We’ve written a lot of stories about people buying guns over the last week. That’s really unsurprising since it’s been such a significant amount. There doesn’t seem to be a gun store in the country–nay, North America–isn’t being hammered with customers during this terrifying time.
However, as our sister site Red State reported earlier this week, some seem to believe that the gun buying is going to somehow make the virus more deadly.
Never miss an opportunity to stroke one’s partisan wants, right?
Enter Nicholas Kristof, who is a long time op-ed writer for The New York Times. If you are trying to put a face with the name, he’s the same guy who went on a propaganda hop in North Korea some years ago and came back praising their “fun” and pizza to try to own President Trump.
Kristof is fretting that increased gun sales in the U.S. will lead to more murders, thereby being a major repercussion of the Wuhan virus.
One way in which the coronavirus will lead to more deaths: It is leading to a rush to buy guns, which will lead to more murders, suicides and accidents: https://t.co/cxPcvjk6X0
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 16, 2020
This comes after numerous reports that gun buying is up right now as people seek to protect themselves from any worst case scenario.
As Bonchie notes, though, the people who aren’t buying guns are actual criminals.
Well, not any more than normal, anyway, and they’re not buying them from law-abiding gun stores either. They’re getting them from black-market dealers or stealing them themselves.
So what is Kristof’s malfunction, anyway.
The answer is simple. Kristof is the kind of hoplophobe who can’t imagine an increase in guns existing without a corresponding increase in crime. This despite evidence showing that simply to not be the case. Gun ownership often leads to a decrease in criminal activity as bad guys have a tendency to prefer not getting shot.
They’re funny that way.
In other cases, though, there’s little correlation either way. Regardless of which is true, what we know to be accurate it that more guns don’t correspond to more people being shot.
Kristof is really just upset that while anti-gun sentiment was pretty high before the Covid-19 outbreak, that went out the window the moment people felt threatened. That’s because few people ever want gun control to apply to them. They want laws to impact others, not them. So, while they supported universal background checks and red flag laws, they didn’t want those laws to stop them from buying a gun if they suddenly felt the need.
Right now, a lot of people feel the need.
What we won’t see, however, are a corresponding spike in murders.
I won’t say we won’t see a spike in suicides, but any such spike has more to do with the doom and gloom people see in the media than whether they have a gun handy. As we’ve noted numerous times, there’s more than one way to kill yourself. A gun isn’t a requirement for that. Yet constantly depressing news is far more likely to feed the kind of depression that may lead someone to take their own life.
That’s especially true as many such people may not even know if a counselor is available to speak to them and help them.
It won’t be because of guns.
As for accidents, gun sales went through most of a decade of increased sales and guess what? Accidents with firearms actually decreased during that period. There’s little reason to expect anything different this time around.
So, all in all, Kristof is shaking in his boots not because of rational fears but because of his own phobia about guns in general. For that, he should be mocked.