At Fox News: “In 2017 women and minorities are buying guns. Here’s why”

14 Mar , 2017  

Dr. John Lott has another op-ed at Fox News and Fox Nation on how gun purchases have remained strong after Trump’s election in November.  The piece starts this way:

During the 8 years he was president, Barack Obama’s administration experienced an explosion in gun sales, with annual background checks more than doubling between 2008 and 2016.  In the eighteen months leading up to the 2016 election, gun sales set one new record after another.

So when a pro-Second Amendment candidate won the election most observers figured that gun sales would at last begin to drop. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Conventional wisdom held that the sharp rise in gun sales over the course of Obama’s presidency was supposedly driven, at least in part, by the threat of gun control. That’s why everyone expected gun sales to decline after Trump’s victory.  Yet, the average monthly gun sales from November through February are up from the already very high level in October.

In fact, there was a large increase in gun sales immediately following the election.  November had a record-setting month for FBI background checks. On Black Friday, there was a single day record of 185,713 checks.  While December sales were not quite at record levels, they were still the second highest monthly total ever.  January’s and February’s sales data slipped below last January’s and February’s, but they were still the second highest January and February sales on record.

Anecdotal stories right after the election suggested that people — particularly minorities — might be buying guns out of fear of a Trump presidency. The National African-American Gun Association saw a 7% increase in members just over the Thanksgiving weekend.  NBC News contacted gun storeowners who reported seeing up to four times as many black and minority customers.  The Liberal Gun Club says that its membership is up 10%.  Many news stories quote liberals saying that they bought a gun for the first time after the election.

There were other signs that gun control was losing popularity. “Miss Sloane,” a pro-gun control movie, flopped miserably in December.  Despite being heavily advertised and promoted in the mainstream media, the film’s second weekend saw an average of fewer than 10 viewers per day per movie theater.

In November, Nevada narrowly passed a ballot initiative that imposes background checks on private transfers. And the victory of less than one percentage point came only as a result of $20 million in spending personally funded by Michael Bloomberg.  This amounts to an incredible $35.30 per vote.  The same initiative lost in Maine by 4 percent despite similar massive spending.  So much for the oft-repeated claim that 80 to 90 percent of Americans favor such laws.

Yet, there is broader statistical evidence that liberals at least temporarily changed their views on guns.  Gun sales in November right after the election rose most sharply in the most heavily Democratic states.  Among the seven states (plus the District of Columbia) that the New York Times categorizes as consistently voting for Democrats, there was a 20.6% increase in background checks from October to November.  By contrast, there was only a 4.5% increase among the 19 states that the Times labeled as consistently Republican. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.  Our op-ed was the most read one on the Fox News website.

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