Since March, we’ve seen a new monthly record for NICS checks set every four weeks or so, and on Monday, when the FBI released its background check numbers for August, the trend continued. The 3.1 million checks performed by the FBI in August was down from July’s total of 3.6 million, but still set a new record for the month.
If you’re a gun control activist, how on earth do you spin these numbers? The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that more than 5-million Americans have become gun owners this year, demand is sky high, and there are also hundreds of thousands of Americans who’d like to join in the gun-buying frenzy but can’t because of long delays with gun licensing in several anti-gun states.
Everytown for Gun Safety tried their best to put a doom-and-gloom spin on the background check numbers, claiming that the polls are still on their side.
“With protestors being shot in the streets and gun violence on the rise, more guns is not the recipe for public safety,” said Nick Suplina, managing director of law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Fortunately, polls show this jump in sales leads more Americans to support common sense gun safety laws, which is bad news for every 2020 candidate who is still taking orders from the gun lobby, starting with President Trump.”
Polls show more Americans support gun control than they did a few months ago? Not according to this Rasmussen Poll from mid-August, which shows support for new gun laws cratering. Last August, Rasmussen found nearly 2/3rds of poll respondents agreed with the idea that more gun laws are needed. This August it had dropped 12 points to 54%. Still a majority, but a bare one, and the numbers are falling fast.
“Gun sales have been surging since the pandemic began, so it’s impossible to identify the exact reason for this month’s sales,” said Rob Wilcox, deputy director of policy and strategy at Everytown. “But it is clear that President Trump and gun companies are recklessly fear mongering every day, which is dangerous and wrong at a time when the threat of gun violence is on the rise and hospitals are overflowing with patients.”
Oh, I think we know why gun sales are still at record highs. Increasing amounts of political violence for one. When you’ve got mobs destroying businesses and threatening people’s lives, it tends to make folks think a little more about their own personal safety.
Then there’s the rise in violent crime in cities across the country, with shootings and homicides soaring in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland, and many others. It’s not fear mongering to point that out, and it’s deliciously ironic that Everytown’s Wilcox engages in some fear mongering of his own by claiming that hospitals are “overflowing with patients.” Where exactly is that happening at the moment? We’re actually seeing the opposite right now, with hospitals reporting improved capacity compared to the past few months.
For an organization that claims to have no issue with the Second Amendment, Everytown really seems to have a problem with Americans exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Though the group is supposedly all about “gun safety” instead of gun control, Everytown’s press release on the August NICS numbers doesn’t even mention firearms training, just hand-wringing over the idea that millions of new gun owners have embraced their Second Amendment rights.