five -ear period and we have working relationships to work with our police department with their community policing. Now look at what we’re faced with. I have not seen anything like this in my entire life living here in New York,” Brooklyn community advocate Tony Herbert told the station.
According to the New York Post, 272 uniformed officers have filed for retirement since late May, compared to 183 officers at this time last year — a nearly 50% spike in such activities.
“The city seems not only to be increasingly out of control, but to be led by ‘authorities’ who don’t care (or dare) to restore basic order. New York has recovered from far worse — but only after choosing leadership committed to putting public safety first,” notes a New York Post editorial Monday.
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
“Share of Minnesota COVID cases among young adults has risen sharply. Is it because of the protests?” asks a HotAir.com headline.
Critics of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden have suggested his frequent gaffes and confusing statements suggest he might have dementia. Is the possibility worth a formal mention from the candidate? Maybe.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday, 61% of all likely U.S. voters believe it is “important” for Mr. Biden to address the dementia issue publicly — with 41% who say it is “very important.”
Fifty-one percent of both Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree with this idea, along with 81% of Republicans. Another 36% overall say it is not important for the Democratic presidential nominee to speak out on the issue.
The survey also revealed another, more basic opinion. A minority of the voting public — 38% — think Mr. Biden is suffering from some form of dementia; 48% disagree, but 14% are not sure.
The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted June 25-28.
MEME OF THE MOMENT
Phrases and observations come and go across Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets — appearing as a simple words-only meme on a plain background. Here’s one now in circulation:
“I bet aliens ride past Earth and lock their doors.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 58% of the world’s populations believe their own nation is “on the wrong track.”
• 47% say coronavirus is a “chief worry” in their country.
• 42% cite unemployment, 31% cite poverty and social inequality.
• 26% cite “financial or political corruption.”
• 23% cite the state of their nation’s health care.
Source: An IPSOS poll of 18,505 adults in 27 countries conducted FROM May 22 to June 5 and released Friday. The poll was taken in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.