By all indications, the newly announced bankruptcy filing of Remington Outdoor, one of the oldest firearm manufacturers in the United States, is at least in part attributable to what some are calling a “Trump slump.” The international news site The Guardian explains:
“’They call it the Trump slump,’ said Robert Spitzer, a professor at the State University of New York at Cortland and the author of five books on guns.
‘Gun sales have become politicized to a great degree,’ he said. ‘Gun purchases recently have been made not just because someone wants a new product but to make a statement; not just because of fears that there might be tighter regulation but also to make a statement against Obama.’
With Trump in the White House, said Spitzer, gun sales had sharply defaulted to their long-term trend of declining ownership rates.
‘Gun ownership has been declining since the 1970s and there are now fewer gun owners than ever,’ said Spitzer. Fewer people are hunting, younger people are less interested in gun ownership and the gun industry has had little success in its attempts to appeal to women and minorities.
The US has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world with 88 guns for every 100 people. But just 3% of the population owns an average of 17 guns each, with an estimated 7.7 million super-owners in possession of between eight and 140 guns apiece.
The surge of gun purchases under Obama was largely driven by sales to existing gun owners. Sales spiked on Obama’s re-election and after his calls for new laws in the wake of tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.”
In other words, there is some bad news and some good news here.
The obvious bad news is that the explosion in gun sales of the recent past in the country was largely attributable to the irrational fears and twisted political desires of a group of Americans who have caused countless new killing machines to be injected into our society for no good reason. This is the kind of mad, lemming-like behavior of society at its worst.
The good news, however, is that this group is shrinking fast and that — as the Remington filing demonstrates — even irrational fearmongering can only so so far in suppressing the obvious truth that our society will be safer, healthier and freer as demographic trends continue to work their magic and gun ownership becomes more and more the exception than the rule.