What has Americans so frightened? Why are they stocking up on guns and ammo?
Fears of crime, a potential crackdown on firearms, social collapse and even zombies have millions loading up as never before.
“For one thing, defensive firearms are meant to be ‘equalizers,’ force multipliers that can allow one good person to defend against multiple evil people. To allow one good person to defend against a single evil person so much stronger and/or bigger and/or more violent than he or she, that the attacker’s potentially lethal assault can be stopped.
“In the 1980s and into the 1990s, cops switched en masse to semiautomatic pistols. So did the gun-buying public. Today, the most popular handgun among police seems to be the 16-shot, .40 caliber Glock semiautomatic. Not surprisingly, the general public has gone to pistols bracketing that caliber in power (9mm, .40, .45) with similar enthusiasm. The American police establishment has also largely switched from the 12 gauge shotgun which was also the traditional American home defense weapon, to the AR15 patrol rifle with 30-round magazine. And, not surprisingly, the law-abiding citizenry has followed suit there, too.
“The reasoning is strikingly clear. The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a ‘high capacity’ semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families.”
Is fear – and arming ourselves – perhaps a uniquely American tradition? After all, Thomas Jefferson advised: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” declared Benjamin Franklin.