For anti-gunners and their media allies, the National Rifle Association is the greatest boogieman out there. There’s absolutely nothing the NRA won’t stoop to, at least so far as they’re concerned.
The problem is, so few of them really understand the NRA at all, much less gun owners or even the American people outside of their immediate social circles.
Take Mother Jones, for example. It seems they believe the NRA is pushing hysteria over COVID-19 so they can sell guns.
There’s a familiar scene playing out all across the country: People anxious and panicked about coronavirus are flooding stores to stock up on essential items as businesses shut down and local governments issue a stay-home-no-matter-what mandate. But along with food, water, and toilet paper, there’s another item that’s seeing a surge in sales thanks to pandemic panic: guns.
Gun stores and firearm dealers throughout the country are reporting a big spike in sales due to coronavirus-related fears. In February, weeks before the full gravity of the coronavirus situation sunk in, the FBI’s background check system had already reported that it had 2.8 million inquiries from potential gun-buyers—up from 2 million during this time last year, and the third-highest monthly total since the agency created the system in 1998, according to the Washington Post. Since then, the situation has only worsened, with news reports and social media posts of people lining up outside of gun stores trying to arm themselves in case their worst fears becoming a reality. But the surprising reality is that it is not just preexisting gun owners stockpiling ammo and adding to their armories in a time of crisis. Many dealers have said that a lot of sales have been to first-time gun buyers, who are purchasing a firearms as a way to protect themselves amid fears that the coronavirus situation could lead to a complete societal breakdown.
That’s a talking point ripped straight from the National Rifle Association, who in the past few weeks has been using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to stoke paranoia, cajoling its members to stock up to stay safe during a time of societal change. “Concerns for personal safety, new limitations on the arrests of criminals in some cities, and potential gun control enacted under the guise of fighting the pandemic have Americans preparing to take responsibility for their own safety,” reads one recent article on the NRA’s website, titled “The 2A is a Constant in Times of Crisis.” On Saturday, the NRA tweeted out a video of a disabled woman arguing for the importance of guns in a time of crisis and accusing Democrats of exploiting the pandemic for political purposes. “I know from history how quickly society breaks down during the crisis,” she says in the video, “and we’ve never faced anything like this before and never is a Second Amendment more important than during public unrest.”
Of course, what Mother Jones always forgets is that the NRA doesn’t sell guns. They’re not a trade organization for gun manufacturers–that’s the National Shooting Sports Federation–but a group for gun owners. As such, they have no reason to push any kind of hysteria to sell guns because, well, there’s absolutely no benefit for them to sell guns.
OK, that’s not entirely true. If people buy guns they’re more likely to join the NRA.
Then again, a lot of gun owners never opt to join for whatever reason, so even that’s not a slam dunk.
Further, publishing articles about taking responsibility for your own safety is hardly “stoking coronavirus panic” as their headline claims. Quite the contrary, actually. Those who are prepared to handle their own safety are far less likely to panic because they have nothing to panic about. It’s just how things work.
And let’s be honest here. It’s not like the NRA is the one talking about millions of people potentially killed by COVID-19. They’re simply extrapolating from the kind of unrest that might result in such a massive death toll or the accompanying economic downturn.
So who is it that has pushed for a nationwide lockdown for months on end until such time as the pandemic is over? Would that be certain parties more ideologically aligned with Mother Jones than the NRA? Why yes, it would be.
Of course, this isn’t unusual for Mother Jones. I actually expect nothing else from them at this point.