It’s become apparent in the wake of the last major shooting to rock the nation that some Americans are fed up with the status quo. Support for an assault weapons ban is at a post-Sandy Hook high, companies are severing relationships with the NRA, and even some Republicans have voiced support for common sense gun reform measures.
That’s not all. With the recent decision of Dick’s Sporting Goods to limit magazine sizes, to stop selling assault rifles and to stop the sale of guns to those under the age of 21, the stock prices of gun manufacturers fell sharply Wednesday.
‘Shares of Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp. slumped 3.2% to $9.00, the lowest closing price May 29, 2013.
‘Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc.’s stock tumbled 6.6% to $43.05, the lowest close since Feb. 20, 2015.
‘And Vista Outdoor Inc. shares shed 4.2%, and have tumbled 13.6% over the past seven sessions.
‘Earlier Wednesday, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines, and stop selling guns to people younger than 21. The company’s statement included a call to Congress to enact gun-reform measures.’
It will be interesting to see what the fallout of this is moving forward. After all, in the past, gun sales—and thus profits for manufacturers—have gone up after mass shootings. That’s because the NRA and Republican politicians whip up fear over new regulations being instilled, thus leading gun collectors, among others, to buy as many as they can. If that trend does not hold true in the wake of the Parkland massacre, that would be a ray of hope for the future.
Without gun reform, American lives are going to continue to be senselessly lost. The NRA and the gun manufacturers they represent—make no mistake, they represent the donating manufacturers as a lobbying group, not their membership, which is more of a tool with which to manipulate politicians in the service of manufacturers—are trapped in a bubble, an echo chamber of their own making. They will never see the light.
They insist that access to high capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles is a matter of freedom and liberty, when it is not. There are already sharp limits on what weapons you can and cannot acquire, and your inability to purchase missiles and bombs is not any more anti-liberty than your inability to purchase assault weapons would be. The fact is that the “cool” factor of military-styled weapons has sold an awful lot of guns during the last couple of decades, and as with any big business, companies would like to keep selling and cashing in.
Yet Americans aren’t just paying cash for those weapons. Despite the fact that the vast majority of gun killings in the United States are from handguns, assault rifles are disproportionately used in mass killings. It’s much more difficult to kill the same number of people in the same time frame from the same ranges with a handgun or smaller-capacity weapon. When those rifles are easily available to just anybody, we pay in blood.
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images