Surging Gun Sales After Mass Shootings Only Natural

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

In the wake of the Lewiston shooting, gun sales are surging. This is what we see happen following just about every mass shooting.

Some people see it as something perverse, like there is something wrong with America because people buy guns after a horrific event.


They don’t generally talk to people who buy guns in the wake of such things, so they don’t really get it.

Over at MSNBC, they took a look at this cycle.

Two days after police say a 40-year-old firearms instructor killed 18 people and wounded more than a dozen others at two separate businesses in Lewiston, Maine, President Joe Biden asked at a campaign fundraiser: “Who the hell needs an assault weapon that can hold, in some cases, up to 100 rounds?” As the president was calling out the easy access to such weapons, daily sales at a Maine gun store were some 500% over expectations, its owner said.

Who could have predicted that the horrific mass shootings in Maine carried out by a man with an assault-style rifle would have prompted a run on local gun stores? At this point, just about anybody could have, if they’ve paid attention since 2020, when gun sales hit an all-time high. According to The Washington Post, store owners said people were rushing in to buy weapons to get what they could in case the federal government eventually bans the sale of some guns or in case they encountered the suspect (who was later found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound).

We’re seeing the fear,” a gun store owner who’d opened his store in defiance of a shelter-in-place order and reported 500% more business told the Post. Some sellers reported an influx of customers who’d never purchased a gun. It may seem counterintuitive, but in the aftermath of mass shootings, when Americans are most likely to be denouncing the easy access to powerful guns, Americans are also most likely to be taking advantage of the easy access to powerful guns, lured in by an industry with a history of profiting from fear.


Notice how they make it look like the gun industry is doing something shady to drive up gun sales?

All they’re doing is providing a product that is both legal and that people want. That’s no different than any other company out there, yet because they’re gun companies, it’s somehow morally wrong.

Yet let’s understand why this cycle is what it is.

Yes, people in Lewiston were scared. A lot of people got scared after Lewiston because Maine is one of the safest states in the nation, so if we’re going to see a mass shooting there, where else can it happen?

So they decide to address that fear.

Sure, you can shelter in place all you want, but if someone with a gun wants to hurt you, a door is an impediment, not a shield. They’ll get through that and hurt you.

Many people understand this. So, gun sales increase because the natural reaction to fear is to take steps to keep yourself safe from whatever that fear is.

MSNBC should understand this. After all, wasn’t it part of the effort to push the idea of vaccinations and masks to mitigate the risk of COVID? The basic idea was that if you were afraid of COVID, then you should take steps to keep yourself safe.

Buying guns isn’t all that different, really, and a lot of people understand that, so gun sales surge.


In time, the fear dies down. Just as the push for gun control lessens to some degree, so does the increase in gun sales. Sort of.

But it’s not some abnormal push and while MSNBC goes on to blame everyone from the gun companies to the NRA, the truth is that people buy guns because they’re not interested in being a victim. Plain and simple.

That’s just natural. The fact that it apparently doesn’t happen in other countries isn’t because those nations are more enlightened than us or anything. It’s something worthy of condemnation, not celebration.

Though no one is surprised that MSNBC doesn’t understand that.

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