EDITORIAL: U.S. doesn’t have a ‘guns problem’

As crime rates continue to spike across the country, it’s clear regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, everyone is feeling less safe. Gun sales, which saw a surge last year, continue to climb, with more female and Black buyers, data shows.

Gun sales remained steady during most of former President Donald J. Trump’s tenure, but exploded last year, with the single highest month of gun purchases occurring in June, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and resulting race riots and defund the police movement. Overall, more than 23 million guns were sold in 2020, a 60 percent increase from 2019.

Females accounted for 40% of these total purchases. Black ownership among men and women skyrocketed 56% from the year prior. And more than 8.4 million of all firearm sales last year were done by first-time gun owners, according to a report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

“These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership. That’s rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their God-given right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel in a statement.

The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) boasted 45,000 members nationwide since its inception in 2015. After last summer’s riots and coronavirus lockdowns, the group started recruiting 1,000 members a month, many of them first-time gun owners.

“Once COVID hit, that was the line in the sand,” Philip Smith, founder and president of NAAGA said in April. “You had to sit there and say, ‘Is there going to be a total breakdown of social order? Is there going to be food for my family? Will we have gas? Will everything crumble in our general society and will we literally have to fight people off?’”

Firearm purchases continue to soar this year. Americans bought more than 2.3 million guns in January, the highest level since last July, according to The Trace, a news outlet that tracks gun sales. Firearm purchases increased 18% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020, its data shows.

The Biden administration has blamed the crimewave around the country on the availability of firearms. When asked in a press conference about the spiking crime in our nation’s cities, Jen Psaki flippantly said America has a “guns problem.”

No, America doesn’t have a guns problem. After many localities defunded their police departments last year the nation’s streets have predictably become less safe.

So, many law-abiding Americans are now taking matters into their own hands. They’ve become empowered by exercising their Second-Amendment right, and feel secure in the knowledge that if their local governments fail, they can be the last line of defense in protecting their families and businesses. God bless them.

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