Gun Sales Soar – Could Fox News Be Why?
Why are Americans buying more guns now than ever?
Americans have been buying guns for a variety of reasons – security, hunting, and collecting to name a few. But are these the reasons gun sales have soared the past few years? Many experts say no.
Some experts believe a big reason why Americans have been buying guns at an increased rate is because of gun control being spoken of repeatedly by politicians and the media. Many Americans believe they need to buy guns now because they may not be able to later.
It’s unclear how many Americans own a gun and how many they have, because dealers are required only to perform a background check. The FBI only keeps track of those background checks, and that’s where the increase has been seen. While it’s hard to say if those background checks led to a gun sale, it’s a good indication that there has been somewhat of an increase.
When just looking at background checks during presidencies, the following shows how they have increased:
- Clinton: 750,000 background checks per month
- George W. Bush: 800,000
- Obama (first term): 973,000
- Obama (second term): 1.5 million
This increase in background checks is interesting, and since gun purchases are the most popular reasons for background checks, it’s safe to say there has been an increase in gun sales.
Some say the reason for the increase has to do with media exaggeration. Newsweek reported that Fox News had an average of 20 statements about gun control in a month. However, this included the times they discussed gun control after the shootings at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
It’s true the increase in gun possession could be because of these mass shootings that seem to be happening more frequently. However, as the author of the Newsweek report revealed, it seems as though any time Fox News covered gun control, the increase in background checks soars. For example, three months after the Sandy Hook shootings, Fox News covered gun control, and then there was an increase in background checks – 1.9 million, actually.
This correlation seems to be correct, but there’s not enough evidence to prove it without transparency of what the background checks are for, and what Americans really are buying. All we know is that Americans are buying more guns now more than ever. It doesn’t really matter why they are doing it. What matters is that Americans are exercising their right to have one.