Politics, Moderate



America responds to protests & coronavirus by stocking up on guns

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

Faced with a raging coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are doing what they do best: stocking up on guns.

Unlike people in other developed nations, we Americans hold dear the belief that there’s no tragedy, no societal shift and no moment of conspiracy-driven paranoia that we can’t shoot our way out of using one of the many firearms we keep in our kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, waistbands, socks, cars and in fanny packs strapped to our cats.

According to FBI data, nearly 3 million firearm background checks were conducted in May, a 32% jump over the same month last year. And according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (I’m a member, but mainly for the cool T-shirts), the first half of this year brought in more than 2.5 million first-time gun owners.


Here in Illinois, according to a Tribune report, the Illinois State Police said “more than 40,000 Illinoisans applied for a gun permit in a little more than two weeks this month, more than 500% over this time last year.”

This is obviously great news. You don’t have to be an expert on social stability to know the best way to calm a nervous, angry nation is to add a few million additional lethal firearms into the mix.


And besides, it’s our constitutional right to shoot at anything that comes on our property, whether it’s a coronavirus, a scary person yelling things we disagree with or a horde of Marxists trying to tear down the 16-foot Elvis statue in my front yard.

Sure, you could take the latte-liberal approach and direct your fears into action, finding proactive ways to improve communities and better understand either the pandemic or the root causes of the ongoing protests, but that sounds like something a French person would do.

And truth be told, even the latte liberals are out buying up guns. A Brookings Institution report found that from February to April, applications for “gun permits have increased the most during the COVID-19 pandemic in states that tend to be more liberal, both in terms of citizen ideology and political party of state governor. Four of the top 10 states with the largest gun permit increases are in the New England area including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.”

The Tribune story quoted a concealed carry gun instructor saying: “I have seen the emergence of a new class of students seeking training: anti-Second Amendment liberals.”


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