One of the more interesting tidbits in this whole COVID-19 mess has been the massive influx of new gun owners. It’s a point we at Bearing Arms have kept a very close eye on. After all, more gun owners mean it’s likely to be harder to pass new gun control laws. Especially as many of those new owners likely found out how much complete BS is spread by anti-gunners who would have you think you can get a gun on every street corner.
The thing is, we also need to understand why those people bought guns for the very first time.
We’ve heard from some, but is that universal? Or is it really just people who fall into the statistical noise?
Luckily, we’ve got more conversations with new gun owners to look at.
Aaron Eaton learned how to shoot in the Army back in 2006 but holstered a pistol for the last time when he left in 2009 and took a job as a technician for a sewer company. That all changed on March 26 when the father of four walked out of an Alabama gun store with a Beretta 92FS, the same gun he handled as a military policeman at the height of the Iraq war.
“Simply put: I wanted peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my family,” Eaton said.
Eaton’s pistol was one of 2.3 million firearms to fly off the shelves in March, the single busiest month for gun sales ever. The Washington Free Beacon spoke to half a dozen new gun owners who purchased a total of six handguns and two shotguns. All of the new gun owners provided proof of purchase, though some asked not to have their last names published because of potential career backlash.
“To me, it’s all about protecting my family, and if a gun makes that easier, so be it,” Scott, a California tech worker with a wife and daughter, said.
Many of the new gun owners cited concerns about personal protection as states began emptying jail cells and police departments announced they would no longer enforce certain laws. Jake Wilhelm, a Virginia-based environmental consultant and lacrosse coach, purchased a Sig Sauer P226 after seeing Italy enact a nationwide lockdown on March 9.
“[My fiancée and I] came to the conclusion in early March that if a nation like Italy was going into full lockdown, we in the U.S. were likely on the same path,” Wilhelm said. “Given that, and knowing that police resources would be stretched to the max, I decided to purchase a handgun.”
In other words, here are a couple more people who recognized the potential for violence in the middle of something like a pandemic and sought to take steps to protect their families.
Sure, we’re not seeing the surge in violence many of us may have feared, but we’re still looking at an economic crisis and possible food shortages coming down the road. There’s still time for horrible things to happen.
And if not, so what? We can all agree that nothing happening is the best case possible. That may well be because there are so many new gun owners. Criminals who likely would have tried to seize on the opportunities have wisely decided to not muck around with a few million new gun owners.
What’s interesting is how universal the reasons are. It’s exactly what we thought those reasons would be, that they were concerned about violence as police resources were taxed and with an influx of criminals returned to the street.
Frankly, who can blame them?