That’s the idea, anyway. Or was, 230-something years ago. Only that all-American take on the over-used Soviet jokes has become less and less true over the last fifty years as the size and scope of government has exploded. Check out Gallup’s latest results for a question they’ve been asking since 1965 (above). The percentage of the American public that views big government as the biggest threat to the country is one scant point shy of its all-time high. That sentiment has a variety of real-world consequences, not least of which for the firearms biz…
I couldn’t come up with gun sales data for the same time period, but here’s NICS data going back to ’99:
Look at the same period on the graph at the top. Gee, it’s almost as if there’s a relationship between the two.
And the Gallup inquisitors break down the numbers by party affiliation:
Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009. The 32% of Democrats concerned about big government at that time — shortly after President Obama took office — was down significantly from a reading in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.
Wait, what? That’s right, Dems have been hit over the head long enough to see that – to coin a phrase – something that can’t go on forever, won’t. If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a citizen who fears the growth of government is a Keynesian who’s been handed the bill.
So what does this mean for guns? More boom times. So to speak. Probably less because bitter clingers are laying in materiel to rise up against the revenooers than more and more average Janes and Joes fear drastic reductions in basic government services and what that will mean for prison space, police manpower and crime rates.
It’s funny how, when public money runs short – federal, state or local – and our dedicated representatives want to make the case for more taxes, the first things cut are always police, fire and education. Never tourism promotion, snail-darter protection or ethanol price supports.
From the ever-increasing gun sales figures, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, as they look down the road, more people are preparing themselves to handle their own self defense. Which is a good thing no matter what the fiscal state of the union may be. And that can only mean more bullish times for the gun business are ahead.