To say that the United States has a gun problem would be an understatement at this point.
Yesterday, the Senate voted against four different gun control measures and gun sales have soared since the Orlando shooting that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. President Obama even tweeted today that senators have "failed the American people" on gun control.
Tom Engle, the owner of Hunter’s Warehouse based in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, told Fox Business that his sales of AR-15 assault rifles have recently skyrocketed. He claims that he sold over 30,000 AR-15s in the week following the Orlando shooting—a depressing figure for gun control supporters. A variation of the AR-15 was used by terrorist Omar Mateen.
Assault rifles are typically the weapon of choice for mass murderers; AR-15s have been used in 14 public mass shootings in the last decade, News.com.au cited. They are incredibly easy to purchase, even if a person is on an FBI watch list, as Mateen was. One of the gun control measures that Senate didn’t approve this week would have imposed a 72-hour waiting period allowing the government time to act after a person on a watch list attempted to buy a gun.
The cost of an AR-15 ranges from $350 to $8,000, making the gun relatively affordable on the lower end.
One "misconception" that Engle pointed out was that he believed that mass shootings don’t impact gun sales, but rather the government discussions of banning guns do. Engle, however, missed the point that federal gun control discussions wouldn’t be occurring in the first place if mass shootings weren’t happening. He said,
“Shootings don't push up gun sales. It's when the government starts talking about banning particular guns and up go gun sales. When people lose their right to buy a particular gun or a particular type of gun, they go after them and they want them then.”
Assault weapons were banned by the government in 1994, but Congress failed to renew the ban in 2004 and again this year.
photo credit: Reuters