According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed carry permits in the United States surged to over 17.25 million since March. They also report that more than 2 million guns are being purchased per month since March. The Brookings Institute cites this uptick to Americans feeling concerned about their personal security. This concern stems in large part from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Current State
Since the pandemic, governments have been scrambling to take action to defeat the spread of COVID-19. They are trying to strike a balance between maintaining the economy and sustaining human life. Millions of Americans are challenging and protesting current government action. Some Americans believe government shut downs and mask mandates are examples of overstepping. Weak financial markets and the recent election are making people lose faith in their personal security. There’s no doubt that all of us have lost some freedom during this pandemic and not even the best scientists could predict our future. People are feeling uneasy in these times, and as history has demonstrated in the past, when you’re feeling uneasy about your government, find a means to protect yourself and your family.
History and Security
History shows an unarmed society is vulnerable in comparison to their government. In 1941, all the Jewish Ghetto uprisings made strident efforts in fighting for their liberty. Though all of them failed you’d be surprised to see how many Nazis they fended off with mere pistols; and during the American revolution, soldiers fought off the British with one-shot muskets that broke frequently and took thirty seconds to reload. Guns provide a level of security that in turn, provides peace of mind.
The Election and Protests
To make concerns about security worse, America is also facing one of the most divided elections in history. Since 2016, political protests have taken on a violent trend. In Baltimore, BLM protests involved federal agents having bottles hurled at them and laser beams being shined in their eyes. Remember Charlottesville? The Boston protest in 2016? Recently Kyle Rittenhouse took arms against his aggressors, killing one, and blowing a hole in the others arm. These protests, taken together, represent a brand of violent, vigilante public outrage where participants decide the law on their terms in the streets. It’s another factor motivating more gun ownership in America.
That being said, it’s not just COVID-19 and violent politics resulting in more concealed carry permits and gun ownership. Gun ownership has been trending upwards for the past 8 years. The social science research network reported a 308% increase in concealed carry permits since 2008. Maybe this trend has been boiling in America for a while, and COVID-19, plus violent politics were just catalysts that uncovered long-standing American fears about security.