If there's one thing Americans love, it's their guns. About 80 million Americans out of roughly 310 million own a firearm. Those that do, tend to have about 4. All in all, it's roughly the equivalent of 1 gun for every United States resident. I don't think these numbers are in dispute. Pretty straightforward.
This blog isn't about the quantity of weapons in the U.S. I think most people would agree, there seems to be enough. What I want to focus on is the future growth of the weapons market. With the advent of the internet (information age) and the continuing evolution of the DIY (do it yourself) movement, one thing is certain. There will be tons of blueprints for those that wish to mass produce semi-sophisticated weaponry. I'm not going to turn this into a "how to," but suffice to say, 3D manufacturing sites are popping up all over the place. The information is readily available. If you have access to metal fabrication, you can mass replicate guns at relatively low cost. This is when things will get interesting.
You see, the National Rifle Association puts one statement front and center at any opportunity.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Whenever challenged, just invoke the same 'ol platitude espoused in the constitution. Can't go wrong there.
Even though I never thought the founding fathers envisioned morons like this guy...
with access to ammo and weapons like this...
...but that's an argument for another day.
I'm much more interested to see what transpires when the NRA comes into direct conflict with a new breed of gun owners - those who manufacture their own weapons outside the scope and regulation of government. It's my contention that many in the highest positions of the NRA aren't really motivated by abstract constitutional principles. They're actually motivated by GREED. Pure and simple. And they are beholden to those corporate interests. These are the same NRA leaders that love to yap about the 2nd Amendment, but in truth, they really don't give a fuck. It's just lip service to gun owners, hunters and voters. In all the swing states, gun rights is always one of the most polarizing issues... and it's usually a winner, along with abortion and the recent hullabaloo over gay marriage. Don't kid yourself, that NRA endorsement is a big fuckin' deal and it won't go away anytime soon.
They proudly endorse my U.S. Senator (and for the love of god, he's a Democrat).
How about that? He lacks the courage to respond to a letter I wrote him regarding the artificially generated stampede. This guy can take shots with a rifle, but is fearful of mere words on a piece of paper. Way to go... Joe. And here's the real irony... I voted for him. I'll begrudgingly admit it.
But what's going to happen when all these DIY gun enthusiasts start popping up? They'll be manufacturing, selling and purchasing their own weapons. Well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that as the homemade, cheap gun market soars (it will), the cost of "legally" purchased firearms is going to nosedive (it will). Hmmm. When profits in the gun industry stagnate or drop, guess who the NRA will go crying to? Yep, they'll go bitching and screaming to the U.S government and every lobbyist, senator and congressman who'll give them the time of day. "Hey, you better crack down on all these black market weapons. They're not safe. That's what's responsible for the surge in gun violence. Not us. And we've heard those guns are very popular with anti-government militia groups. You'd better take heed!"
Anyone recall the "music downloading crisis" in the early days of the internet? Remember when the big recording companies sued all those college kids in their dorm rooms? Those renegade punks (at Harvard and Columbia) are stealing copyrighted music. OMG, hot-to-trot69 posted a link to that crappy Brtiney Spears song on her myspace page. For the love of God! That's theft. We must do everything in our capacity to destroy her. After a few months, Sony and CBS realized it was a waste of their resources and moved on. So then, they targeted the internet downloading sites. Megaupload... oh how I loved thee, let me count the ways. GONE, in a blink of an eye. But others have stepped up. Mediafire, hotfile, the list goes on. In time, I'm sure they'll end up on the government hit list as well.
It's just like the pharmaceutical industry. Throw the "illegal" drug users in jail. Assess blame, fine and imprison them. Then of course, sell them the "legal" and "safer" choices like oxycontin and marinol. Just like the early days of alcohol prohibition. It's all the same. No surprise in a hyper-capitalistic society where money, greed and corruption rule the day.
But my point is this. As the DIY gun movement takes form, a major rift will emerge within the NRA. It will be divided into two different camps (very similar to the split in the mainstream Republican party - core/mainstream GOPers vs. Tea Party purists/activists)
Those who are self-proclaimed all-out, unabashed supporters of the 2nd Amendment.
Second Amend-a-holics (those who feign love for the constitution, but honestly couldn't give a fuck. Newsflash: they're just in it for the money.)
And when all the hunters and miscellaneous gun rights advocates realize they've been paying homage (and their dues) to the NRA for all those years... and all of a sudden, they realize they've been taken advantage of and made fools of. Well, these people are going to be pissed off. And when people with lots of weapons get pissed off... Well, let's just say, if you're a student of history... this ain't a tasty recipe for mutton.
It's a recipe for disaster.