Trigganometry: Guns, Greed and Gumption
American resistance to gun control: Rights, Identity, Money and the NRA’s ability to engage likely voters
As a single southern girl whose lived alone for a number of years, I’ve been a legal gun owner my entire adult life. While I understand the desire for personal protection, I don’t understand many of the excuses being provided to justify a society obssessed with an unchecked saturation of guns. For those of us who truly desire comprehensive gun control legislation, it will take sustained grassroots organizing and a very bold national movement. The first thing we have to do is “know thy enemy”.
America’s Gun Industry
According to a December 2012 “The Christian Science Monitor” article, the estimated economic impact (job creation and new sales taxes) of the gun industry was 31.8 billion dollars. Also,in 2012, the estimated revenue brought in by the US gun and ammunition manufacturing industry was 6 billion dollars. The percentage of Americans who reported having at least one gun in their home, according to a 2011 Gallup poll was 47 percent. The approximate number of firearms manufactured in the United States as of 2010 was 5.5 million. As of 2009, the estimated number of guns in circulation was about 310 million. The mean annual salary of a worker in the gun industry is $140,000 according to First Research. This figure is due to the fact the gun industry is less automated than many other manufacturing sectors which requires more skilled labor. I’d be curious to know how diverse this particular workforce is. The number of retail gun dealers in the US, as of October 2012, was 50, 812. The country’s largest firearms retailer is still Walmart, which resumed the sale of firearms in mid-2011 after a five-year hiatus.
The Politics of Guns
There is plenty of evidence to suggest Republicans lead the pack with regards to receiving money from the NRA as compared to Democrats. However, the NRA has historically been a master at galvanizing a huge number of Republican voters on the ground. This influence makes the NRA a lot more formidable than the funds it provides to Republican politicians.
After the Las Vegas mass shooting, our gun control movement has to be even more formidable.