The latest report from the FBI on the NICS background checks shows 1,870,000 Americans applying for permission to purchase a firearm. This number doesn’t include private unchecked transfers, as many states still allow the freedom of individual citizens to buy, sell, transfer, or give away their firearms without a background check. It also, of course, doesn’t count police departments, government agencies, or criminals.
But it illustrates the direct correlation between political pressure on the Second Amendment and the natural, predictable result: Americans are arming themselves for whatever comes.
A number of comparisons are useful. May is the first month since last October that the number of background checks fell below two million, but it was nearly 300,000 more than May a year ago. Year-to-date more than 11.7 million Americans have gone through a background check to purchase at least one firearm, compared to less than nine million through May 2015. That’s an increase of 2,760,000.
Compared to the start of the Obama reign, background checks have soared from under a million a month to over two million — double. But here’s the most astounding (and to many, the most comforting) number: Since Obama’s first inauguration, more than 120 million Americans have undergone background checks to buy a firearm, turning the United States into the most well-armed private citizenry in the history of the world.
Now that Hillary Clinton has all but clinched the Democrat Party’s nomination for president, thanks to victories over her rival earlier this week in delegate-rich New Jersey and California, the threat of further incursions into precious rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment continues to mount.
That threat is real. Clinton has come out of the closet on gun control. She wants to:
• Confront the NRA “from the first day” of her administration;
• Reinstate her husband’s ban on “assault weapons” under a definition broad enough to ban nearly every semi-automatic weapon;
• Remove current protections gun makers enjoy from lawsuits brought by shooting victims or their families;
• Turn every gun owner into a gun dealer, to fall under the jurisdiction of the tender mercies of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives);
• Pack the Supreme Court with friendlies to reverse pro-gun ownership decisions in McDonald and Heller; and finally;
• Install Australian-type gun confiscation.
She has bluntly and publicly stated that this is her wish list. In 2014, she insisted: “We’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime.” And in a burst of enthusiastic elitism, she added, “I don’t believe that [gun ownership] is in the best interests of the vast majority of people.”
The last item on her anti-Second Amendment wish list is worth exploring further. Since the beginning of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known simply as NICS (installed in 1994 as part of the Brady Bill signed into law by Hillary's husband, and operative since November 1998), there have been — wait for it — 237 million background checks! Statistics show that there is now approximately one gun per person in the country. With a population of more than 300 million, that translates to between 100 million and 165 million households with at least one firearm present.
If Clinton is elected, and if (and it's a very big IF) she gets her wish (meaning that Congress gives up the fight and that she successfully installs one or more liberal anti-Second Amendment justices to the Supreme Court), she must then overcome one final obstacle: forcibly confiscating and removing firearms from the hands of more than 100 million Americans. Just how she would do that remains unclear, but the math is comforting. If just three percent of those householders recognize the real purpose behind the Second Amendment — to allow private citizens to defend themselves from a tyrannical government — and decide, at the cost of their lives, to defend the rights guaranteed by that amendment, that would be between three and five million householders.
To mount an assault of the size that the Clinton mandates would require would result in the next civil war. Even as determined as Clinton is about removing those weapons for their rightful owners, these simple numbers must give her pause.
In the meantime, investors are enjoying the ride as well by investing in the stocks of gun makers, which have seen the value of their shares skyrocket along with background checks.