As things currently stand, there are assumptions you can make about people’s gun politics based on where they live. For example, if they live in a large city, they’re more likely to be anti-gun. By contrast, those in rural American tend to support the Second Amendment.
This is a generalization, of course. There are pro-gun folks in big cities and anti-gun folks in small communities. However, for the most part, these generalizations are accurate based on how people tend to vote in these places.
Yet something odd is taking place. It seems many in our large cities are bailing for the country life.
A combination of the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty, and social unrest is prompting waves of Americans to move from large cities and permanently relocate to more sparsely populated areas. The trend has been accelerated by technology and shifting attitudes that make it easier than ever to work remotely. Residents of all ages and incomes are moving in record numbers to suburban areas and small towns.
A perfect storm of factors makes the decision to leave major cities like New York very obvious. The dense nature of urban living and the lack of proper local government planning led to the coronavirus spreading five times faster in New York than the rest of the country. The city that never sleeps now resembles a ghost town in many areas after thousands of its wealthy and middle-class residents fled early in the pandemic.
Many are moving to small towns north of the five boroughs. Four upstate counties have seen an incredible surge in real estate demand, while the rest of the New York market is cratering. In Ulster County, the number of homes now under contract nearly doubles the 2016 figures. It saw steady sales in March and April while the overall New York market fell by nearly 30 percent. Some people are staying at their vacation homes, but the data suggest there are many permanent moves in the works.
And it’s not just people fleeing the Big Apple, either. The Hill reports this is happening in a number of other places as well.
So just what is happening?
While COVID-19 may be playing some factor, it’s not the only factor. Migration from Chicago to Texas, for example, has been pretty well documented already. Many have left due to the liberal politics, but most have left because of the high taxes. While that sounds like the same reason, it’s not. Some don’t like the gun control, pro-illegal immigration, and other political factors that have made California so distinct. Those leaving due to high taxes, though, often start demanding the exact same programs they left behind.
It seems they don’t seem to understand the link between taxes and government programs.
Yet this is proceeding and it’s bound to have an impact on the gun rights discussion.
While those leaving New York City for more rural parts of the state won’t likely have a huge impact on state politics–the city already has a firm control over state politics as it is–that may not be true in other places. Urbanites fleeing to the country are likely to bring their anti-gun ideas with them. That means many will start pushing for gun control in their new locales.
That’s the downside.
However, there’s a flip side that should be considered as well.
You see, many in the rural parts of the country are pro-gun for a reason. It’s not just they believe it’s our sacred and protected right. They have practical reasons for supporting gun rights. How many people will change their anti-gun tunes when they call the police over a prowler or something and then have to wait two hours for law enforcement to arrive because there’s only one deputy on duty and he was clean across the county?
That’s like to make some people rethink their anti-gun opinions, much like COVI-19 and the recent riots did.
Meanwhile, the cities would become less populated, reducing their impact on state politics, thus flipping some states from anti-gun to potentially pro-gun.
I’m not saying it will happen, only that it might.
Regardless, this is something that bears watching.