These are dark days for Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitprop generators at The Trace. Sure, there’s that whole global pandemic thing, with cities, states, businesses and entire industries shutting down and people getting sick and dying.
But what’s really worrying those plucky content creators at @teamtrace isn’t the death or the economic devastation. It’s the fact that when the President declared a national emergency and it actually dawned on Americans that this nation is in for some seriously tough times, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of them — many of whom never bought a firearm before — made a bee line for their local gun store.
I texted with a friend yesterday who reported this:
That is not an isolated incident. The same thing is being repeated in every city and state. People who never previously considered and would have proudly told you they wouldn’t be caught dead owning a firearm have decided that despite all of the spin, propagandizing, and condemnation by Shannon Watts, Kris Brown, and Gabby Giffords, they want to be able to protect themselves and their children.
Worse still for The Trace, once we’re past this — and we will get past it — those thousands and thousands of new gun owners are going to be a lot less receptive to their never-ending push for gun rights restrictions and civilian disarmament.
So keep a good thought for The Trace’s poor ink-stained wretches. They’ve got it really rough right now.
“Firearms are increasingly marketed as the most rational solution to our sense of fear and insecurity,” [Harvard professor Caroline Light] told me. “And this epidemic, to me, seems like the perfect storm for convincing a whole variety of different consumers, who may or may not have been gun consumers in the past, to look at guns as a way to make themselves feel more secure.”
“That was a massive triumph of advertising by the manufacturers,” says Light. The National Rifle Association has echoed those appeals to anxiety in its own messaging. Light is careful to note that the gun industry and the gun lobby did not create the underlying conditions that have left Americans balkanized and jittery — i.e., the way the social safety net “was pretty much destroyed and obliterated by the end of the 20th century.” But they did aggressively exploit them. “The gun industry was very much a powerful player in taking advantage of these circumstances and shifts in our economic and political systems,” she says. “There’s so much money to be made in making the population fearful of its individual security.”
– James Burnett in Trust in Guns During Crises Is a Triumph of Marketing