One of the more interesting aspects of covering firearms-related news is the volume of data that is out there showing consistent record growth.
Some of that is hard, quantifiable data, such as the statistics showing that firearms manufacturing has roughly tripled since President Obama took office, and doubled from 2010-2013.
The shooting sports industry is seeing not just record sales growth, but growth with incredible staying power. There hasn’t been the expected surge and then crash many expected post-Sandy Hook. There was a tremendous surge, and then sales of nearly everything have remained near peak levels. From firearms to ammunition to holsters, slings, optics and other accessories, there now appears to be a “new normal” median level of consumption, though we’ve not be able to peg precisely what that new normal is just yet as we don’t yet know what that carrying capacity might be.
But what do we know beyond this apparently across-the-board, record-setting sales surge? After all, supporters of gun control are attempting to claim that while sales are up, gun ownership is actually down (PDF).
Well, we know that the number of women shooting has more than doubled in the decade from 2001-2011, and there is good reason to believe that number of women picking up firearms has only accelerated in the past four years since then. We know that the wider culture is much more respecting of Second Amendment rights. In minority communities, the number of blacks who agreed with the statement, “gun ownership does more to protect people than endanger personal safety” is at 54%, a figure which nearly doubled from 2012.
We’re seeing the number of indoor and outdoor ranges, both public and private, growing to meet the demand for more firing line space. We’re even seeing a new kind of range being developed to cater to emerging, upwardly-mobile urban shooting markets. These upscale, multi-million dollar “guntry clubs” are popping up around the nation.
Firearms instruction is also noting significant growth across the nation. Concealed carry courses, basic gun safety, and basic handgun courses are among the most popular, but we’re also seeing a significant growth in interest for more advanced courses. Everything from defensive handgun training to carbine (modern sporting rifle) training, to defensive shotgun, and precision rifle.
Tactical team training, while still relatively a small “boutique” niche, is becoming increasingly popular as well, as citizens pony up hundreds to thousands of dollars to take classes with their friends, families, and prepper groups to form fire teams and even rifle squads capable of executing light infantry maneuvers.
The “well-regulated” militia—meaning, a militia in proper working order—is alive and well and growing in the United States, as all the arms, ammunition, and accouterments of the “modern militiamen” continue to sell to an ever larger number of citizens.
And yet, you keep seeing gun control groups and their allies in the media bitterly clinging to their “religion,” and by that, I mean the outdated General Social Survey (GSS), which is the only document I’m aware of that incredibly attempts to assert against all available data that the number of gun owners in the United States is somehow declining.
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