Thursday, 26 March 2020

Why do Americans stock up on guns in the midst of coronavirus outbreak?

corona virus pandemic, US gun sales soar..santacruzsentinel.com
Corona virus. US gun sales soar. tasnimnews.com
As the Fed Govt.,  scrambles to deal with the increasing spread of corona virus across the US, people, driven by fear of social unrest or some other civil problem,  are panic buying  firearms  and it is spreading across the country much faster than the virus itself. The growing lay-off and increasing unemployment problems add additional burden on the confused communities there.
Gun violence in the US.scottiestoybox.com
 In the wake of covid-19 outbreak and increasing cases of infection in the US, the news that  sales of guns and ammunition soar due to  panic buying is a bit of shocking to people in other countries. What does the mad rush reported at  gun stores across America imply? Right from California to Washington state to North Carolina, people wait in line to lay their hands on guns.  Americans take refuge in  firearms as a form of self-protection and their families in case of any social unrest or riot-like situation in the near future. People are concerned about possible  looters if situation goes bad. In this scenario of  uncertainty, economic downturn, soaring unemployment,  anxiety  and paranoia, Americans are gearing up to protect them and their families.

Larry Hyatt, owner of one of the country’s largest gun shops, Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, told the Guardian that the scenes of mass buying at his store were virtually unprecedented. “This is only the second time in my 61 years of business that we’ve seen anything like this,” he said. Gun sales shot up  in  the aftermath of  mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut in 2012.
 The panic-buying of gun  by Americans for self protection shows they are very much affected by fear psychosis. It is said the gun sales have exploded in the last two weeks with people stocking up on guns and ammunition out of sheer fear.  David Stone, owner of Dong's guns, ammunition and reloading in Tulsa, Oklahoma state said, ''We have had 800% increase in sales... and  I' m  getting close to running out''. In the state of Washington, one of the hardest hit by the virus, the owner of Lynnwood Gun (close to Seattle), one Tiffany Teasdale said, ''She has seen a mssive upstick in sales  with customers lining up an hour  before the store opens for sale''.
What kinds of fire arms are people buying? According to her they go after  shotguns, handguns, AR-15 (semi-automatic  assault-style rifles), nation wide there is a greater demand for the latter type. 

Financial meltdown, pandemic, crime, politics, insecure future, etc put the panicked people under one roof, causing hell of a mess and safety. On line sales of firearms show marked upward mobility.
According to well-known American online firearms co - Ammo.com’s marketing manager, Alex Horsman, “....... mostly political events or economic instability when people feel their rights may end up infringed. This is our first experience with a virus leading to such a boost in sales.”

USA gun control. www.usatoday.com
States like North Carolina and Georgia,  showed  a leap of 179% and 169% respectively. Ammunition shopping  surged in Florida, which has over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases, and New York, with over 700 cases of the respiratory illness  In states like California and Washington the spike in gun sales is attributed to the lurking fear among  Asian Americans who could face xenophobic and racist violence against their families as China happened to the primary source of origin of covid-19. This may be a wrong misconception, but one can not deny the underlying insecurity and fear among them.  
In this kind of mad sale of lethal weapons,  many Americans with commonsense are quite concerned about the safety of children. Because of lack of safe storage of firearms  at home, this spike  in  dangerous weapons could put children at risk. 
 Tit-bits:

www.usatoday.com
Above image: As of October, 2017 the number of people killed in mass shootings in the US was  growing - Texas (26), Las Vegas (59), Orlando (49), Virginia Tech (32), Newtown (26). Every violent incident  is followed by  renewed, high-spirited debate on the topic of guns and ban on gun ownership, including  ownership rates, ease of access, how many people are dying, what needs to be done.  But the Fed is yet to put a severe restriction on gun control in the US; thousands of people are sent to the grave each year due to abuse of firearms.   Though comparisons to other countries are not a good proposition,  the U.S stacks up against other countries are just mind-boggling. Americans own 42% of about 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, according to the Small Arms Survey Big on guns.
Geneva-based research group, The Small Arms Survey,  estimates national gun ownership rates range from a high of 90 firearms per every 100 people in the U.S., to one firearm or less for every 100 residents in South Korea and Ghana.  Yemen  has the second highest number of firearms per 100 people -55. It is a poor Arab country fighting a bloody civil war. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/10/03/americans-really-like-their-guns-they-own-42-650-million-civilian-firearms-worldwide/726321001/https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/16/coronavirus-people-line-up-gun-stores-stock-up/5054436002/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/16/us-sales-guns-ammunition-soar-amid-coronavirus-panic-buying
The New Indian Express (Tiruchi edition) dated 26 March, 2020;page:10 - ''Americans stocking up on guns for fear of social unrest''.