Perspective: That Other Pandemic

Jul 24, 2020

The national pandemic continues. You think I’m talking about coronavirus? I’m talking about guns.

Two new studies by the Brookings Institution and University of California, Davis show a nearly 50% spike in gun sales in the US during the last 4 months -- nearly 4 million in June alone, and 19 million sold so far this year. Two main things seem to be catalysts: Covid-19 and the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests. (Yes, despite the media focus on instances of violence and looting, the vast majority of the nationwide protests were peaceful and lawful.)

Statistics aren’t available, but I bet you most of these sales were to white males. I’m really not for banning guns or anything, but I would also bet that most of the sales were to people who already owned guns. Some individuals, claiming self-defense, are amassing arsenals.

My question is, why are so many people living in such dire fear of imminent attack, when there’s little evidence of actual threat? I don’t understand why some people think guns are for tough-guys, and the more guns you have the tougher you are. To me, wallowing in so much fear that you feel you need to arm yourself to the teeth is a sign of weakness, not strength.

As we grapple with a health crisis that is shining a brilliant light on our dysfunctional government, and the gaping weaknesses in our healthcare system, we have to note two positive things that have happened since the COVID-19 lockdown began, though every indication is that unless we take this opportunity to make real, fundamental changes, we’ll be right back where we were when the coronavirus pandemic finally lifts:

We currently are enjoying clearer skies, with lower emissions of air pollutants, including heat-trapping carbon dioxide. And there have been no school shootings since February! 

I’m Reed Scherer, armed only with my perspective.