Rising anti-gun rhetoric from Democrat presidential hopefuls, and the entry of anti-gun Michael Bloomberg into the fray last week, has driven background checks to record levels, according to the FBI. The agency reported that it conducted 202,465 gun background checks on Black Friday, the second-highest number since the bureau implemented the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. The record was recorded on Black Friday 2017 when the FBI ran 203,086 checks.
While gun background checks do not have a one-on-one correlation to purchases (many purchasers buy more than one firearm with a single background check), it indicates that more Americans than ever are enjoying their Second Amendment right to purchase, possess, and use (“keep and bear”) firearms. By the end of the year it is estimated that Americans will own upwards of 400 million of them.
And the far-left progressives now in control of the Democrat Party want to take them away, or at least greatly restrict their ownership and use. 2020 Democrat presidential candidates such as Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders have used the English language to cover up their intentions, claiming they “respect” the Second Amendment but want “common sense” gun laws to reduce gun violence.
But during a Democrat debate in September, former candidate Beto O’Rourke lifted the veil: “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”
Matt Boggs, the owner of Alpha Dog Firearms in Tempe, Arizona, saw this blatant announcement of intent as a marketing opportunity, posting this on his store’s Facebook page:
Beto O’Rourke said “hell yes we’re taking your AR’s”. Well Beto, we’re discounting AR15’s to such a low price that EVERY AMERICAN can afford one. How about the low low price of just $349.99? Yeah, that works. Available online only. Go to www.alphadogfirearmsaz.com and look for all our AR15 and AK47 deals under the BETO SPECIALS tab. Deals and discounts will be added fresh all day!
Within hours, Boggs had sold out and had to post this that same afternoon: “UPDATE: SOLD OUT. More deals will be on the website soon. Y’all broke our internet today!!!”
Even with O’Rourke out of the race owing to low poll numbers and lack of funding, Boggs continues to market the opportunity. He now sells “Salesman of the Month” T-shirts with O’Rourke’s countenance printed on the front. Due to the demand, Boggs has had to extend his store’s hours: “We still have some of these [T-shirts] left! Come grab one before they’re gone! Also starting today [November 30] our Saturday hours are extended until 5 PM.”
The near-record background checks are due to anti-gun rhetoric, helped along by Michael Bloomberg’s late entry. Bloomberg boasts funding Everytown for Gun Safety, the name adopted when Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns merged in 2013. Said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF): “This tells us Americans are voting with their wallets when it comes to their ability to exercise Second Amendment rights.… Americans are turning out to buy the firearms they want in increasing numbers even as politicians on the national stage.… are increasingly vocal on restricting Second Amendment rights.”
Larry Keane, general counsel for the NSSF, said that “people respond to what they perceive as threats to their [Second Amendment-protected] rights, and this has been going on since August.” Indeed, since the first of the year there have been no fewer than two million gun background checks every month. At the present rate, the FBI will likely report that for 2019 they will have processed more than 30 million of them.
With the increased firepower in private hands, one may expect gun violence to continue its long downward trend. A research study of more than 1,800 incarcerated felons revealed that nearly 80 percent of them said that they intentionally avoided targets (individuals, homes, or businesses) that they believed were armed or had firearms present. A third of those interviewed admitted to having been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by a gun-owning target.
Another study revealed that armed citizens successfully fend off such attacks between two and 2.5 million times a year. As John Lott, founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns, explained, the perception of the presence of a firearm in the hands of a law-abiding citizen provides a persuasive deterrent to a criminal seeking a target. Hence, not surprisingly, Lott continues to track the decline in gun violence as private ownership of firearms increases.
The problem with background checks is simple: They don’t work. They serve as a smokescreen for real intentions and give the illusion that “something is being done” about gun violence. As Lott points out:
Some think that background checks are the answer. Indeed, after each mass public shooting, Democrats call for background checks on private transfers of guns. But a new federal law [mandating universal background checks] wouldn’t have stopped any of the attacks. In fact, it wouldn’t have stopped any mass public shooting since at least the year 2000 — all of the attackers obtained guns without going through private transfers.
As Robert Heinlein wrote in his novel Beyond This Horizon: “An armed society is a polite society.” It is also a safer one.
Image: artas via iStock / Getty Images Plus