Smith & Wesson’s downward adjustment of its earnings outlook piqued the curiosity of the ink-stained wretches at businessinsider.com. So they put an intern to work combing through the FBI’s NICS reporting and compiled this map showing background checks per 100 people by state in 2014 through July. The results are largely unsurprising. First, throw out Kentucky as their deep purpleness is due to the fact that the state runs monthly checks on all concealed carriers. For some reason. And no one here will be surprised to learn that the states with the lowest NICS checks are . . .
New Jersey, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island and Maryland. That rogue’s gallery of civilian disarmament does everything in their power to make gun ownership by their citizens as difficult, inconvenient and expensive as they can. The states at the top (again, discounting the Bluegrass State) are North Carolina, Alabama, Montana, West Virginia and Alaska. Just like the bottom of the scale, no jaw-droppers there.
But one glaring anomaly assaults the eye as you survey the long, majestic gun belt that runs in an arc from the southeastern seaboard, west across flyover country, then north through Utah and Idaho — Nebraska. Business Insider doesn’t list the Cornhusker State’s specific statistic (and I’m not wading though the FBI site to get it), but as an 0-2 category state, they’re clearly an outlier here in God’s country. That pale, disinterested blotch in a sea of gunophiles stands out like a goiter would on Sophia Vergara’s neck.
According to eBay’s data, Nebraskans are more interested in strapping on the feed bag than, well, anything else. Are their food-addled brains too sated by seratonin to have much interest in anything ballistic? Not to go all Thomas Frank or anything, but what the hell is wrong with Nebraska?