In what may very well be the dumbest editorial of 2020, the Charlotte News & Observer is claiming that Donald Trump’s “fake fear” is what’s caused gun sales to soar to record highs. No, seriously.
Firearm sales surged when the pandemic forced a shutdown in March. Now sales are rising again as President Trump warns of U.S. cities being overrun by looting mobs while police are left helpless to respond for lack of funding and respect.
Trump’s appeal to fear is a desperate fiction peddled by a trailing candidate who wants to shift the subject from his abject failure to respond to the pandemic. But it’s having an effect that’s as real as a bullet.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we pick apart the wild accusations on the part of the News & Observer editorial board, starting with their absurd assertion that gun sales have ever gone back to “normal” (or at least what they were in 2019) since the first COVID-19 shutdown orders sent sales spiraling upwards back in March. Take a look for yourself at the NICS background check numbers for 2020 in the graph below.
Every month since March has seen much higher numbers than what we saw in 2019. We’ve had four straight months of more than 3-million background checks going back to May, even before the riots in Minneapolis in early June spread across the nation.
In other words, the surge that started back in March never did truly subside, and the second wave of the Great Gun Run of 2020 kicked off before Trump ever said a word about the riots and looting. The News & Observer editorial board seems desperate to try to blame the president for the record number of gun sales and new gun owners this year, because if they can pin it on Trump, they can ignore the fact that it’s the riots and looting itself that’s actually driven Americans to embrace their Second Amendment rights like never before.
This is another bad turn in a terrible year. More guns won’t make people safer. It will put them at greater risk of an accidental shooting, a child finding a gun, a suicide or a family fight ending in gunfire. And the risk is especially great for new gun owners unfamiliar with how to handle or store a gun.
Trump should be discouraging people from putting themselves and their loved ones at risk. Instead, he’s defending a 17-year-old with a military-style rifle who went to Kenosha, Wis., to defend property against vandalism by protesters. He ended up shooting three people, killing two. He faces multiple homicide charges.
The Kyle Rittenhouse case is the one incident specifically mentioned by the News & Observer. They don’t mention the man charged with assault and battery for firing shots at Trump supporters in the Charlotte suburb of Fort Mill, South Carolina a few weeks ago. Nothing about the riots in Raleigh, North Carolina in June that “decimated” the city’s downtown, in the words of a local real estate developer. They don’t even mention the fact that homicides are soaring in Charlotte itself.
Then again, why would they? None of those incidents help the narrative that the News & Observer‘s editorial board is trying to craft here. They’d rather ignore the facts in favor of fiction , so long as they believe it hurts Trump’s chances of reelection in November, as the editors make clear in the conclusion of their pathetic screed.
The best response to the state of Trump’s America – a land disrupted by his bungling response to the pandemic and divided by his exploitation of racial and political differences – isn’t to go to a gun store. It’s to go to the polls and convert retreat into advance.
Speaking of polls, the latest polling out of North Carolina has Joe Biden up by only two points, well within the margin of error. Something tells me that’s why the News & Observer‘s editorial board launched this desperate broadside against the president. These so-called journalists don’t seem to be nearly as concerned about the safety of North Carolinians as they do about the possibility of Joe Biden going down to defeat.