LA Times: Surge in Gun Purchases Is 'Madness'

By: José Niño

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is throwing a fit over the record number of firearms that Americans are buying during the Wuhan virus pandemic.

For them, the idea of people taking the initiative to arm themselves to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their property is “madness.”

The Board broke down some of the recent gun purchase numbers in a recent piece entitled, “New reports confirm what should be obvious: Smart gun laws save lives,” writing:

Since the start of the pandemic, Americans are buying more guns. The FBI says it conducted a record 3.7 million background checks for would-be gun buyers, a loose proxy for firearm sales, in March as lockdown orders spread across the nation. In April the checks dropped to 2.9 million but rebounded to 3.1 million in May. The monthly average for 2019 — itself a record year for background checks — was 2.4 million. So even as we get fresh studies connecting possession of firearms with increased risk of gun violence, accidental shootings (usually by children) and suicides, we are adding more firearms to the nation’s already numbingly large privately owned arsenal of some 300 million guns (no reliable count is available) owned by about a third of the population.

After highlighting this uptick in gun sales, the board declared, “This is madness.”

Despite the surge in gun sales during the Wuhan virus lockdowns, crime rates have gone down, which even mainstream outlets like USA Today have reported back in April.

The LA Times board also took the opportunity to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear 10 different challenges to gun control laws across the nation, writing:

One bit of good news came Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a range of cases that could have further expanded the court’s (ill-considered) view of the 2nd Amendment, morphing the right to own a firearm for protection in the home into a right to carry a firearm wherever you go. Many states already allow that as a matter of policy, which is dangerous enough. (California generally bars openly carrying a firearm, and limits possession of a concealed weapon to people who have been issued licenses, usually by a county sheriff.)

The Times editorial board doubled-down on its support for gun control and its praise for the Supreme Court’s decision to give gun owners the cold shoulder, declaring:

Even if people believe in a 2nd Amendment right to own firearms, it’s not unreasonable to ask that they support laws barring firearm access to those who pose a risk to themselves and others, requiring safe storage of weapons in the home, and other reasonable measures to try to reduce the number of gun victims. And given the increased risk that the gun you buy today may become your own cause of death, you might want to rethink why you believe you need a gun in the first place.

Justice Clarence Thomas offered a dissenting opinion to the SCOTUS decision, arguing that the court “looks the other way” in cases concerning the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court Justice nailed it. Although the Supreme Court plays an important role in checking other branches of government, it can only do so much. On numerous occasions, it has helped consolidate the administrative state, which poses a constant threat to the rights of many Americans.

Gun owners cannot always rely on the federal courts to take on cases, let alone produce the right decisions. A more comprehensive plan involving legislative action at all levels of government can help prevent overreliance on the court system and allow for activists to score policy wins on a consistent basis.

José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.