This article appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 15, 2020.
It is a time of crisis, and perhaps you’ve considered purchasing a gun. You’d never want to admit that to many of your friends, because you’ve always been a believer in gun control.
But things are getting crazy, and we don’t know how much crazier it’ll get.
You’re not alone. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, background checks for firearm purchases in March 2020 were up 80.4% over March 2019 numbers. The week of March 16 had the most gun background checks ever performed in a single week.
Many friends have contacted me over the past few weeks, asking for advice on their first gun purchase. Some of those would broadly put themselves in the “gun‐control” camp, but new realities might require a change in priorities
The question of whether you should own a gun has always centered on a personal cost/benefit analysis.
Some gun control experts argue that the answer is clear and scientific: A gun in the home increases the risk of death, and, therefore, you shouldn’t have one.
While some of the data and reasoning in those claims are contentious, the basic idea is clear, if not banal: Not having guns in the home is a foolproof way to prevent gun accidents.
Similarly, not having a pool is a foolproof way to prevent accidental pool drownings.
Trevor Burrus is a research fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies.
I Own an AK-47, an AR-15 and a dozen AR-7s.
I use a number of Survival Rifles for home defense and the AR-15 for periodic outside practice in remote places.
FBI Stats Show More Guns Equal Less Crime
Despite rabid calls for gun control at the recent Democratic presidential debate, FBI stats show what author John Lott explained in his 1998 book, More Guns, Less Crime. In the chart below you’ll find the number of background checks performed by the FBI for gun sales, and the number of violent crimes committed in the U.S. from 1999 to 2014. As you can see, as numbers of implied gun purchases have exploded, the number of violent crimes has cratered, directly counter to the idea that guns cause crime.