If I were the conspiratorial type, I might be tempted to think many of these anti-gunners are covert gun rights proponents trying to promote more firearm sales. It seems that any time these people start pushing their propaganda in earnest, gun and ammo sales go through the roof. Their rhetoric in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting is no different.
In anticipation of heightened gun and ammo sales, the stock prices of several firearm manufacturers have increased drastically. Only hours after the news of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, hit the airwaves, gun stocks surged. The Washington Examiner reports:
Smith & Wesson, one of America’s largest firearm manufacturers, saw its stock pop by more than 13.5% since Tuesday morning, just before the rampage in Uvalde. That is much higher than the baseline increase in the S&P 500 of about 3.6% over that same period of time.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest public gunmaker in the United States by value, has seen its stock surge by 7.5%.
The same is happening with companies that manufacture ammunition. “Olin Corporation was up nearly 4.3%, Vista Outdoor experienced 7.4% growth, and Ammo Inc. saw its value balloon by 16.3% since Tuesday morning,” according to the Examiner.
The reason for the uptick in these companies’ share prices is obvious: When high-profile mass shootings occur, everyone knows the left is going to mount a national anti-gun campaign designed to convince lawmakers to enact more restrictions on gun ownership. This typically inspires more people to stock up on ammo and firearms to get ahead of the possibility that their options might soon be limited.
Brian Marks, executive director of the University of New Haven’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program told the Examiner:
“The typical hypothesis is that this is an exogenous shock, unanticipated, and as a result of a mass shooting, the reaction is there is an expectation that legislative steps will be undertaken to potentially restrict ammunition, access to guns.”
The primary indicator of whether investors are reading the room correctly is the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which calculates how many people apply for background checks for gun purchases.
“Following the shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, which took place midway through December, the number of background checks exploded, from about 2 million in November 2012 to nearly 2.8 million in the month of the shooting. Background checks in January 2013 remained high at about 2.5 million,” according to the Washington Examiner. The statistics for May’s background checks have not yet been published. But it would not be surprising to see the numbers climb.
President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers have all called for stricter gun control measures. Their comrades in the activist media have amplified their clarion calls. “As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said while addressing the nation on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), after first saying there would be no vote on gun control in the upper chamber, is now signaling they will vote on “gun safety legislation” after lawmakers return from Memorial Day recess. However, he seems to recognize that efforts to curtail gun ownership will be a longshot. “We are under no illusions that this will be easy,” he said.
Schumer is correct in his assessment. The likelihood that Congress will pass any meaningful gun legislation that will threaten those who own firearms is tiny. It is doubtful that Democrats will come up with a proposal that Republicans will accept. Moderate Democrats will probably not support much of the extreme gun control measures touted by Biden and company, either.
Still, this does not mean the battle is over. After the upcoming congressional elections, the debate will be put on hold – unless there is another high-profile mass shooting. Republicans are expected to retake the House and possibly the Senate, which would effectively kill any real discussion of anti-gun policy. But this conversation will likely roll around once again.
The fact that Democrats are averse to the idea of making it harder for evil people to enter schools with firearms to kill students means that America will likely see more massacres in the future, unfortunately. But if the GOP manages to pick up enough seats, it might just be able to squeeze in measures to fortify the buildings in which our children spend the most time.