If there’s one thing that’s been consistent in the headlines all through the pandemic and the riots, it’s the fact that gun sales continue to set records all over the country. It’s even been happening in California. The demand in Philadelphia has been so great (even before the current spate of riots) that people have been put on waiting lists for months or even years just to apply for a permit. But there’s one little factoid out of all the gun sales data that had escaped my attention until this week. A significantly disproportionate percentage of new gun buyers come from the healthcare industry. They were buying new firearms early in the pandemic and that trend has continued through this month. (Free Beacon)
When the coronavirus hit American shores, nurses and doctors stocked up on guns, a new study reports.
Researchers at New Mexico State University and the University of Toledo found that being a health care provider was one of the strongest predictors of buying a firearm during the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-seven percent of people who reported buying a gun during the pandemic also reported being health care professionals.
“One of the things we should see, in my limited view, is these are people who are civilians who are not criminals and they have seen a lot of unrest in the past six months,” New Mexico State University professor Jagdish Khubchandani told the Washington Free Beacon. “And they want to be on the front foot with their own safety.”
This seems like one of those trivia questions that never would have crossed your mind but begins to look obvious after you hear the answer. Why would healthcare workers be the first ones out of the gate and in line to purchase firearms? I would imagine it’s because they were on the front lines of the health crisis and knew a lot more about infectious diseases than the rest of us. If they knew (or at least strongly suspected) that a massive wave of a potentially deadly disease was on the way, they could also see that the potential for unrest in the streets could follow. Even without all of the George Floyd protests, things could begin to get pretty grim out there and they likely sensed they might need to protect themselves at home.
One analyst quoted in the article pointed out that the demographics of this new wave of gun owners also should have given us a clue. In increasing numbers, they have tended to be “younger, more urban, more female, and less white.” And that description lines up perfectly with the people that are represented significantly in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry has shown some of the greatest growth in the jobs market for several years now, so the two sets of demographics (those workers and gun buyers) have “intersected.”
The report also points to a recent survey indicating that between one quarter and one half of American physicians own firearms.
The real driver, however, remains the concern for the safety of yourself and/or your family. They pose the questions, ‘have you felt threatened or exposed to violence? Or do you know someone who has?’ If so, that’s undoubtedly going to make you consider improving your capacity for home defense. That’s similar to an old axiom in politics. A liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet. Today we might replace those two subjects with “gun control proponents” and “Second Amendment enthusiasts.”